Job Commitment Bonus

A payment to encourage long term unemployed young Australians find and keep work. Eligible customers can submit claims online for the Job Commitment Bonus.

Subject to the passage of legislation, the Job Commitment Bonus will cease from 31 December 2016. Read more about Job Commitment Bonus - cessation.

Eligibility

There are 2 Job Commitment Bonus payments.

First payment

You may be eligible to claim your first payment of $2,500 if:

  • you received Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance as a job seeker, or a combination of both, for at least 12 continuous months while aged 18 or older and under 31 years of age
  • your payment stopped after 1 July 2014 because you found continuous gainful work in Australia for at least 12 months, and
  • you are an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder living in Australia

Second payment

To be eligible to claim your second payment of $4,000, you must:

  • have qualified for the first Job Commitment Bonus payment
  • have completed a further 12 months continuous gainful work in Australia,  starting the day after the first 12 month period ends
  • have not received an income support payment from us during this period, and
  • continue to be an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder living in Australia

Keep records and documentation while you are working to support your claim for the bonus.

Special Category visa holders

If you are a Special Category visa (SCV) holder, either protected or non-protected, you will not be eligible for the Job Commitment Bonus. You need to be granted a permanent visa or Australian citizenship before you start gainful work and meet all the Job Commitment Bonus eligibility requirements to claim the bonus.

Read more about New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia.

Continuous gainful work definition

To be eligible for the payments, you must meet the requirements of both gainful and continuous work.

Gainful work

Gainful work means working for financial benefit or reward, as an employee or as a self employed person. Financial benefit or reward includes wages, commissions, fees or payments made to you in exchange for products or services you provide.

Certain types of work will not attract the Job Commitment Bonus. These may include work which:

  • does not involve sufficient financial gain or reward; for example, voluntary work or work for less than the federal minimum wage or award wage
  • does not involve substantial and consistent personal exertion; for example, occasional selling of own goods on eBay or garage sales, or social media activity
  • involves domestic or gardening tasks at your home, the home of a family member, your investment property or a family member's investment property
  • involves the care of a family member or your foster child at your or your family's place of residence
  • involves domestic tasks for a family member, your foster child, or another person at your place of residence or a family member’s place of residence
  • involves the management of financial investments in which you or a family member has an interest
  • involves nudity or is in the sex industry
  • contravenes Commonwealth, state or territory legislation
  • is for the purpose of achieving your election to public office
  • is undertaken as part of certain Commonwealth funded programs; for example, some participants in the Green Army Programme and the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme
  • is for the purpose of an academic, sporting or other scholarship, or
  • involves payment in kind or exchange of services

Continuous work

A period of continuous work will include:

  • taking paid leave; for example, entitled paid annual leave or personal leave
  • taking up to 28 days of unpaid leave in the 12 month period
    • this can be taken as shorter periods of unpaid leave, and must not total more than 28 days for the 12 month period, and
  • undertaking more than 1 job in the 12 month period at the same time or one after the other

If you finish one job and start another, this is considered to be continuous work if there are less than 5 business days between jobs. These days are included in the 28 days of unpaid leave.

You cannot be eligible for more than 1 Job Commitment Bonus for the same 12 month period.

Payment rates

There are 2 Job Commitment Bonus payments.

If eligible you will receive:

  • the first bonus of $2,500 for 12 months of continuous gainful work, and
  • the second bonus of $4,000 for completing a further 12 months - this is equal to 24 months in total of continuous gainful work

Each bonus will be paid as a single lump sum into the bank account you record in your claim.

The bonus is not counted as taxable income.

Claiming

It's easy to claim your bonus online if you are eligible. Register for a Centrelink online account through myGov before you go off your income support payment to ensure you receive a reminder message if you are eligible to claim.

Start your claim

Soon, myGov will be the only way to access your Centrelink online account. Why not start using myGov now?

If you already have a Centrelink online account

myGov Log on

If you do not have a Centrelink online account

If you have a Customer Reference Number (CRN) then you can complete your registration now.

Register

If you do not have a CRN, you will need to register for a CRN and online account. We can help you do this. Please bring identity documents to a service centre.

When you have set up your online account, as long as you keep your contact details up to date, you will receive reminders about the bonus through your myGov Inbox. We’ll send you a reminder when you are eligible to claim the Job Commitment Bonus.

Making an online claim for the bonus

To make an online claim for the bonus, select the something else option from the Make a claim screen in your Centrelink online account.

Where possible, we fill in the online claim with information we already have; for example, your address and phone details. You will need to check that this information is correct before submitting your claim.

If you are not eligible for the Job Commitment Bonus, you will not be able to make a claim and it will not appear in the something else option. You may not be eligible if:

  • your last payment of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance as a job seeker was before 1 July 2014
  • you have not been in continuous work for 12 months, or
  • you are not an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder living in Australia

Youth Allowance or Newstart Allowance may have stopped before your payment was cancelled. We refer to the date your payment stopped, not the date it was cancelled.

Claim period

You must make a claim for the first bonus within 90 days of becoming eligible or wait until you are eligible to claim the second bonus.

If there are special circumstances stopping you from making a claim within the 90 days, contact us as soon as possible. Special circumstances may include not receiving a reminder message when you qualify for the payment or serious illness or hospitalisation during the 90 days which prevent you from making a claim. If special circumstances apply, you will have a further 90 days, starting from the end of the first 90 days, to make your claim.

If you qualify for the second bonus and have not yet claimed the first bonus, you can claim them at the same time. You must make your claim within 90 days of qualifying for the second bonus.

Supporting documentation

You need to provide us with certain information about your work to claim a bonus. This includes:

  • evidence proving you are an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder, but only if this has changed since you received an income support payment
  • the name of your employer
  • the start and finish dates of the gainful work you had during the 12 month period
  • a description of the gainful work you completed in your job
  • your first and final payslips within the 12 month period for which you are claiming the bonus, or other evidence of your income - for example your tax return or Notice of Assessment, and
  • any dates you took unpaid leave

Claim outcome

We will tell you whether your claim is successful, the amount you will be paid and when it will be paid.

You have the right to appeal any decision we make. Read more about reviews and appeals.

Change of circumstances

It is important that you tell us if your circumstances change. Keeping us up to date means we will assess you correctly. You need to tell us if there are changes to your:

Read more about reporting your change of circumstances.

Page last updated: 24 August 2016