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SS Guide Contents Using the Guide What's New 1 Key Terms & Principles 2 Claim Verification 3 Qualification & Payability 4 Income & Assets 5 Payment Rates 6 Reviews, Debts & Payment Recovery 7 Portability & CFP 8 Administration Act Provisions 9 Visas, Entitlements & Assurances of Support 10 Australian Social Security Agreements 11 Income Management Acronym List Keyword Index Act Section Index Site Map

Print this page Print this page Payability of NSA


Even though a person is qualified, NSA is NOT payable to the person in the circumstances listed in the following table. Where more detail about the circumstance is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.


More Detail

Specific provisions

The person is subject to RapidConnect provisions.

SS Guide RapidConnect - Impact on NSA Payability

The person does not meet the requirements of the income and assets tests.

Part 4 Income & Assets

The person is a full-time student, OR

Exception: where a person has transferred from DSP or PPS to NSA while receiving PES, they may continue to receive PES while continuing their same course of studies and be qualified for NSA.

This topic Students

The person is receiving income that is paid by a CDEP.

This topic

The person has incurred a participation failure. Types of Failures & Penalties

Common provisions

Allowance is not payable before the start day.

8.3 Start Days

Other common payability provisions.

8.4 Payment Methods

Person's circumstances:

- ordinary waiting period,

- seasonal work preclusion period,

- NARWP (1.1.N.70) unless the person has a QRE (1.1.Q.35),

- non-payment period,

- in prison,

- compensation preclusion period,

- rate is nil due to earnings.


3.1.2 Waiting & Preclusion Periods

3.1.7 Seasonal Work Preclusion Period

3.1.4 Imprisonment, Psychiatric Confinement & Prison Release Compensation & Payability Lump Sum Preclusion Period - General

3.1.12 Employment Income Nil Rate Period

Act reference: SSAct section 611 Assets test-allowance not payable if assets value limit exceeded, section 612 Value of assets of members of couples


Full-time students

Except in the circumstances referred to in the table above, of transferees receiving PES, (, generally NSA is NOT payable to a person from the day the person commences a full-time course of education or vocational training UNLESS either:

  • the person has claimed ABSTUDY and NSA continues for 3 weeks after the course commences, OR
  • it is an approved activity and NSA continues.


Courses of education & training

In the context of assessing payability of NSA a course of education or training refers to:

  • an approved course under the Ministerial Determination for the Approval of Educational Institutions and courses under subsections 3(1) and 5(1) of the Student Assistance Act, OR
  • a course which is similar to a ministerially approved course undertaken at any institution, but is approved by the Secretary, OR
  • a course which leads to educational or vocational qualifications or increases job skills, even if the course is of short duration and not routinely approved by Centrelink under the activity test (1.1.A.40).


Except for the circumstances listed above, NSA is not normally payable during any annual vacation period that falls within the duration of the course. However, if a person is unsure of their further studies during a vacation period, they may be eligible for NSA, provided they are able to satisfy the qualification criteria.

Example: A 22 year old graduate who completed a course last semester and is awaiting confirmation of acceptance into a graduate course.


NSA may be available where the student withdraws from their course. NSA is payable from the date the educational institution is formally notified or on the day after the date of last attendance, if formal notification is not required.


Act reference: SSAct section 613 Full-time students


Employment income nil rate period - an incentive to take up work

A NSA recipient who loses payment because of ordinary income (1.1.O.30), made up entirely or partly of employment income (1.1.E.102), may qualify for an employment income nil rate period (3.1.12).


During the employment income nil rate period a NSA recipient can:

  • be paid certain supplementary benefits, and
  • retain their HCC or PCC if assessed as having a partial capacity to work, and
  • have their payment resumed if they report a fall in income sufficient for NSA to be payable again.

Explanation: This policy provides incentives for NSA recipients to take up work, particularly casual or short-term work.


Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4)…, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A)…, section 1061ZEA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income, section 1061ZMA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment Income Nil Rate Period, Qualification for HCC - Automatic Issue, PCC due to Employment


Community development employment projects

CDEP is a scheme funded by PM&C. It provides funds to approved Aboriginal community groups to offer work to members of the community in activities that help individuals to acquire skills that:

  • benefit the community,
  • develop business enterprises, and/or
  • lead to unsubsidised employment.


CDEP funding is used, among other things, to pay wages to scheme participants. The actual amount paid to individual participants is determined by the community and is based on the individual's contribution to the funded activity.


The basic rate component of NSA is not payable to a CDEP scheme participant who commenced before 1 July 2009 and is receiving CDEP wages because CDEP is funded by the Australian Government, partly as an alternative form of income support.


New CDEP participants commencing on or after 1 July 2009 will receive income support payments instead of CDEP wages. These new participants are not eligible for the CPS ( From 1 October 2011 certain income support recipients who undertake CDEP activities will receive APWS of $20.80 per fortnight. Existing CDEP participants may continue to receive the CPS until 1 April 2012 providing they remain qualified. Between 1 April 2012 and 30 June 2012 those people on CDEP wages will be progressively transferred to income support and will then receive APWS.


Payment during temporary absences overseas

A person must be in Australia to qualify for NSA. Once qualified, they may continue to receive NSA during a temporary absence from Australia for 6 weeks or less in limited circumstances as outlined in the portability table.


Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for Payment Outside Australia, Portability Table, 7.2 Arrangements for Payment Outside Australia


Last reviewed: 2 January 2013


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Last Edited: 07/08/2013 10:02:17 AM

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