What are mutual obligations?

Published by MAXSolutions on July 08, 2021
mutual obligations



If you’re new to Centrelink support payments, or it’s your first time back in a while, you may want to find out more about Government mutual obligation requirements and what they mean for you. Scroll down for more information about mutual obligations and find answers to key questions. 


What are mutual obligations?

Mutual obligation requirements are something that most people who are receiving support payments from the Government, including the JobSeeker Payment, need to do in order to keep receiving that support. 

For those who have mutual obligations, to maintain regular payments, the Government expects you to do the following:

  • Participate in face-to-face appointments with your employment services provider 

  • Review and agree to a Job Plan

  • Conduct monthly job searches

  • Participate in activities (participation can be online with the option to opt-in for face-to-face servicing)

  • Accept suitable paid work.


Do mutual obligations apply to me?

You will need to complete the above if you are in a state or territory where mutual obligations are in place and currently receiving one of the following payments:

  • JobSeeker Payment

  • Youth Allowance (as a job seeker)

  • Parenting Payment single (after your youngest child turns six)

  • Special Benefit paid under certain conditions. 


How do I fulfil mutual obligations?

If you are have mutual obligations, you may be connected by Services Australia to an employment services provider like MAX located in your area. 

We’re here to support you into employment and to help you fulfil your requirements so that you continue to receive payments and find work.

During an initial appointment your MAX consultant will get to know you and together you will develop your Job Plan. A Job Plan outlines what you have agreed to do in order to give yourself the best possible chance of landing a job. You and your MAX consultant will work together to tailor a plan that works for you and takes your personal circumstances into consideration.

This may include things like accessing training courses to upskill, connecting in with health support services, improving your resume and applying for jobs. 


What happens if I don’t meet my mutual obligations requirements?

Under normal circumstances, if you do not meet your mutual obligation requirements, Services Australia can reduce or stop your support payment. 

For more information about the Points Based Activation System, visit the The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.


What else do I need to know?

In addition to fulfilling your mutual obligation requirements, anyone on government support payments are required to report the following each fortnight:

  • Any income received by both you and your partner

  • Any changes in your circumstances (for example if you have worked during the reporting period).

These things must be reported every two weeks, and in the case of a change of circumstances, as soon as possible within the two week period.


For more information about mutual obligation requirements, visit Services Australia



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