CDEP participants are not unemployed and do not have to satisfy the activity test criteria to be qualified for NSA or YA. The Act provides for them to be qualified for NSA or YA by virtue of being a CDEP participant.
Although participation in CDEP is usually voluntary a participant who leaves the program and then claims NSA may be subject to a breach for voluntary unemployment or for being unemployed due to misconduct. Even if a person does leave CDEP voluntarily, no breach applies if:
CDEP participants can incur an administrative breach, however, rural and remote participants are not penalised if unable to report until a FaHCSIA project officer or Centrelink representative visits.
Should a breach exist when the participant commences on the CDEP program, the breach penalty will be disregarded for the remaining period, but the breach history will be maintained and the breach will count towards other breaches. The remaining penalty period will not be served if the participant leaves CDEP and returns to full income support.
A MALEP payment exclusion period may be applied to the CDEP supplement if a person moves to an area of lower employment prospects without a sufficient reason. Sufficient reason is to live with or be near a family member, cultural reasons or medical reasons. In the case of someone moving to a low employment area to take up CDEP, consideration would be given to whether the person had family in the CDEP community. Each case would need to be considered on its merits. For further information see 184.108.40.206.
If the recipient has commenced as a CDEP participant prior to the 6-week window (mutual obligations period), she or he will not be selected for mutual obligation so long as they continue on CDEP throughout the 6-week window period.
Recipients who choose CDEP as their mutual obligation activity will be taken to be satisfying their mutual obligation requirements. If these recipients return to payment within 6 weeks, they will need to choose another activity to satisfy their mutual obligation.
If the recipient ceases to be a CDEP participant within the 6-week window, the system will generate follow-up action regarding their mutual obligation.
Act reference: SSAct section 601 Activity test, section 634 Move to area of lower employment prospects
Last reviewed: 2 June 2008