Working Age Payments Reforms

This measure is simplifying the existing welfare system by ceasing existing payments and transitioning recipients to new ones.

Information update: Parts of this Budget measure are subject to the passage of legislation.
 

Cease Partner Allowance

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of the Measure

This part of the measure aims to simplify the existing welfare system by ceasing Partner Allowance from 1 January 2022.

This is part of a larger measure to simplify the existing welfare system by ceasing existing payments and transitioning recipients to new ones.

By 1 January 2022, all Partner Allowance recipients will have reached Age Pension age.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects people who receive Partner Allowance at 1 January 2022.

What date will this measure start and finish?

Partner Allowance will cease from 1 January 2022.

Cease Sickness Allowance

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of the Measure

This part of the measure will cease Sickness Allowance from 2020, transitioning recipients to JobSeeker Payment.

This is part of a larger measure to simplify the existing welfare system by ceasing existing payments and transitioning recipients to new ones.

New applications for Sickness Allowance will cease from 20 March 2020. Claimants will instead be required to apply for JobSeeker Payment.

People receiving Sickness Allowance as of 20 March 2020 may choose to transfer to JobSeeker Payment or elect to remain on Sickness Allowance until their current medical certificate expires.

Sickness Allowance payments will cease 20 September 2020.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

People eligible for Sickness Allowance on or after 20 March 2020.

What date will this measure start and finish?

Sickness Allowance will be closed to new entrants from 20 March 2020 and Sickness Allowance will cease 20 September 2020.

Cease Wife Pension

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of Measure

This part of the measure will cease Wife Pension from 2020, transitioning existing recipients to other payments, depending on their individual circumstances.

This is part of a larger measure to simplify the existing welfare system by ceasing existing payments and transitioning recipients to new ones.

Most recipients will transition to the Age Pension or Carer Payment at the same payment rate. Australian residents who do not qualify for these payments will transition to the new JobSeeker Payment. Transitional arrangements will ensure that those who transfer to the JobSeeker Payment have their rates preserved; however, those aged under 55 will be required to meet mutual obligation requirements.

Recipients under Age Pension age residing overseas and not qualified for another payment under an international agreement may no longer be eligible for any Australian social security payments.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure will affect all Wife Pension recipients from 20 March 2020.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This part of the measure will start on 20 March 2020 and is ongoing.

Cease Widow B Pension

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of measure

This part of the measure will cease the Widow B Pension from 20 March 2020.

This is part of a larger measure to simplify the existing welfare system by ceasing existing payments and transitioning recipients to new ones.

All current recipients will be transferred automatically to the Age Pension payment.

No former recipients of the Widow B Pension will be worse off under this measure as all special conditions of the pension will be continued.

Questions and answers

Whom is eligible for this measure?

This part of the measure will affect all current Widow B Pension recipients as at 20 March 2020.

What date will this measure start and finish?

Widow B Pension will cease for all recipients from 20 March 2020.

Cease Bereavement Allowance

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of Measure

This part of the measure ceases new claims for Bereavement Allowance from 20 March 2020.

This is part of a larger measure to simplify the existing welfare system by ceasing existing payments and transitioning recipients to new ones.

From this date, people who have lost their partner will no longer be able to claim Bereavement Allowance. Depending on their age and circumstances, they can apply for an alternative payment if they require income support.

People already receiving Bereavement Allowance will continue to receive it until they are no longer eligible.

From 20 March 2020 the new JobSeeker Payment will provide assistance to newly bereaved people of working age.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects people who will be eligible for Bereavement Allowance from 20 March 2020.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This part of the measure will start on 20 March 2020 and is ongoing.

Cease Newstart Allowance & create JobSeeker Payment

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of Measure

This measure will cease Newstart Allowance from 20 March 2020 and replace it with the JobSeeker Payment.

The JobSeeker Payment will be based on Newstart Allowance, with broader eligibility criteria to assist people who are sick or injured and have a job or study to return to after recovery, and would have otherwise received Sickness Allowance.

Under this measure, all existing Newstart Allowance recipients will be transitioned to the new JobSeeker Payment on 20 March 2020.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This measure will affect people receiving or eligible for Newstart Allowance on or after 19 March 2020.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This measure will start on 20 March 2020 and is ongoing.

Sunset Widow Allowance

In order to simplify the existing welfare system, Widow Allowance will be closed to new entrants from 1 January 2018 and will cease from 1 January 2022.

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of Measure

In order to simplify the existing welfare system, Widow Allowance will be closed to new entrants from 1 January 2018 and will cease from 1 January 2022.

From 1 January 2018, people who would otherwise have claimed Widow Allowance will need to instead claim either Age Pension (if eligible) or Newstart Allowance.

Current Widow Allowance recipients who remain eligible for the payment will continue to receive Widow Allowance until they reach Age Pension age and transfer to Age Pension. By 1 January 2022, all current Widow Allowance recipients will meet the age requirements for Age Pension. Widow Allowance recipients Widow Allowance recipients transferring to the Age Pension will receive a higher payment rate.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This measure affects people who are in receipt of Widow Allowance, or would be eligible to claim Widow Allowance on, or after 1 January 2018.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This measure will start on 1 January 2018 and is ongoing.

Services for better employment outcomes

Information update: This is not subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of Measure

This part of the measure will introduce additional government assistance to help mature age jobseekers find work.

This is part of a larger measure to simplify the existing welfare system.

There are three aspects to this measure.

  • The Career Transition Assistance Program will provide reskilling opportunities for jobseekers aged 50 years and older in jobactive in five Employment Regions. This includes an intensive short course and optional ICT training to build jobseekers’ understanding of the labour market and teach resilience. The program will be rolled out nationally in 2020.
  • The minimum age for the National Work Experience Programme will be reduced to 17 years. The number of placements per year will increase from 6,000 to 10,000. This measure will also introduce financial incentives for host organisations and jobactive providers to encourage use of the program.
  • The Pathway to Work Programme will introduce industry-based pilots to target sectors or projects with strong employment prospects for mature age jobseekers.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

The Career Transition Assistance Program and Pathway to Work Programme components of this measure will affect recipients aged 50 years and older who are in jobactive and getting Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance (other) or Parenting Payment Single (with participation requirements).

Changes to the minimum age and the increase in the National Work Experience Programme placements will assist more jobseekers, including mature aged jobseekers, to gain valuable work experience and increase their chance of employment.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This part of the measure will start 1 July 2018 and is ongoing.

Stronger participation requirements

Information update: This is subject to the passage of legislation.

Description of Measure

This part of the measure changes Mutual Obligation Requirements for jobseekers aged 30 years to age pension age.

Age

Changes to Mutual Obligation Requirements

30 - 49 years

These jobseekers will have an increase in the hours of their Annual Activity Requirement.

55 - 59 years

These jobseekers can only do Voluntary Work to meet half of their requirements.

60 years and over

These jobseekers will have an Annual Activity Requirement. They can meet this by doing voluntary work.

In addition to all these changes, all recipients will have a job search requirement.

This is part of a larger measure to simplify the existing welfare system.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects jobseekers who have Mutual Obligation Requirements, aged 30 years or older.

Recipients will need to meet their Mutual Obligation Requirements to keep receiving payments.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This part of the measure starts on 20 September 2018 and is ongoing.

Page last updated: 12 May 2017

This information was printed Tuesday 23 May 2017 from humanservices.gov.au/corporate/budget/budget-2017-18/jobseekers/working-age-payments-reforms 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.