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3.5.1.260 Participation Requirements Exemption in Special Family Circumstances - Overview (PP)

Summary

This topic provides information on participation requirements for PP recipients with special family circumstances. It discusses assessments of participation requirement exemptions. PP recipients who are subject to mandatory participation requirements can be either considered for an exemption from all participation requirements (on a short or long-term basis) or have reduced job search requirements and negotiate flexible arrangements to meet other participation requirements.

 

Introduction

Part-time participation requirements are applied to PP recipients with youngest child aged 6 years.

 

PPS recipients whose youngest child turns 8, will no longer be eligible for PP and will need to claim another payment, usually NSA.

 

PP recipients subject to part-time participation requirements will generally meet their participation requirements through looking for suitable part-time paid work of at least 30 hours duration per fortnight in conjunction with participation in an approved activity, or combination of approved activities.

 

PP recipients subject to participation requirements will also be able to meet their participation requirements in full by undertaking suitable part-time paid work of between 15 and 25 hours duration per week.

 

The fundamental policy objective is to encourage PP recipients with school-age children to participate in the workforce and obtain at least 15 hours of work per week.

 

If the PP recipient has special family circumstances they either will, or may, be granted an exemption, depending on the nature of their special circumstances

 

Act reference: SSAct section 501B PP Employment Pathway Plans - requirement to look for work of appropriate number of hours per week

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1.170 Approved Activity - Job Search (PP), 3.5.1.180 Suitable Activity - Study (PP), 3.5.1.190 Other Suitable Activities (PP), 3.5.1.200 Suitable Work (PP)

 

Types of exemption

There are 2 types of exemption from participation requirements for PP recipients due to special family circumstances:

  • exemptions granted on an automatic basis, and
  • exemptions assessed and granted on a case-by-case basis.

 

For both exemption types, PP recipients are required to provide documentation which substantiates the existence and nature of the special family circumstances. In the case of automatic exemptions, once adequate verification is provided, an exemption must be immediately granted. The only discretion is setting the duration of exemption.

 

Automatic exemptions

There are a number of special family circumstances where an automatic exemption can be applied:

  • if the PP recipient is an active and registered foster carer,
  • if the PP recipient is providing home schooling for one or more of the children or secondary pupil children for whom they are the principal carer or main supporter,
  • if the PP recipient is providing or suitably assisting and supervising distance education for one or more of the children for whom they are the principal carer, or secondary pupil children for whom they are the main supporter,
  • if the PP recipient is caring for a large family (i.e. is the principal carer of at least one child between 6 and 15 years inclusive and a total of 4 or more children and secondary pupil child(ren) all aged between 6 and 18 inclusive),
  • if the PP recipient is a relative but not a parent of a child and the child is living with the PP recipient in accordance with a family law order, or
  • if the PP recipient is a relative but not a parent of a child and the child is living with the PP recipient in accordance with a document prepared or accepted by a state or territory authority that has responsibility for the wellbeing of children.

 

Exemptions for all other special family circumstances are to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

Case-by-case exemptions

A further step is required for the assessment of case-by-case exemptions. Once the existence and nature of a special family circumstance is verified, consideration must be given to the practical impact of this circumstance upon the parent's capacity to undertake part-time paid employment of 15 hours a week. In making this determination primary regard must be given to the extent to which the PP recipient's child(ren) is/are able to attend school, and if necessary, outside school hours care, without the PP recipient being constantly at hand or on-call. Supporting statements of the THP and/or school (wherever information from these sources is appropriate) should be considered. The death of an immediate family member is also considered a special family circumstance.

 

Any exemption (whether automatic or case-by-case) will be subject to review and if the grounds for the period of exemption from participation no longer exist the exemption should be revoked.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 502D(3) to section 502D(3C) People with disabled children and other circumstances

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1.270 Participation Requirements Exemption in Special Family Circumstances - Automatic (PP), 3.5.1.280 Participation Requirements Exemption in Special Family Circumstances - Case-by-Case (PP)

 

Special family circumstances of other kinds

Neither this topic nor 3.5.1.270 and 3.5.1.280 provide an exhaustive list of all types of special family circumstances for which an exemption from participation requirements may be obtained. For special family circumstances other than those discussed in these 3 topics, the delegate should rely on the following principle when making a determination: once the existence and nature of a special family circumstance is verified, consideration must be given to the practical impact of this circumstance upon the PP recipient's capacity to undertake part-time paid employment of 15 hours a week. In most cases regard should be given to the extent to which the PP recipient's child(ren) is/are able to attend school, and if necessary, outside school hours care, without the PP recipient being constantly at hand or on-call. Supporting statements of the THP and/or school (wherever information from these sources is appropriate) should be considered.

 

Other special circumstances - not family related

PP recipients may also be granted participation requirement exemptions on a case-by-case basis based on other special circumstances such as those that are unforeseen and beyond the persons control or those causing major disruption in their life. As a consequence, the PP recipient is unable to meet participation requirement obligations and it would be unreasonable to expect them to do so. These circumstances include crises such as natural emergencies or homelessness, people attending training camps for the Defence Reserves, jury duty, difficulties resulting from other special circumstances.

 

Other parts of the Guide deal with procedures for assessing and granting exemptions in these sorts of circumstances.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 502F Special circumstances

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1.250 Participation Requirements Exemption - Special Circumstances (PP)

 

Exemptions and links to employment services providers

PP recipients who have not yet been connected to an employment services provider and who are granted a short-term exemption (i.e. for 16 weeks or less) will be connected to an employment services provider, but will not have to attend an appointment during the period of the exemption. PP recipients who have not yet been connected to an employment services provider and who are granted a medium to long-term exemption (i.e. greater than 16 weeks) do not need to be connected to an employment services provider; however, they will be given the opportunity to be connected and participate on a voluntary basis.

 

Act reference: SSAct section 1068-B5 Maximum basic rate for certain newstart allowance recipients, section 1067G-B3A Maximum basic rate for certain youth allowance recipients

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Last reviewed: 1 July 2013


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Last Edited: 24/05/2013 3:10:34 PM


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