Better Targeting of Assistance to Support Jobseekers - Budget 2017-18

This measure better targets assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

Information update: Part of this Budget measure is subject to the passage of legislation.
 

Allow drug addiction treatments/interventions as an approved activity for streams A & B jobseekers

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

Description of Measure

This part of the measure will allow drug or alcohol addiction treatments and interventions to count towards Annual Activity Requirements for all jobseekers in jobactive.

This is part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

Under current arrangements, only jobseekers in Stream C of jobactive can have drug or alcohol treatments and interventions count as an approved activity.

From 1 January 2018, streams A and B jobseekers in jobactive will also be able to have drug and alcohol treatment and interventions as an approved activity.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

The proposal will affect jobseekers in jobactive receiving Newstart and Youth Allowance (other).

What date will this measure start and finish?

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

Amend the eligibility criteria for the DSP by removing Impairment Table 6 and strengthen fully diagnosed, treated, stabilised requirements

Information update: This measure has not started.

Description of the measure

This part of the measure will change the assessment criteria for Disability Support Pension (DSP) in relation to substance abuse.

This is part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

This part of the measure will remove Table 6 - Functioning related to Alcohol, Drug and Other Substance abuse from the Social Security (Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension) Determination Act 2011.

From 1 July 2017, all medical eligibility assessments for DSP, including new claims and reviews, will apply the remaining 14 Impairment Tables.

This part of the measure will also introduce stronger requirements for people who claim DSP on the basis of functional impacts due to drug or alcohol addiction. Claimants will need to demonstrate that they have undergone treatment for addiction before any functional impact related to their addiction can be considered fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised, and assessed under the remaining Impairment Tables.

There are no changes to how a recipient’s DSP will be paid if they are granted payment.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects claimants with alcohol, drug and other substance abuse issues who claim DSP from 1 July 2017.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This part of the measure will start 1 July 2017 and is ongoing.

Drug test targeted activity tested recipients in trial locations

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

Description of the measure

This measure will trial the use of random drug testing in three locations as a way of better identifying and supporting those with substance misuse issues.

From 1 January 2018, 5,000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance (NSA) and Youth Allowance (other) will be subject to random drug testing in a two year trial.

This forms part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, including identifying and resolving barriers to work.

Recipients who test positive to the initial drug test will have their payments placed on welfare quarantining, limiting the amount of money a job seeker can withdraw as cash. This will apply for up to 24 months and the recipient will be required to undergo further drug testing.

Recipients who test positive to more than one drug test in a 24 month period will be referred to a departmental Health and Allied Health professional for assessment of their barriers to work and to identify appropriate treatment options for their circumstances.

Based on the recommendations of the medical assessment, recipients will be required to complete one or more activities designed to address their substance misuse as part of their Job Plan.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This measure will affect 5,000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) in three trial locations. Details of locations are yet to be decided.

What date will this measure start and finish?

The trial will start 1 January 2018 for a two year period.

Remove mutual obligation exemptions for reasons related to drug and alcohol misuse (excluding Community Development Program)

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

Description of Measure

This part of the measure stops recipients from receiving an activity test exemption where drugs or alcohol are the primary reasons, or lead to, the exemption request.

This is part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

Under this part of the measure, an exemption will not be granted where a recipient has applied for:

  • a temporary incapacity exemption (including serious illness exemption), where the sole or primary medical condition recorded on the medical certificate is related to drug or alcohol dependency or misuse, or
  • a major personal crisis exemption caused by drug use; for example, eviction due to drug use.

People affected by this measure will be connected, or remain connected, to the relevant Employment Services Provider, who may work with them to develop a Job Plan tailored to their circumstances. Recipients will be required to meet the terms of this plan, which may include treatment activities.

This part of the measure applies to recipients in jobactive, Transition to Work and Disability Employment Services. It will not apply to recipients in Community Development Programme (CDP). Existing exemption arrangements will continue to apply to recipients in CDP.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects jobseekers receiving any activity tested payment (except where recipients are in the Community Development Programme).

What date will this measure start and finish?

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

Revised compliance approach

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

Description of the measure

This part of the measure will introduce the Targeted Compliance Framework to replace the current Job Seeker Compliance Model.

This is part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

This part of the measure will provide a simpler, more targeted framework to hold jobseekers to account if they do not meet requirements.

The Targeted Compliance Framework will apply financial penalties to jobseekers who are deliberate and persistent in not complying with requirements. These jobseekers will be subject to stronger penalties.

This part of the measure reduces current penalties for refusing suitable work and for voluntary unemployment.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects jobseekers receiving any activity tested payment (except where recipients are in the Community Development Programme).

What date will this measure start and finish?

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

Strengthen third party relationship status verification for single parent payments

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

Description of the Measure

This part of the measure will provide further verification of relationship status. It will also ensure correct payments for Parenting Payment (single rate) and Newstart Allowance (single, with a dependent child).

This is part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

Claimants of Parenting Payment (single rate) and Newstart Allowance (single, with a dependent child) will now be required to have one referee complete a form verifying the person's relationship status, which the claimant will submit to the department.

From 1 January 2018, existing recipients of Parenting Payment (single rate) or Newstart Allowance (single, with a dependent child) will have their relationship status reviewed with this new process to ensure they are receiving the correct rate of payment.

From 20 September 2018, new claimants for Parenting Payment (single rate) or Newstart Allowance (single, with a dependent child) will be subject to this new verification process.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects existing recipients and new claimants of Parenting Payment (single rate) and Newstart Allowance (single, with a dependent child).

What date will this measure start and finish?

For existing recipients, this part of the measure will start from 1 January 2018. For new claimants, this part of the measure will start from 20 September 2018.

Tightening reasonable excuse for non-compliance due to drug or alcohol-related reasons

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

Description of Measure

This part of the measure limits where drug or alcohol dependency is a reasonable excuse for not meeting Mutual Obligations Requirements.

This is part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

This part of the measure will affect jobseekers who receive:

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
  • Parenting Payment Single, or
  • Special Benefit.

Jobseekers can only use drug or alcohol dependency as a reasonable excuse once.

This may only occur when:

  • it directly impacts on a recipient meeting their obligations on the day, and
  • appropriate treatment is not available.

Recipients will not face a penalty after the first time this happens.

If there is appropriate treatment available, recipients can choose to receive treatment for their dependency. If they choose to receive treatment, they will meet or reduce their Mutual Obligation Requirements.

Recipients can also choose to continue with their normal Mutual Obligation Requirements. Their employment services provider will manage this. If they choose this, they cannot later use drug or alcohol dependency as a reasonable excuse.

If there is no appropriate treatment available, current processes will not change.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure will affect jobseekers with a drug or alcohol dependency who receive Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment Single and Special Benefit.

What date will this measure start and finish?

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

Work-First: Faster Connection with Employment Service Providers

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

Description of Measure

This part of the measure will change the date that a jobseeker’s income support payment commences to the date of their first employment service provider appointment.

This is part of a larger measure to better target assistance activities to jobseekers, identifying and resolving barriers to work.

Jobseekers who are subject to RapidConnect must attend an employment services provider appointment before receiving payments.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This part of the measure affects jobseekers receiving Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance who are also subject to RapidConnect requirements.

What date will this measure start and finish?

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

Page last updated: 27 August 2017