The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Qualification for PA

Note: PA ceased on 1 January 2022. The following information is for historical purposes only.

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria

To qualify for PA, an applicant must meet ALL of the criteria listed in the following table. They must also have claimed PA before 20 September 2003 and satisfied all of the criteria below on the date they claimed. If more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Criterion More detail
Be a member of a couple (1.1.M.120), AND -
Have been born on or before 1 July 1955 - that is be at least 40 years of age on 1 July 1995, AND -
Be a partner of a person who is at least 21 years of age and in receipt of:

  • jobseeker payment
  • special benefit
  • youth allowance
  • austudy payment
  • age pension
  • disability support pension
  • DVA service pension
  • an income tested living allowance under an ABSTUDY scheme, OR
  • a loan under the SFSS, AND
Have NO dependent children in respect of whom PP would be payable if the applicant claimed PP, AND This topic
Have NO recent workforce experience, (1.1.R.80), AND -
Be an Australian resident, in Australia (1.1.A.320) at the time of lodging the claim, AND 3.1.1 Residence requirements
Not be serving a NARWP, AND 1.1.N.70 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP)
Not be serving an JSP, YA or Austudy waiting period, AND Waiting, preclusion & exclusion periods for JSP Waiting, preclusion & exclusion periods for YA Payability of Austudy

Not be serving an activity test penalty period, AND 3.11.14 Consequences for not meeting mutual obligation requirements - CDP job seeker compliance framework
Not be unemployed due to industrial action. This topic

Act reference: SSAct section 7(2) An Australian resident ā€¦, section 16(1)-'industrial action'

No new grants of PA from 20 September 2003

As part of Australians Working Together (AWT), access to PA was closed from 20 September 2003. This means that, to be granted PA, the claim must have been lodged before 20 September 2003, and the person must have been qualified for PA on the date they claimed.

Recipients receiving PA on 19 September 2003

Recipients of PA on 19 September 2003 are 'saved' while their payment remains current. They will lose their saved status if PA is cancelled.

Exception: PA can be restored or re-granted only if the payment was cancelled in error, or if the decision to cancel is overturned following review.

Act reference: SSAct section 771HA(1) Qualification for PA, section 771HB Unemployment due to industrial action, section 771 Time limits on claims for PA

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.1.1 Claim lodgement provisions


As PA has been closed to new entrants since 20 September 2003, the following information is for historical purposes only.

Parenting payment

An applicant with a dependent child MUST test their eligibility for PP. If their claim for PP is rejected, they can then claim PA.

Unemployment due to industrial action

A person cannot qualify for PA if their unemployment is due to them, or other members of a trade union to which they also belong, having engaged in industrial action. The person cannot qualify for PA for a period of 6 weeks after the industrial action ends where the industrial action was in breach of an order, direction or injunction issued by:

  • a State industrial authority
  • the Industrial Relations Commission, or
  • the Federal Court.

Proper claim

An applicant must lodge a proper claim before PA can be granted.

Last reviewed: