Under RapidConnect, unemployed people claiming income support are assisted to rejoin the workforce quickly by being given immediate access to employment opportunities through a JSA provider. Unless exempt from RapidConnect, a person contacting Centrelink to claim or transfer to YA as a job seeker, is required to attend an interview with their JSA provider, normally within 2 working days of initial contact. If an appointment cannot be booked within 2 working days, the job seeker will remain subject to RapidConnect for up to 14 calendar days. Payment does not become payable until they have connected with a JSA provider within 14 days.
JSA provider interviews normally are scheduled within 2 working days of initial contact for NSA claimants who are not exempt from RapidConnect. However, a claimant has 14 days from initial contact to attend a JSA provider interview before non-attendance may impact on their income support start date. Where the claimant attends an interview within 14 days of initial contact subject to other qualification and payability provisions being met, their income support is payable retrospective to the date of initial contact.
This applies even where a NSA claimant fails to attend several appointments with their JSA provider, regardless of the reason, provided they eventually attend within 14 days of initial contact.
In general, income support is NOT payable to NSA claimants under RapidConnect rules where they have not attended their JSA provider interview within 14 days of initial contact. Their allowance is not payable until the day on which they attend such an interview, provided that occurs within 28 days of initial contact.
There is discretion, however, for claimants to have payment backdated to their date of initial contact in certain circumstances. Situations will arise where it will be appropriate to pay claimants affected by RapidConnect rules from the date of initial contact, even though they have not connected with their JSA provider until the 15th day, or later, from their date of initial contact with Centrelink.
These situations would not be common as they would rest on a combination of circumstances beyond the control of the claimant.
Claims from NSA claimants who are not exempt from RapidConnect, and who have not attended their JSA provider interview within 28 working days of initial contact, normally are rejected.
Act reference: SSAct section 615 NSA not payable if person fails to attend interview...
Last reviewed: 2 January 2013