What your commitments are
You need to be actively looking for work while you’re getting Newstart Allowance.
What you need to do
There are a few things that you’ll need to do for Newstart, including:
- look and apply for jobs as part of your Job Plan
- attend relevant training
- report any income for you and your partner
- tell us about any change to your circumstance
You need to report these things to us every 2 weeks.
How to report
Your Job Plan is a record of the things you have agreed to do. This is to give you the best chance of getting a job.
You’ll negotiate your Job Plan with us, or the employment services provider you chose.
We run a Skills for Education and Employment program to help you get and keep a job. The program will help to improve your:
- writing, or
- basic maths skills
You may have different rules and exemptions based on your situation.
These are usually if you:
- are over 55 years old
- are a principal carer of a child under 16
- are someone with a medical condition
- meet the eligibility criteria for Widow Allowance and claim Newstart Allowance on or after 1 July 2018
You can also get temporary exemptions if:
- you have a major personal crisis, such as the death of an immediate family member, domestic violence or homelessness
- there’s a major disruption to your home, such as a fire or flood
- you have temporary caring responsibilities for an adult or child
Not keeping your commitments
If you don’t continue to look for work your payment may reduce or stop. Read more about:
- demerits and penalties for not meeting mutual obligation requirements for job seekers in jobactive and Disability Employment Services
- not meeting mutual obligation requirements in the Community Development Program
If you don’t report changes to your situation, this may result in a debt you’ll need to repay.
There are things you must do to keep getting your payment and have a better chance of finding work.
Job seekers and ParentsNext participants could get demerits and financial penalties for not meeting mutual obligation requirements without a valid reason.
Job seekers in the Community Development Program may get a penalty for not meeting mutual obligation requirements without a valid reason.
You can only get Newstart Allowance while outside Australia if we approve the reason for your travel.
Page last updated: 26 June 2019