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Social Security Act 1991

Authoritative Version
  • - C2022C00165
  • In force - Superseded Version
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Act No. 46 of 1991 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Social Security Legislation Amendment (Streamlined Participation Requirements and Other Measures) Act 2022
An Act to provide for the payment of certain pensions, benefits and allowances, and for related purposes
Administered by: Social Services; Education, Skills and Employment; Home Affairs; Prime Minister and Cabinet
Registered 11 May 2022
Start Date 08 Apr 2022
End Date 01 Jun 2022
Table of contents.

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

Social Security Act 1991

No. 46, 1991

Compilation No. 197

Compilation date:                              8 April 2022

Includes amendments up to:            Act No. 32, 2022

Registered:                                         11 May 2022

This compilation is in 5 volumes

Volume 1:       sections 1–660M

Volume 2:       sections 665A–1067L

Volume 3:       sections 1068–1263

                        Schedule 1A

Volume 4:       Endnotes 1–4

Volume 5:       Endnote 5

Each volume has its own contents

This compilation was rectified to take into account retrospective amendments made by Act No. 35, 2022. The original compilation is available in the rectification history on the Federal Register of Legislation.

About this compilation

This compilation

This is a compilation of the Social Security Act 1991 that shows the text of the law as amended and in force on 8 April 2022 (the compilation date).

The notes at the end of this compilation (the endnotes) include information about amending laws and the amendment history of provisions of the compiled law.

Uncommenced amendments

The effect of uncommenced amendments is not shown in the text of the compiled law. Any uncommenced amendments affecting the law are accessible on the Legislation Register (www.legislation.gov.au). The details of amendments made up to, but not commenced at, the compilation date are underlined in the endnotes. For more information on any uncommenced amendments, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Application, saving and transitional provisions for provisions and amendments

If the operation of a provision or amendment of the compiled law is affected by an application, saving or transitional provision that is not included in this compilation, details are included in the endnotes.

Editorial changes

For more information about any editorial changes made in this compilation, see the endnotes.


If the compiled law is modified by another law, the compiled law operates as modified but the modification does not amend the text of the law. Accordingly, this compilation does not show the text of the compiled law as modified. For more information on any modifications, see the series page on the Legislation Register for the compiled law.

Self‑repealing provisions

If a provision of the compiled law has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law, details are included in the endnotes.





Endnotes                                                                                                                                      1

Endnote 1—About the endnotes                                                                              1

Endnote 2—Abbreviation key                                                                                  3

Endnote 3—Legislation history                                                                               4

Endnote 4—Amendment history                                                                         106


Endnote 1—About the endnotes

The endnotes provide information about this compilation and the compiled law.

The following endnotes are included in every compilation:

Endnote 1—About the endnotes

Endnote 2—Abbreviation key

Endnote 3—Legislation history

Endnote 4—Amendment history

Abbreviation key—Endnote 2

The abbreviation key sets out abbreviations that may be used in the endnotes.

Legislation history and amendment history—Endnotes 3 and 4

Amending laws are annotated in the legislation history and amendment history.

The legislation history in endnote 3 provides information about each law that has amended (or will amend) the compiled law. The information includes commencement details for amending laws and details of any application, saving or transitional provisions that are not included in this compilation.

The amendment history in endnote 4 provides information about amendments at the provision (generally section or equivalent) level. It also includes information about any provision of the compiled law that has been repealed in accordance with a provision of the law.

Editorial changes

The Legislation Act 2003 authorises First Parliamentary Counsel to make editorial and presentational changes to a compiled law in preparing a compilation of the law for registration. The changes must not change the effect of the law. Editorial changes take effect from the compilation registration date.

If the compilation includes editorial changes, the endnotes include a brief outline of the changes in general terms. Full details of any changes can be obtained from the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

Misdescribed amendments

A misdescribed amendment is an amendment that does not accurately describe how an amendment is to be made. If, despite the misdescription, the amendment can be given effect as intended, then the misdescribed amendment can be incorporated through an editorial change made under section 15V of the Legislation Act 2003.

If a misdescribed amendment cannot be given effect as intended, the amendment is not incorporated and “(md not incorp)” is added to the amendment history.


Endnote 2—Abbreviation key


ad = added or inserted

o = order(s)

am = amended

Ord = Ordinance

amdt = amendment

orig = original

c = clause(s)

par = paragraph(s)/subparagraph(s)

C[x] = Compilation No. x


Ch = Chapter(s)

pres = present

def = definition(s)

prev = previous

Dict = Dictionary

(prev…) = previously

disallowed = disallowed by Parliament

Pt = Part(s)

Div = Division(s)

r = regulation(s)/rule(s)

ed = editorial change

reloc = relocated

exp = expires/expired or ceases/ceased to have

renum = renumbered


rep = repealed

F = Federal Register of Legislation

rs = repealed and substituted

gaz = gazette

s = section(s)/subsection(s)

LA = Legislation Act 2003

Sch = Schedule(s)

LIA = Legislative Instruments Act 2003

Sdiv = Subdivision(s)

(md) = misdescribed amendment can be given

SLI = Select Legislative Instrument


SR = Statutory Rules

(md not incorp) = misdescribed amendment

Sub‑Ch = Sub‑Chapter(s)

cannot be given effect

SubPt = Subpart(s)

mod = modified/modification

underlining = whole or part not

No. = Number(s)

commenced or to be commenced


Endnote 3—Legislation history



Number and year

Assent or registration


Application, saving and transitional provisions

Social Security Act 1991

46, 1991

23 Apr 1991

1 July 1991 (s 2)


Social Security (Job Search and Newstart) Amendment Act 1991

68, 1991

25 June 1991

s 4–29 and Sch: 1 July 1991 (s 2)

s 27–29

as amended by





Social Security Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 1992

229, 1992

24 Dec 1992

Sch 4 (items 13–16): 25 June 1991 (s 2(2))

Social Security Legislation Amendment Act 1991

69, 1991

25 June 1991

s 27 and Sch: 1 July 1991 (s 2)

Social Security (Rewrite) Transition Act 1991

70, 1991

25 June 1991

Sch 1 and 2: 1 July 1991 (s 2)

Veterans’ Entitlements (Rewrite) Transition Act 1991

73, 1991

25 June 1991

Sch 4: 1 July 1991 (s 2(1))

Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment Act 1991

74, 1991

25 June 1991

Sch 2 (Pt 1): 1 July 1991 (s 2(4))

as amended by





Social Security Legislation Amendment Act 1992

81, 1992

30 June 1992

Sch 2 (Pt 3): 1 July 1991 (s 2(5))

Social Security Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 1991

115, 1991

27 June 1991

s 5–40 and Sch 1–4: 1 July 1991 (s 2(3), (4))

Social Security (Rewrite) Amendment Act 1991

116, 1991

27 June 1991

Sch 1–5: 1 July 1991 (s 2)

as amended by





Social Security Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 1992

229, 1992

24 Dec 1992

Sch 4 (items 17–22): 27 June 1991 (s 2(3))

Social Security (Disability and Sickness Support) Amendment Act 1991

141, 1991

9 Oct 1991

s 3–25 and Sch 1 and 2: 12 Nov 1991 (s 2(2))

s 6(2) and 16(2)

as amended by





Social Security Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 1992

229, 1992

24 Dec