Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

[Index] [Table] [Search] [Search this Act] [Notes] [Noteup] [Previous] [Next] [Download] [Help]

SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991 - SECT 19C

Severe financial hardship definitions

Application of definitions in this section

             (1)  The definitions in this section relate to:

                     (a)  ordinary waiting periods; and

                     (b)  liquid assets test waiting periods; and

                     (c)  seasonal work preclusion periods; and

                     (d)  income maintenance periods.

Meaning of in severe financial hardship : person who is not a member of a couple

             (2)  A person who is not a member of a couple and who makes a claim for parenting payment, jobseeker payment, austudy payment, special benefit, disability support pension, carer payment or one of the following allowances:

                     (b)  widow allowance;

                     (c)  mature age allowance;

                     (d)  sickness allowance;

                     (e)  youth allowance;

is in severe financial hardship if the value of the person's liquid assets (within the meaning of subsection 14A(1)) is less than the fortnightly amount at the maximum payment rate of the payment, benefit, pension or allowance that would be payable to the person:

                      (f)  if the person's claim were granted; and

                     (g)  in the case of a person to whom an income maintenance period applies, if that period did not apply.

Note:          For maximum payment rate see subsection (8).

Meaning of in severe financial hardship : person who is a member of a couple

             (3)  A member of a couple who makes a claim for parenting payment, jobseeker payment, austudy payment, special benefit, disability support pension, carer payment or one of the following allowances:

                     (b)  partner allowance;

                     (c)  mature age allowance;

                     (d)  sickness allowance;

                     (e)  youth allowance;

is in severe financial hardship if the value of the couple's liquid assets (within the meaning of subsections 14A(1) and (2)) is less than twice the fortnightly amount at the maximum payment rate of the payment, benefit, pension or allowance that would be payable to the person:

                      (f)  if the person's claim were granted; and

                     (g)  in the case of a person to whom an income maintenance period applies, if that period did not apply.

Note:          For maximum payment rate see subsection (8).

Meaning of unavoidable or reasonable expenditure

             (4)  Unavoidable or reasonable expenditure , in relation to a person who is serving a liquid assets test waiting period or is subject to a seasonal work preclusion period, or a person to whom an income maintenance period applies, or in relation to working out if a person is subject to an ordinary waiting period, includes, but is not limited to, the following expenditure:

                     (a)  the reasonable costs of living that the person is taken, under subsection (6) or (7), to have incurred in respect of:

                              (i)  if the person is serving a liquid assets test waiting period--that part of the period that the person has served; or

                             (ii)  if the person is subject to a seasonal work preclusion period--that part of the period that has expired; or

                            (iii)  if an income maintenance period applies to the person--that part of the period that has already applied to the person; or

                            (iv)  in relation to working out if the person is subject to an ordinary waiting period--the 4 weeks immediately before the person's start day mentioned in paragraph 500WA(1)(a), 549CA(2)(a), 620(1)(a) or 693(a);

                     (b)  the costs of repairs to, or replacement of, essential whitegoods situated in the person's home;

                     (c)  school expenses;

                     (d)  funeral expenses;

                     (e)  essential expenses arising on the birth of the person's child or the adoption of a child by the person;

                      (f)  expenditure to buy replacement essential household goods because of loss of those goods through theft or natural disaster when the cost of replacement is not the subject of an insurance policy;

                     (g)  the costs of essential repairs to the person's car or home;

                     (h)  premiums in respect of vehicle or home insurance;

                      (i)  expenses in respect of vehicle registration;

                      (j)  essential medical expenses;

                     (k)  any other costs that the Secretary determines are unavoidable or reasonable expenditure in the circumstances in relation to a person.

However, unavoidable or reasonable expenditure does not include any reasonable costs of living other than those referred to in paragraph (a).

Meaning of reasonable costs of living

             (5)  The reasonable costs of living of a person include, but are not limited to, the following costs:

                     (a)  food costs;

                     (b)  rent or mortgage payments;

                     (c)  regular medical expenses;

                     (d)  rates, water and sewerage payments;

                     (e)  gas, electricity and telephone bills;

                      (f)  costs of petrol for the person's vehicle;

                     (g)  public transport costs;

                     (h)  any other cost that the Secretary determines is a reasonable cost of living in relation to a person.

             (6)  For the purposes of paragraph (4)(a), the amount of reasonable costs of living that a person who is not a member of a couple is taken to have incurred, may not exceed:

                     (a)  in the case of a person who is serving a liquid assets test waiting period--the amount of jobseeker payment or allowance that would have been payable to the person during that part of the waiting period that the person has already served, if the person were not subject to the period; or

                     (b)  in the case of a person who is subject to a seasonal work preclusion period--the amount of jobseeker payment or allowance that would have been payable to the person during that part of the person's preclusion period that has already expired, if the person were not subject to the period; or

                     (c)  in the case of a person to whom an income maintenance period applies--the amount of jobseeker payment, allowance or parenting payment (as the case may be) that would have been payable to the person during that part of the income maintenance period that has already applied to the person, if the period did not apply to the person; or

                     (d)  in relation to working out if the person is subject to an ordinary waiting period--the amount of jobseeker payment, allowance or parenting payment (as the case may be) that would have been payable to the person during the 4-week period mentioned in subparagraph (4)(a)(iv) if that payment or allowance were payable to the person for that period.

             (7)  For the purposes of paragraph (4)(a), the amount of reasonable costs of living that a person who is a member of a couple is taken to have incurred, may not exceed:

                     (a)  in the case of a person who is serving a liquid assets test waiting period--twice the amount of jobseeker payment or allowance that would have been payable to the person during that part of the waiting period that the person has already served, if the person were not subject to the period; or

                     (b)  in the case of a person who is subject to a seasonal work preclusion period--twice the amount of jobseeker payment, allowance or parenting payment (as the case may be) that would have been payable to the person during that part of the person's preclusion period that has already expired, if the person were not subject to the period; or

                     (c)  in the case of a person to whom an income maintenance period applies--twice the amount of jobseeker payment, allowance or parenting payment (as the case may be) that would have been payable to the person during that part of the income maintenance period that has already applied to the person, if the period did not apply to the person; or

                     (d)  in relation to working out if the person is subject to an ordinary waiting period--twice the amount of jobseeker payment, allowance or parenting payment (as the case may be) that would have been payable to the person during the 4-week period mentioned in subparagraph (4)(a)(iv) if that payment or allowance were payable to the person for that period.

Meaning of maximum payment rate

             (8)  For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3), maximum payment rate :

                    (aa)  in relation to disability support pension--means the rate worked out at:

                              (i)  Step 4 of the Method statement in Module A of Pension Rate Calculator A; or

                             (ii)  Step 5 of the Method statement in Module A of Pension Rate Calculator D; or

                   (ab)  in relation to carer payment--means the rate worked out at Step 4 of the Method statement in Module A of Pension Rate Calculator A; or

                     (a)  in relation to sickness allowance--means the rate worked out at Step 4 of the Method statement in Module A of the applicable rate calculator; or

                     (b)  in relation to jobseeker payment and, if the person has turned 22, in relation to special benefit--means the rate worked out at Step 4 of the Method statement in Module A of the applicable rate calculator; or

                     (c)  in relation to youth allowance and, if the person has not turned 22, in relation to special benefit--means the maximum payment rate worked out at Step 4 of the Method statement in Module A of the Youth Allowance Rate Calculator in section 1067G; or

                    (ca)  in relation to austudy payment--means the maximum payment rate worked out at Step 3 of the Method statement in Module A of the Austudy Payment Rate Calculator in section 1067L; or

                     (d)  in relation to widow allowance, partner allowance and mature age allowance under Part 2.12B--means the rate worked out at Step 4 of the method statement in Module A of Benefit Rate Calculator B; or

                   (da)  in relation to pension PP (single)--means the rate worked out at Step 4 of the method statement in point 1068A-A1 in Module A of the Pension PP Rate Calculator; or

                     (e)  in relation to benefit PP (partnered)--means the rate worked out at step 4 of whichever of the method statements in points 1068B-A2 and 1068B-A3 in Module A of the Benefit PP (Partnered) Rate Calculator is applicable to the person.

Note 1:       The Sickness Benefit Rate Calculator, Benefit Rate Calculator A and Benefit Rate Calculator B apply to the calculation of sickness allowance depending on the circumstances of the person claiming the allowance.

Note 2:       Benefit Rate Calculator A (under 18) and Benefit Rate Calculator B (over 18) apply to the calculation of jobseeker payment.

Secretary to give notice of determination

           (10)  If the Secretary makes a determination in relation to a person under paragraph (4)(k) or paragraph (5)(h), the Secretary must give written notice of the determination to the person.



AustLII: Copyright Policy | Disclaimers | Privacy Policy | Feedback