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SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991 - SECT 593

Qualification for jobseeker payment

             (1)  Subject to sections 596, 596A, 597 and 598, a person is qualified for a jobseeker payment in respect of a period if:

                     (a)  the person satisfies the Secretary that:

                              (i)  throughout the period the person is unemployed; or

                             (ii)  the person is a CDEP Scheme participant in respect of the period; or

                            (iii)  subsection (1A) applies in relation to the person for the period; and

Note:       For CDEP Scheme participant see section 1188B.

                     (b)  in the case of a person to whom subparagraph (a)(i) or (iii) applies--throughout the period, or for each period within the period, the person:

                              (i)  satisfies the activity test; or

                             (ii)  is not required to satisfy the activity test; and

                     (c)  if subsection 605(1) applies to the person, at all times (if any) during the period when a Jobseeker Employment Pathway Plan is not in force in relation to the person, the person is prepared to enter into such a plan; and

                     (d)  if subsection 605(1) or (2) applies to the person, at all times during the period when a Jobseeker Employment Pathway Plan is in force in relation to the person, the person is prepared to enter into another such plan instead of the existing plan; and

                     (e)  if the person is required by the Secretary to enter into a Jobseeker Employment Pathway Plan in relation to the period, the person enters into that plan; and

                      (f)  while the plan is in force, the person satisfies the Secretary that the person is complying with the requirements in the plan; and

                     (g)  throughout the period the person:

                              (i)  is at least 22 years of age and has not reached the pension age; and

                             (ii)  is an Australian resident or is exempt from the residence requirement within the meaning of subsection 7(7); and

                      (i)  the person was not in receipt of a youth allowance during the period.

Note 1:       A person may be treated as unemployed (see section 595).

Note 2:       The activity test is set out in section 601.

Note 3:       For Jobseeker Employment Pathway Plan see sections 605 and 606.

Note 5:       For pension age see section 23.

Note 6:       For Australian resident see section 7.

Note 8:       A person may not be qualified if the person's unemployment is due to industrial action (see section 596).

Note 9:       A person may not be qualified if the person has reduced the person's employment prospects by moving to an area of lower employment prospects (see section 597).

Note 12:     A person could be in receipt of a youth allowance during a period for which the person would qualify for a jobseeker payment, if paragraph (i) was disregarded, because of section 540C (extension of youth allowance to end of payment period).

Note 13:     A jobseeker payment is not payable in certain situations even if the person is qualified (see Subdivisions C, D, E and F and Part 4.2).

          (1A)  This subsection applies in relation to a person for a period if:

                     (a)  the person is incapacitated for work or study throughout the period 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)  one of the following applies:

                              (i)  immediately before the incapacity occurred the person was in employment (whether the person was self-employed, or was employed by another person, on a full-time, part-time, casual or temporary basis) and the Secretary is satisfied that, when the incapacity ends, the employment will be again available to the person (whether or not the same kind of work will be available);

                             (ii)  immediately before the incapacity occurred the person was in full-time education and was receiving payments under the ABSTUDY scheme and the Secretary is satisfied that the person is committed to resuming full-time study under that scheme when the incapacity ends;

                            (iii)  immediately before the incapacity occurred the person was undertaking qualifying study and receiving austudy payment, and the Secretary is satisfied that the person is committed to resuming qualifying study when the incapacity ends.

       (1AA)  Subsection (1A) does not apply in relation to a person if the Secretary is satisfied that the incapacity is brought about with a view to obtaining jobseeker payment, youth allowance, austudy payment or disability support pension.

       (1AB)  In subsection (1A):

"work" , in relation to a person, means work that the person has contracted to perform under a contract of employment that:

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

                     (b)  continues after the person becomes incapacitated.

          (1B)  Subject to sections 596, 596A, 597 and 598, a person is qualified for a jobseeker payment in respect of a period if:

                     (a)  the person satisfies the Secretary that throughout the period the person is unemployed; and

                     (b)  throughout the period the person:

                              (i)  has reached the age of 22 years and has not reached the pension age; and

                             (ii)  is an Australian resident; and

                     (c)  the person was not in receipt of a youth allowance during the period; and

                     (d)  the person made a claim for disability support pension at or before the start of the period and the claim was not determined before the end of the period; and

                     (e)  the Secretary is satisfied that throughout the period the person suffered from a medical condition that had a significant adverse effect on the person's ability to work; and

                      (f)  the person satisfies any one of the conditions in subsection (1C).

          (1C)  The conditions referred to in paragraph (1B)(f) are:

                     (a)  a condition that the person was an Australian resident when the significant adverse effect of the medical condition on the person's ability to work first occurred; and

                     (b)  a condition that at the start of the period the person had 10 years qualifying Australian residence or had a qualifying residence exemption for jobseeker payment; and

                     (c)  a condition that:

                              (i)  the person was born outside Australia; and

                             (ii)  when the significant adverse effect of the medical condition first occurred the person was not an Australian resident but was a dependent child of an Australian resident; and

                            (iii)  the person became an Australian resident while a dependent child of an Australian resident.

          (1D)  Subject to sections 596, 596A and 598, a person is qualified for a jobseeker payment, in respect of the period starting in accordance with subsection (1E) and ending in accordance with subsection (1F), if:

                     (a)  the person satisfies the Secretary that throughout the period the person is unemployed; and

                     (b)  throughout the period the person:

                              (i)  has reached the age of 22 years and has not reached the pension age; and

                             (ii)  is an Australian resident or is exempt from the residence requirement within the meaning of subsection 7(7); and

                     (c)  the person was not in receipt of a youth allowance during the period; and

                     (d)  the person has made, or is taken to have made, a claim for jobseeker payment; and

                     (e)  the person satisfies the Secretary that it is likely that the person has a permanent medical condition that would prevent the person from undertaking full-time work; and

                      (f)  the person satisfies the Secretary that it would be unreasonable to expect the person to satisfy the activity test until an assessment of the person's capacity to work has been undertaken.

          (1E)  The period for which the person is qualified for a jobseeker payment under subsection (1D) starts:

                     (a)  if the person is already receiving jobseeker payment when the Secretary becomes aware of the medical condition referred to in paragraph (1D)(e)--when the Secretary becomes aware of the medical condition; or

                     (b)  otherwise--when the person made, or is taken to have made, the claim for jobseeker payment.

           (1F)  The period for which the person is qualified for a jobseeker payment under subsection (1D) ends:

                     (a)  if the person has failed to comply with a requirement to enter into a Jobseeker Employment Pathway Plan--on the day on which the person so failed; or

                     (b)  in any other case--when the person enters into a Jobseeker Employment Pathway Plan.

             (4)  If:

                     (a)  a person was receiving a social security pension, a service pension, income support supplement or a veteran payment; and

                     (b)  the person claims a jobseeker payment within 14 days of the day on which the last instalment of the person's social security pension, service pension, income support supplement or veteran payment was paid; and

                     (c)  the person becomes qualified for a jobseeker payment at some time during the 14 day period but after the first day of that period;

the person is taken to be qualified for a jobseeker payment for the whole of the 14 day period.

Note:          Subsection (4) operates when a person transfers from a social security pension, a service pension, income support supplement or a veteran payment to a jobseeker payment and the person is not qualified for a jobseeker payment immediately after the day on which the person's last instalment of social security pension, service pension, income support supplement or veteran payment is paid. The subsection deems the person to be so qualified. As a result, the person may be paid a jobseeker payment for the period beginning on the day after the day on which the person's last instalment of social security pension, service pension, income support supplement or veteran payment was paid. The subsection aims to ensure that there is minimal disruption to a person's payments when a person transfers from a social security pension, a service pension, income support supplement or a veteran payment to a jobseeker payment.

Coronavirus

             (5)  A person is qualified for a jobseeker payment in respect of a period if:

                     (a)  the person satisfies the requirements determined in an instrument under subsection (6); and

                     (b)  throughout the period the person:

                              (i)  is at least 22 years of age and has not reached the pension age; and

                             (ii)  is an Australian resident or is exempt from the residence requirement within the meaning of subsection 7(7); and

                     (c)  the person was not in receipt of a youth allowance during the period.

             (6)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine requirements for the purposes of paragraph (5)(a). The Minister must be satisfied that the requirements are determined in response to circumstances relating to the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

             (7)  Without limiting subsection (6), the requirements may depend on the Secretary being satisfied of one or more specified matters.

             (8)  A person is not qualified for a jobseeker payment under subsection (5) after the end of the period covered by subsection 646(2).



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