If you’re 55 or older

Find out about your mutual obligation requirements if you’re 55 and over.

If you’re 55 or older you can meet your full-time mutual obligation requirements through paid work, including self-employment. You can also meet them through approved voluntary work or a combination of these activities. It depends on your age and circumstances.

When you’re between 55 and 59

Your options for meeting your mutual obligation requirements depend on how long you’ve been on your payment.

Less than 12 months on your current income support payment

If you’re between 55 and 59 you can meet your mutual obligation requirements through one or more of these activities:

  • 30 hours per fortnight of suitable paid work where the income is equal to or more than the minimum wage
  • 30 hours per fortnight of self-employment where the net business income is equal to or more than the minimum wage
  • 30 hours per fortnight of a combination of approved voluntary work and suitable paid work including self-employment, at least 15 hours of which must be paid work.

If you want to do voluntary work you need to talk to us about it. We must agree the work is suitable and the organisation is an approved voluntary work organisation.

You can use the Voluntary Work Verification of Voluntary Work form to seek approval from us.

12 months or more on your current income support payment

When you’ve been on your current payment for 12 months, your options for meeting your requirements change.

You can meet your mutual obligation requirements through any of these:

  • 30 hours per fortnight of approved voluntary work
  • 30 hours per fortnight of suitable paid work where the income is equal to or more than the minimum wage
  • 30 hours per fortnight of self-employment where the net business income is equal to or more than the minimum wage
  • 30 hours per fortnight of a combination of approved voluntary work and suitable paid work, including self-employment.

If you want to do voluntary work you need to talk to us about it. We must agree the work is suitable and the organisation is an approved voluntary work organisation.

You can use the Voluntary Work Verification of Voluntary Work form to seek approval from us.

When you turn 60

If you’re 60 or older, you can meet your mutual obligation requirements through any of these:

  • 30 hours per fortnight of approved voluntary work
  • 30 hours per fortnight of suitable paid work where the income is equal to or more than the minimum wage
  • 30 hours per fortnight of self-employment where the net business income is equal to or more than the minimum wage
  • 30 hours per fortnight of a combination of approved voluntary work and suitable paid work, including self-employment.

If you want to do voluntary work you need to talk to us about it. We must agree the work is suitable and the organisation is an approved voluntary work organisation.

You can use the Voluntary Work Verification of Voluntary Work form to seek approval from us.

What exemptions may apply

You may be exempt from mutual obligation requirements in certain circumstances.

Page last updated: 23 February 2022