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.

8.7 Cashless debit card program

Note: CDC program ending

The CDC program is being abolished. As of 1 October 2022, the program closed to new entrants who otherwise would have been triggered for the program (other than those residing in the Cape York and Doomadgee region and individuals who wish to volunteer for the CDC program). From 1 October 2022, with the exceptions of the Cape York and Doomadgee region and the Northern Territory, existing participants in the program are able to make a request to the Secretary to cease to be a program participant. The Secretary must then give the person a notice stating that the person ceases to be a program participant.

From 6 March 2023, some program participants may move onto an EIM arrangement under the EIM program (Part 12).

In Ceduna and surrounding regions, South Australia, the East Kimberley and Goldfields regions, Western Australia, and the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region, Queensland:

  • From 1 October 2022, there will be no more compulsory CDC program participants. Individuals in these areas can still become voluntary CDC program participants.
  • Existing participants can choose to cease participation in the program from 1 October 2022.
  • Individuals can continue to volunteer for the CDC during this time, and for EIM from 6 March 2023. Participants volunteering will move onto the EIM regime on 6 March 2023.

In the Northern Territory, eligible participants will move onto the EIM program on 6 March 2023. Existing income management will continue as usual (Part 11) in this program area. CDC program participants in the Northern Territory who do not meet the criteria for EIM may remain on the CDC program until the legislation is repealed, after which their participation in the program will cease.

In the Cape York and Doomadgee region, participants will continue in the CDC program until 6 March 2023 when they will be moved onto EIM. The Family Responsibilities Commission can continue making new referrals to the CDC program until 6 March 2023, and onto EIM from 6 March 2023.

The legislation enacting the CDC program is scheduled to be repealed (meaning the program will end) on 30 March 2023, unless an earlier date is set by proclamation. The legislation repealing the CDC program will not occur before the commencement of the EIM regime on 6 March 2023.

Please note that relevant part of the legislation commenced on 1 October 2022 (go to DSS's Cashless Debit Card page).

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 124PG Program participants – Ceduna area, section124PGA Program participants – East Kimberley area, section 124PGB Program participants – Goldfields area, section 124PGC Program participants – Bundaberg and Hervey Bay area, section 124PGD Program participants – Cape York area, section 124PGE Program participants – Northern Territory, section 124PH Voluntary participants

Introduction

This chapter contains information about the CDC program - how it works, who is participating and where it will be conducted.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act Part 3D Cashless welfare arrangements

Last reviewed: