Mutual obligation requirements
There are things you must do to keep getting income support and have a better chance of finding work.
Who has mutual obligation requirements
You have mutual obligation requirements if you get:
- Newstart Allowance
- Youth Allowance as a job seeker
- Parenting Payment Single after your youngest child turns 6
- some types of Special Benefit
What you need to do
You need to apply for jobs or do training or study.
To keep getting income support, you must have a job plan. Your job plan says what you’ve agreed to do to have the best chance of getting a job.
You must agree to your job plan with us or your employment services provider and review it regularly.
Employment services providers help you find work. We’ll refer you to a provider of your choice in your area.
If you have a disability you may be able to use Disability Employment Services.
If you live in a remote area you must use the Community Development Programme.
Your provider can help you with:
- job search
- finding jobs in your area, and
- computers, phones and stationery
- Disability Employment Services
- Community Development Programme on the Department of Employment website
What may be different
You can meet your mutual obligation requirements by doing at least 30 hours per fortnight of:
- suitable paid work
- approved voluntary work
- a mix of these
If you want to do voluntary work you need to talk to us about it. We must agree the work is suitable for you.
If you’re the person responsible for looking after a child under 16, your mutual obligation requirements are more flexible.
If it’s hard to look for work because you’re sick or injured, we may reduce your mutual obligation requirements for a while.
You need to give us a medical certificate that says why you’re unfit to work for 8 hours or more a week. You can do this through your Centrelink online account.
When we get your medical certificate we decide if you can do:
- any suitable work – this may be different from your usual work
- training or other activities
If we decide you can do something for at least 15 hours a week, you need to make a new job plan. Your employment services provider will help with this.
If you don’t meet your mutual obligation requirements we can reduce or stop your income support.
We may give you an exemption from mutual obligation requirements if something major happens. This could be:
- a crisis like the death of an immediate family member, domestic violence or being homeless
- a disaster at home, for example fire or flood
- short term care duties for an adult or child
Call us on your regular payment line to ask if you can get an exemption. You’ll need to give us proof of what’s going on.