Stronger participation incentives for job seekers under 30

From 1 January 2015, this measure will change the eligibility criteria for all new applicants for Newstart Allowance (NSA) and Youth Allowance (other) (YA(o)) who are under 30 years of age.

This measure will not commence on 1 January 2015 and is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of the measure

From 1 January 2015, this measure will change the eligibility criteria for all new applicants for Newstart Allowance (NSA) and Youth Allowance (other) (YA(o)) who are under 30 years of age. This will also affect some Special Benefit recipients who are under 30 years of age.

New applicants, including people transferring from other payments, and existing recipients who, on 1 January 2015, are serving a serious non-compliance penalty, will serve a waiting period during which they will receive support from an employment services provider.

The maximum waiting period is six months in duration and the minimum is one month. The maximum waiting period can be reduced by one month for each year the young person has been in full-time paid employment, until the one month minimum waiting period is reached. Part-time and casual employment would be pro-rated accordingly. Job seekers will be required to provide evidence of their previous paid work to allow the Department of Human Services (department) to determine the duration of the initial working period.

Following the waiting period, income support will be available for six months in a 12 month period, dependent on the recipient participating in Work for the Dole for at least 25 hours per week.

Job seekers will still have access to employment services to help them find a job and gain work-related skills.

Job seekers will be expected to take up any available work, will be supported to relocate to where jobs are and be self-supporting wherever possible.

Further cycles of payment and non-payment will occur if a job seeker retains their eligibility for income support.

Customers between 18 and 30 years of age are encouraged to take up learning activities which qualify them for student payments including, Youth Allowance (Students), Austudy and ABSTUDY. Recipients of those payments are unaffected by these changes. This measure also takes into account the changed maximum age of YA(o) which is separately described.

From 1 July 2015, people who are under 30 years of age and who are current NSA, YA(o) and certain Special Benefit customers will complete a period of Work for the Dole and then transition to these criteria. People over 30 years of age, or who meet a defined set of circumstances, will not be impacted by the changes.

Questions and answers

Who will be affected by this measure?

Customers who are under 30 years of age and applying for, or in receipt of NSA or (YA(o)) will be affected. Some Special Benefit customers who are under 30 years of age will also be affected.

Am I eligible for this measure?

The measure will apply to all people between 18 and 30 years of age who apply for or receive NSA, (YA(o)) and some people receiving Special Benefit of the same age.

The measure does not apply to people receiving Student payments.

Job seekers who have been assessed as having a partial capacity to work, or are a principal carer parent, or are participating in Disability Employment Programs or are assessed as Stream 3 or 4 in the Employment Services Model will be exempt from the measure. If you are receiving NSA or (YA(o)) and are the single parent of a Family Tax Benefit child you will also be exempt from the measure.

As a new applicant you will be advised how the measure affects you. If you are already in receipt of the payment you will be advised when it will impact you.

You will have the opportunity to provide evidence of your previous work history which may reduce your payment waiting period.

When will this measure start and finish?

This measure will start on 1 January 2015. From this date all new applicants who are between 18 and 30 years of age are impacted. From 1 July 2015, the measure impacts current recipients. The measure is ongoing from that time.

What additional support can I access?

Job seekers will continue to receive support from employment services in their efforts to find appropriate work. If a job seeker experiences hardship as a result of the measure they can approach the department to seek emergency assistance.

Can I access other payments?

Eligibility for other payments is not impacted. Youth allowance age eligibility and payment rates will be aligned from 1 January 2015.

How will my waiting period be calculated?

All impacted job seekers will serve a waiting period. Existing waiting periods will still apply to new claimants, and be served consecutively with the new payment waiting period.

The maximum waiting period is six months in duration and the minimum is one month. The maximum waiting period can be reduced by one month for each year the young person has been in full-time paid employment until the one month minimum waiting period is reached. Part-time and casual employment would be pro-rated accordingly. Job seekers will be required to provide evidence of their previous paid work to allow the department to determine the duration of the initial working period.

Where do I go for more information?

A fact sheet detailing more information can be found on the Department of Social Services website.

Page last updated: 16 March 2016

This information was printed Friday 9 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/corporate/budget/budget-2014-15/budget-measures/young-people-and-students/stronger-participation-incentives-job-seekers-under-30 It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.