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Print this page Print this page Newstart Allowance (NSA) - Description

Objective of NSA

NSA is an income support payment (section 23(1)-'income support payment') for people who are unemployed or who are treated as unemployed, and:

  • are looking for work, or
  • are participating in approved activities designed to facilitate entry to employment, or
  • are exempted from activity requirements, or
  • are undertaking sufficient work.


Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'income support payment'


Supplementary assistance

Recipients receiving NSA MAY also receive one or more of the following as part of their NSA rate:

  • rent assistance,
  • clean energy supplement,
  • pharmaceutical allowance,
  • remote area allowance,
  • approved program of work supplement.


They MAY also be entitled to the following while in receipt of NSA:

  • telephone allowance,
  • a HCC or PCC,
  • income support bonus.


Bereavement payment provisions

The surviving member of a couple may be eligible for bereavement payments following the death of a partner.


How NSA is paid

NSA is calculated on a daily basis and is paid in arrears, generally in instalments of 14 days. Instalment periods of less than 14 days may be paid where a person changes their payday arrangements.


Background information

NSA was introduced in 1991 and, with job search allowance (JSA), replaced UB. JSA and NSA were amalgamated in September 1996.


Act reference: SSAct section 593 Qualification for NSA

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.1 NSA - Qualification & Payability, NSA - Current Rates


Last reviewed: 1 July 2013


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Last Edited: 12/06/2013 12:19:21 PM

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