Social Security Law and Policy

Posted: 11 Apr 2006

See all articles by Terry Carney AO

Terry Carney AO

The University of Sydney Law School


The Australian social security system has undergone a major transformation in the last decade. "Social Security Law and Policy," published by Federation Press in 2006, provides a thorough discussion of legislation and case law, and sets out the legal principles and concepts, which underpin recent welfare reforms.

This book reviews the history and transformation of the welfare state, ideas about the nature of poverty, and the policy changes that need to be made. Detailed case studies examine current welfare issues and consider the changes affecting key groups including:

• the replacement of passive unemployment benefits with requirements to "actively seek work" and completion of "activity tests;"

• the expectation for sole parents, and the ill and the disabled to join the workforce;

• the increasingly grey area between work and retirement for our ageing population;

• the changing nature of access to family payments for children which is now largely governed by the taxation system; and

• the workings of income and means tests.

Keywords: income security, welfare reform, welfare-to-work, poverty, unemployment, sole parents, disability

JEL Classification: K39, J65, K 31, I30, M55, N37

Suggested Citation

Carney AO, Terry, Social Security Law and Policy. Available at SSRN:

Terry Carney AO (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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