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SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991 - SECT 542A

Temporary incapacity exemption

General

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2) of this section and sections 542B and 542C, a person has a temporary incapacity exemption if:

                     (a)  throughout the period the person:

                              (i)  if the person is undertaking full-time study--does not have the capacity to undertake the course of education in respect of which he or she is undertaking full-time study; or

                            (ia)  if the person is an early school leaver and a Youth Allowance Employment Pathway Plan is in force in relation to the person--does not have the capacity to undertake the required activities; or

                             (ii)  in any other case--is incapacitated for work;

                            because of sickness or an accident; and

                     (b)  the incapacity is caused wholly, or virtually wholly, by a medical condition arising from the sickness or accident; and

                     (c)  the incapacity is, or is likely to be, of a temporary nature; and

                     (d)  the person has, whether before or after the commencement of this section, given the Secretary a certificate of a medical practitioner, in a form approved by the Secretary, stating:

                              (i)  the medical practitioner's diagnosis; and

                             (ii)  the medical practitioner's prognosis; and

                            (iii)  that the person is incapacitated for study, the required activities or work (as the case requires); and

                            (iv)  the period for which the person is incapacitated for study, the required activities or work (as the case requires); and

                     (e)  the Secretary is satisfied that the incapacity has not been brought about with a view to obtaining an exemption from the activity test.

       (1AA)  Subsection (1) does not apply to sickness, or an accident, wholly or predominantly attributable to the person's dependence on alcohol or another drug, unless the person is a declared program participant, a new apprentice or undertaking full-time study.

          (1A)  The Secretary must comply with the guidelines (if any) determined and in force under subsection (1B) in deciding the following:

                     (a)  whether subparagraph (1)(a)(ii) or paragraph (1)(b) or (c) applies to a person in respect of a period;

                     (b)  whether, for the purposes of paragraph (b) of the definition of work in subsection (3), work is of a kind that a person is reasonably capable of performing.

          (1B)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine guidelines to be complied with by the Secretary in making a decision referred to in subsection (1A).

Claimants for disability support pension

             (2)  This section does not apply to a person who is qualified for a youth allowance under section 540A.

Definitions

             (3)  In this section:

"required activities" , in relation to an early school leaver in relation to whom a Youth Allowance Employment Plan is in force, means the activities required to be undertaken by the plan.

"work" , in relation to a person, means work (whether full-time, part-time, permanent or casual) that:

                     (a)  if the person was employed at the time the sickness or accident in question occurred--the person has contracted to perform under a contract of employment that:

                              (i)  the person had immediately before the person becomes incapacitated; and

                             (ii)  continues after the person becomes incapacitated; and

                     (b)  if the person was not employed at that time--the person is reasonably capable of performing;

being work that is for at least 8 hours per week on wages that are at or above the relevant minimum wage.



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