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. Payability of CP


Even though a person is qualified, CP is NOT payable to the person in the circumstances listed in the following table. Where more detail about the circumstance is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Circumstances More detail
Specific provisions
The person is serving a NARWP (1.1.N.70) unless he or she has a QRE. Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP)

1.1.Q.35 Qualifying residence exemption (QRE)

The person has not taken reasonable steps to obtain compensation. Requirements to pursue & obtain compensation
The person is serving a compensation preclusion period. - Lump Sum Preclusion Period - General
The person is serving the SWPP. 3.1.7 Seasonal work preclusion period
Common provisions
Payment is not payable before the start day. 8.3 Start days
Other common payability provisions. 3.1.6 General payability provisions

Act reference: SSAct section 199(1) CP not payable if payment rate nil

Policy reference: SS Guide CP - current rates


The NARWP applies to CP. A person must be an Australian resident and in Australia for a total of 104 weeks to be payable. No part of the waiting period can be served outside Australia. All periods spent outside Australia extend the waiting period.

Note: Different payments have different NARWP periods. The length of the waiting period depends on a person's situation and payment type. A person who has fully served a NARWP for one payment may still be serving a NARWP for other payments. Refer to specific payment guide topics for individual rules.

Exemptions from the NARWP

There are a number of exemptions from the NARWP for CP, and situations where a NARWP does not apply (see for details). This includes:

  • holders of certain Carer visas (CP and CA)
  • Australian citizens
  • refugee, former refugee or a family member of a refugee.

Note: A person who has a QRE for CP will receive an exemption to the NARWP for CP.

There are also other exemptions specific to other payment types (, FA Guide and PPL Guide 2.4.3).

Explanation: Carers who are holders of a Carer visa are granted permanent residence on the basis of needing to provide care to an Australian resident family member who has no other carer available.

A holder of a Carer visa who is in receipt of CP is treated the same as any other CP recipient. This means that all the provisions in the Act are applied in the same way.

Note: The term 'SPECIAL NEEDS RELATIVE' has been deleted from the Migration Regulations, and no further visas will be granted on that basis. However, existing visas that were granted on the basis that the applicant was a special needs relative remain in effect.

If a holder of a Carer visa ceases to be qualified for CP during their first 4 years of residence, consideration should be given to whether they could qualify for SpB.

Example: The care receiver dies or the carer is unable to provide care at the required level to maintain qualification for CP. Where this is due to a substantial change in circumstances beyond the person's control, they may be eligible for SpB without a NARWP.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6AA) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption …, section 201AA(1) to section 201AA(5A) Newly arrived resident's waiting period

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.N.70 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), Exemptions from the NARWP

Income & assets testing

The pension income and assets test applies to the CP recipient.

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.2.5 CP income & assets tests

Employment income nil rate period - an incentive to take up work

A CP recipient who loses payment because of ordinary income (1.1.O.30), made up entirely or partly of employment income (1.1.E.102), may qualify for an employment income nil rate period. To assess qualification for an employment income nil rate period see 3.1.12.

During the employment income nil rate period a CP recipient can:

  • be paid certain supplementary benefits, see 3.1.12
  • retain their PCC or HCC, and
  • have their payment resumed if they report a reduction in income sufficient for CP to be payable again.

Explanation: This policy provides incentives for CP recipients to take up casual or short-term work.

Note: The employment income nil rate period does not apply to a person who lost their qualification for CP because they have paid work for more than 25 hours per week.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4) …, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A) …, section 1061ZEA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income, section 198AC Effect of cessation of care etc. on CP

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period, PCC extension rules, Changes to carer situation - effect on CP qualification

Last reviewed: