Home | DSS | PM&C | Education | Employment | AGD | Contact us
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 SpB


This topic explains the payability provisions that apply to SpB. The following table outlines the circumstances in which payability of SpB is affected. If more detail about the circumstance is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.


Is SpB payable?

More Detail

The person is receiving a payment under a specified educational scheme such as ABSTUDY.


SS Guide SpB for Young People Under 18 Years of Age

The person is subject to the SpB assets test but has assets exceeding the applicable limit.


4.2.6 SpB Income Test & Limits

The person is serving a NARWP.

No, unless they have been exempted from the NARWP.

This topic.

The person is a full-time student.

Possibly. Study for SpB Recipients

Allowance is not payable before the commencement day.


8.3 Start Days

All the general payability provisions have not been satisfied.


3.1.6 General Payability Provisions


Community development employment projects

The MBR and RAA of SpB are not payable to a CDEP scheme participant because CDEP is funded by the Australian Government, partly as an alternative form of income support.


Income & assets testing

A person is excluded from the SpB asset test if they are under 18 and not independent.


Assets hardship provisions may be applied to a person if the claim is rejected due to assets.


Policy reference: SS Guide 4.6.7 Asset Hardship Rules


Newly arrived residents waiting period

Most newly arrived residents will be subject to the NARWP, including people of age pension age (section 23(5A) to section 23(5D)) who are in their first 2 years as a permanent resident of Australia (1.1.A.320).


Act reference: SSAct section 23(5A) to section 23(5D) Pension age


Exemptions from the NARWP

  • 'Substantial change in circumstances'

SpB CAN be paid during the waiting period, IF the resident has suffered a substantial change in circumstances beyond their control (


  • Determination by the Minister

A person is also exempt from the NARWP if she or he holds or is a former holder of a visa of a subclass included in a determination made by the Minister under SSAct subsection 739A(6). Holders or former holders of the following visa subclasses are exempted from the NARWP under determinations made under this subsection:

    • subclass 447 - secondary movement offshore entry,
    • subclass 451 - secondary movement relocation,
    • subclass 785 - temporary protection,
    • subclass 786 - temporary (humanitarian concern),
    • subclass 832 - close ties,
    • subclass 833 - certain unlawful non-citizens,
    • CJSV (9.2.14) - issued specifically for the purpose of assisting in the administration of criminal justice in relation to the offence of people trafficking, sexual servitude or deceptive recruiting,
    • subclass 695 - return pending,
    • subclass 787 - witness protection (trafficking)(temporary),
    • subclass 852 - permanent witness protection (trafficking), and
    • subclass 070 - bridging (removal pending).


That is, holders or former holders of these visa subclasses are not required to serve the SpB NARWP.


  • Australian citizens, permanent residents & family members

Australian citizens, long-term permanent residents, i.e. people who have lawfully been a permanent resident of Australia at any time for a continuous period of not less than 2 years, and their 'family members' are exempt from the NARWP. Also, refugees, family members of refugees, or persons who WERE family members of refugees at the time the refugee entered Australia, are exempt from the NARWP.


This result has come about because of amendments made to the Act by the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period and Other Measures) Act 1997 ('the Amending Act').


The definition of 'family member' for the purposes of the Amending Act is restricted to the definition of family member in SSAct subsection 7(6D), i.e. it is restricted to the following categories of people:

- a partner, or

- a dependent child, or

- another person who, in the opinion of the Secretary, should be treated for the purposes of this definition as a family member.

Example: Prior to 1 January 2012, the partner of an Australian citizen/permanent resident who is the holder of a temporary spouse/partner/interdependency visa is exempt from the NARWP for SpB.


Note: If a claim for SpB is made on or after 1 January 2012 by the holder of a temporary visa subclass 309 or 820 (spouse or partner), or 310 or 826 (interdependency) who is the partner or dependent child of an Australian citizen or permanent resident (with at least 2 years continuous residence), the 309, 820, 310, and 826 temporary visa holder will have to prove financial hardship AND a substantial change in circumstances beyond their control after arrival in Australia to be exempt from the NARWP and be eligible to be paid SpB.


Act reference: SSAct section 7(6D) ... family member, in relation to a person,...section 739A(6) Person holds, or was the former holder of, a visa..., section 739A(7) Person has suffered a substantial change in circumstances…, section 739A(8) Paragraphs 3(1)(e) and (g) of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Periods and Other Measures) Act 1997 ... do not apply to a person if ...

Social Security Legislation Amendment (Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Periods and Other Measures) Act 1997

Policy reference: SS Guide Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period, Substantial Change in Circumstances for SpB


Payment during temporary absence overseas

SpB is not normally paid to people outside Australia. Payment to a person during a temporary overseas absence can ONLY be considered in special or exceptional circumstances for a maximum of 6 weeks.

Example: If the person leaves Australia temporarily, either for medical treatment that is not available in Australia, to attend to an acute family crisis or for an humanitarian purpose.


If SpB is paid to a person overseas, it is important to establish that:

  • all other qualifications will be satisfied during the period of absence, AND
  • there will be NO other means of support while the person is overseas. Particular attention should be given to the source of funds used to pay for overseas travel and any free board and lodgings (1.1.B.70) that may be provided while overseas. If financial support is provided by a third party, it should be established whether that person can provide further support to the SpB recipient more generally for the period of time spent overseas.


The person should provide details of their accommodation while overseas. If free board and/or lodgings are provided for a period of more than 6 weeks, the rate of SpB should be reduced. If travel is for medical reasons, the person needs to provide a medical report stipulating why treatment is only available overseas. In this situation, the NSA rules regarding the necessity of overseas medical treatment should be applied.


Act reference: SSAct section 23(14) …each of the following is a family member in relation to a person (the relevant person)…

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


Last reviewed: 2 January 2013


Page Url: ../../../../ssg/ssguide-3/ssguide-3.7/ssguide-3.7.1/ssguide-
Last Edited: 19/11/2012 3:23:03 PM

© Commonwealth of Australia, 2014 All rights reserved