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. Claims from prisoners

Claims by prisoners

A prisoner may claim a social security pension, benefit or a CrP not earlier than 3 weeks before their release date. The start day for the payment is the release date.

These claims are to be distinguished from 'early claims' in that the prisoner must be qualified for a payment when they claim it. Early claims where a person claims a payment for which they are not qualified are provided for under SS(Admin)Act Schedule 2 clause 4, but early claims are NOT available to prisoners except for a restricted range of payments.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security pension', section 23(1)-'social security benefit'

SS(Admin)Act section 35 Claims by persons in gaol etc., Schedule 2 clause 4 Start day-early claim

Impact on payability

Imprisonment impacts on payability rather than qualification so that a prisoner claiming a payment under SS(Admin)Act section 35 may be qualified in spite of being in gaol. In particular a prisoner may qualify for JSP because of unemployment or an exemption from mutual obligation requirements. However JSP is NOT payable while in prison because of an exclusion period arising from imprisonment.

JSP becomes payable on the prisoner's release date.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 35 Claims by persons in gaol etc., section 37(7) Grant of claim, Schedule 2 clause 4(3) Start day-early claim, Schedule 2 clause 5 Effect of exclusion period

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.4 Imprisonment, psychiatric confinement & prison release, 8.4.2 Immediate payments

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