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 intended only as a guide to social security payments. 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.

9.4.3.50 Assurer eligibility requirements - Community Support Program

Summary

This section sets out the requirements an individual or body must meet in order to provide AoS under the Community Support Program (CSP), including:

  • residence requirements
  • age requirements
  • income or financial capacity requirements.

These requirements are set out in the Social Security (Assurances of Support) Determination 2018.

There is no bond requirement for assurers providing for an AoS under the CSP.

Note: The requirements an individual or body must meet to provide an AoS for someone who is not a CSP entrant are outlined in 9.4.3.10, 9.4.3.30 and 9.4.30.40.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZZGB Who may give an assurance of support?, section 1061ZZGH Determinations

Background

The CSP is a Department of Home Affairs program that allows individuals, businesses and community organisations to sponsor people in humanitarian need to come to Australia.

Sponsors of a CSP entrant are generally required to guarantee support for the entrant and any dependent family members by providing an AoS. This reflects the expectation that a CSP entrant’s sponsor will support them during their first 12 months in Australia.

Some of the AoS settings in relation to CSP entrants are different to the settings that apply to other visa types subject to an AoS. These differences recognise the particular purpose and nature of the CSP.

Further information about the CSP is available on the Department of Home Affairs’ website.

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.4.1.20 History of the AoS scheme

Residence requirements

Individuals seeking to provide an AoS for a CSP entrant must be an Australian resident as defined in SSAct section 7.

For joint AoS applications, all applicants must be Australian residents. For corporations, the applicant must be incorporated in Australia, and intend to remain incorporated in Australia for the duration of the AoS period.

For unincorporated bodies, the applicant must have an address in Australia and intend to remain at the address for the duration of the AoS period.

The same residence requirements apply to assurers providing an AoS for a non-CSP entrant.

Act reference: SSAct section 7 Australian residence definitions

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.1.10 Residence requirements

Age requirements

An individual assurer must be over the age of 18 years at the time of application.

The AoS signatory on behalf of a corporation or unincorporated body must be over the age of 18 at the time of application.

The same age requirements apply to assurers providing an AoS for a non-CSP entrant.

Income requirements – individuals

The prospective assurer/s must meet the income requirements to give an AoS.

The income requirements that apply will depend on:

  • the number of assurers
  • the number of dependent children of the assurer/s, and
  • the number of adult assurees to be supported under the AoS.

Note: Sole traders are considered individual assurers and are subject to the requirements for individuals, including the below income requirements.

To meet the income requirements, the prospective assurer/s must have income above the minimum threshold for their circumstances. If there is only one assurer, only the income of that person is assessed. For a joint AoS involving 2 or 3 assurers, the combined income of all the assurers is used in the assessment.

The minimum income threshold is equal to the sum of:

  • the annual maximum basic JSP amount for each of the adults involved in the AoS, whether they are an assurer or assuree, and
  • the annual base rate of FTB Part A plus the rate of FTB Part A supplement (as at 1 July of the current financial year) for any children under 18 years an assurer has.

The annual maximum basic JSP amount is the fortnightly basic rate of JSP for a single person with dependent children (not including any supplements), as at 1 July of the current financial year, multiplied by 26.0714286. The current financial year is the year in which the AoS application was made. See Part 5 for payment rates.

The prospective assurer/s must demonstrate a sustained minimum income for the current financial year (this is the year in which the AoS application was made) and either the previous financial year or the financial year before that.

The above income requirements for an AoS under the CSP are consistent with the income requirements for an AoS in general. See 9.4.3.10 for more information, including in relation to the evidence of income required.

There is no bond requirement for individual or joint assurers applying for an AoS under the CSP.

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.4.3.10 Assurer eligibility requirements - individuals

Financial capacity – corporations and unincorporated bodies

Corporations and unincorporated bodies must meet a financial capacity test to give an AoS for a CSP entrant. This financial capacity test is the same as the test for bodies providing an AoS for non-CSP entrants.

A corporation will meet the test if they satisfy one of the following at the time of application:

  • the corporation’s profit from carrying on a business or businesses for the last 2 financial years before the current financial year was equal to the annual maximum basic JSP amount per adult assuree, or
  • the corporation has at least $5,000 in readily available funds per adult assuree.

Note: The annual maximum basic JSP amount is the fortnightly basic rate of JSP for a single person with dependent children (not including any supplements), as at 1 July of the current financial year, multiplied by 26.0714286. The current financial year is the year in which the AoS application was made. See Part 5 for payment rates.

An unincorporated body will meet the test if they have at least $5,000 in readily available funds per adult assuree at the time of application.

For the purposes of the financial capacity test, readily available funds means the following:

  • money in an account, or on deposit, with an authorised deposit taking institution within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959
  • bank bills accepted, or endorsed, by such an institution
  • marketable securities (within the meaning of section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001).

If a company or unincorporated body is an existing assurer and applies to provide a further AoS, they will need to show sufficient profit or readily available funds to cover both the existing assuree/s and new assuree/s as part of the new AoS application.

A corporation or unincorporated body can also meet the financial capacity test if the Secretary (or their delegate) is otherwise satisfied that the corporation or unincorporated body has the capacity to support the assurees receiving assurance under the AoS. The Secretary (or their delegate) may use their discretion on a case-by-case basis and this is not binding on subsequent decisions. Generally, a body should attempt to meet the above financial capacity tests.

Example: In 2021-22, the annual maximum basic JSP amount is $17,966 (JSP rate as at 1 July 2021).

A company is seeking to provide an AoS for Aadela and her family under the CSP. The family consists of Aadela, her husband and 3 children under 18 years of age. As there are 2 adults involved in the AoS, the company is required to meet the financial capacity test, and can do so by demonstrating a profit of at least $35,932 ($17,966 per assuree). The company’s financial details were provided to Services Australia, which evidenced a profit of $70,000 in 2019-20, a profit of $90,000 in 2020-21. At the time of assessment of the financial capacity test, they had a current profit of $60,000, with a projected profit totalling $100,000 for the 2021-22 financial year. The company meets the financial capacity test.

Example: A community organisation has applied to provide an AoS under the CSP for Yana and her family. Yana’s family consists of herself, 2 children under 18 years of age, her eldest son who is 19 years old, and her parents. As there are 4 adult assurees, the company can satisfy the financial capacity test by providing Services Australia with evidence of readily available funds amounting to $20,000 ($5,000 per adult assuree). The organisation forwards bank statements showing readily available funds at the date of application totalling $35,000. The company meets the financial capacity test.

Note: there is no income or financial capacity test for state/territory agencies providing an AoS for a CSP entrant.

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.4.3.30 Assurer eligibility requirements – corporations and state, 9.4.3.40 Assurer eligibility requirements – unincorporated bodies

Limit on assurees

An individual can only be an assurer for a maximum of 4 adult CSP entrants at any one time (there is no limit on the number of child assurees). An individual may not give an AoS for an adult CSP entrant if:

  • the individual has previously given an assurance for 4 CSP adults (whether in a single assurance or separate assurances), and
  • each assurance either remains in force or assessment of the application for the assurance is still pending acceptance or rejection.

Bodies (including corporations, unincorporated bodies and state/territory agencies) can only be an assurer for a maximum of 15 adult CSP entrants at any one time (there is no limit on the number of child assurees). A body may not give an AoS for an adult CSP entrant if:

  • it has previously given an assurance for 15 CSP adults (whether in a single assurance or separate assurances), and
  • each assurance either remains in force or assessment of the application for the assurance is still pending acceptance or rejection.

Note: Different limits apply to individuals and bodies providing an AoS for a non-CSP entrant – see 9.4.3.10 and 9.4.3.30.

Debts incurred

If a CSP entrant is paid a recoverable social security payment during the AoS period, the resulting debt will be raised against the assurer. For assurers that are a body, debt will be raised against the body as a whole.

Sponsors are not liable for any payments a CSP entrant receives once the 12-month AoS period is finished.

Act reference: SSAct Chapter 2C Assurances of support, Part 2C.4 Determinations, Part 2C.5 Assurances by unincorporated bodies

Social Security (Assurances of Support) Determination 2022

Last reviewed: