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Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS)

What is the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) program?

Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) is the program that supports vulnerable migrants who are waiting for the government’s decision on a visa application, including people seeking asylum.

Changes to the Status Resolution Support Program


In July 1992, a program called the Asylum Seekers Assistance Scheme (ASAS) was first established. It was only available to people seeking asylum who had applied for a protection visa, were waiting for their application to be decided, and could not meet their most basic health care and living needs. The program was established because this group were very vulnerable and were not able to access any other form of Government funded support, including social security and Medicare.

In 2005, the Community Care Pilot (later changed to the ‘Community Assistance Support’ or CAS program) was established for people who became vulnerable during their migration journey (including ‘forced migration’) and could not meet their basic needs while waiting for their visa application to be finalised.

In the same year, community detention (now called ‘residence determination’) was also introduced. The Migration Act was changed to give the Minister for Immigration the power to make a ‘residence determination’ for a person in immigration detention. The determination meant the person could leave a detention facility and live in a specified residence in the community. A person in this position is said to be in ‘community detention’.

All these programs are based on policy, and are not included in legislation. Over the years, there have been changes to the name of the program and their eligibility criteria, which has become stricter. The Department of Home Affairs (previously the Department of Immigration) determines the eligibility criteria for the program.

For many years, Australian Red Cross was the sole service provider. However, in recent years (mainly from 2012), the Department of Immigration has contracted more service providers across the country.

Current program

The current SRSS program has different levels of support (‘bands’), depending on the circumstances of the person on the program. The former Asylum Seekers Assistance Scheme is now called Band 6. The former Community Assistance Support is now Band 5. Those on Band 5 usually have more complex needs and receive more intensive casework support. The number of people eligible for this support has been reduced significantly in recent years.

Both programs provide a basic living allowance (typically 89% of Newstart allowance), casework support and access to torture and trauma counselling. Recently most people seeking asylum have become eligible for Medicare. For those vulnerable migrants who are not, these programs may cover the healthcare cost in line with Medicare.

Those who are in community detention (now either ‘band 2’ or ‘band 3’ depending on the age and family status of the recipient), are eligible for casework support, limited financial support (less than the ‘band 5’ or ‘band 6’, as the cost of housing is covered by the program) and healthcare support from International Health and Medical Services.

For more detailed information, you can read the SRSS Operational Manual (version 8, March 2019) which was released under Freedom of Information provisions on 31 July 2021.

How many people are supported under SRSS?

This graph shows the number of people supported under SRSS by how they arrived (by boat or by plane).

This graph shows the number of people supported under SRSS by age.

This graph shows the number of people supported under each band.

Not everyone receives financial support under SRSS. This graph shows the total number of clients, and those who receive income support.

This graph shows the number of people on SRSS by how they came to Australia.

This graph shows the costs of the SRSS program by financial year.

Current service providers

The SRSS providers, as of January 2024, are:

New South Wales

  • Settlement Services International (SSI)
  • Life without Barriers


  • Settlement Services International (SSI)
  • Life without Barriers


  • Settlement Services International (SSI)
  • Life without Barriers

South Australia

  • Life without Barriers


  • Life without Barriers
  • Settlement Services International (SSI)

Western Australia

  • Life without Barriers

Northern Territory

  • Life without Barriers
  • Settlement Services International (SSI)

Australian Capital Territory

  • Life without Barriers
  • Settlement Services International (SSI)

Departmental list of SRSS providers

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