What happens when you give us a medical certificate

We use your medical certificate to work out if you need an exemption from your mutual obligation requirements for a certain time. This is so you can keep getting Youth Allowance for job seekers.

We’ll determine if:

  • you need a short term exemption, based on your medical evidence
  • how long this exemption period will be.

Giving us a medical certificate doesn’t always mean we’ll grant you a temporary incapacity exemption. This might include where any of these apply:

  • there’s not enough information from the doctor to make a decision
  • your inability to study isn’t temporary and not likely to be resolved within 2 years
  • you’re able to do some work, or participate in another suitable activity
  • substance abuse causes your inability to work.

If we need more information, we may contact you.

While we assess your request for an exemption, you need to keep meeting your mutual obligation requirements. This includes attending appointments with your employment services provider.

If we give you an exemption

We’ll only grant an exemption if this evidence shows you’re unable to either:

  • do any suitable work
  • participate in other activities such as training.

If we give you an exemption, we’ll tell you:

  • how long the exemption is for
  • if you need to do any activities.

Maximum exemption period

Generally, the maximum short term exemption we can grant is 13 weeks from the start date of the medical certificate.

Further exemptions

You can ask for a further exemption if you’re still unable to undertake your requirements when your medical certificate ends. This is only if your incapacity remains temporary. You’ll need to give us a new medical certificate. We may refer you for an Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) to assess your ability to work.

Serious illness

If you have a serious illness you may get a longer exemption. This exemption is for more than 13 weeks, and up to 12 months.

Serious illness examples include any of the following:

  • cancer
  • acquired brain injury
  • serious burns
  • organ transplants
  • physical injury requiring long recovery periods
  • severe mental health issues.

If we don’t give you an exemption

If we don’t give you an exemption, we’ll discuss what your options are. This may include other activities or services to help you meet your future mutual obligation requirements.

There may be other reasons for you to get an exemption from your requirements other than a medical condition.

If you have an ongoing sickness, injury or disability

Your employment services provider may be able to refer you for an ESAt which helps us understand:

  • your barriers to work
  • your capacity to work due to sickness, injury or disability
  • what type of employment services provider is best for you.

Page last updated: 3 March 2022