The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The 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. Issues affecting qualification for PA

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


This topic discusses issues that may affect a recipient's qualification (1.1.Q.10) for PA, such as:

  • assurance of support (1.1.A.310)
  • partner loses qualification
  • partner serving a non-payment period
  • payment during overseas travel.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(5A) to (5D) Pension age

Assurance of support

A person is not SPECIFICALLY precluded from qualifying for PA if they have entered Australia under an AoS that is in force when they lodge a claim. However:

  • PA is NOT payable if the main allowance recipient is not receiving an allowance, and
  • the AoS agreement may specify that PA is a recoverable payment for AoS purposes.

Although PA cannot be rejected for a claimant for whom an AoS is in place, both the assurer (1.1.A.310) and the assuree must be clearly advised that PA, if granted, is a recoverable debt.

Policy reference: SS Guide Assurance of support debts, 9.4.7 AoS debts

Partner loses qualification

Once PA has been granted, a recipient REMAINS qualified for PA, even after their partner's eligibility for payment ceases. The PA recipient's partner's eligibility will generally cease because they returned to work and therefore, their income MAY preclude payment of PA.

Partner serving a non-payment period

If a PA recipient's partner is serving a non-payment period as a result of an activity test failure, the PA recipient CAN still qualify and be paid PA from the date JSP would OTHERWISE be payable to their partner.

Explanation: The intention here is to avoid a situation where the dependent partner is left without income.

Policy reference: SS Guide Payability of PA

Payment during temporary absences overseas

A recipient must be in Australia to qualify for PA. Once qualified, they may continue to receive PA during a temporary absence from Australia for 6 weeks or less.

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia, Assurance of support debts, 9.4.7 AoS debts, 1.1.M.120 Member of a couple

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