9.2.4 Responsibilities of Nominees

Responsibilities of nominees

When a nominee is appointed, the nominee is to act in the best interests of the principal (that is, the primary carer, whether a primary, secondary or tertiary claimant for PLP or the DAPP claimant).

If Centrelink gives a nominee a notice under PPLAct section 288, the nominee is required to advise of any matter that affects their ability to act as a nominee. If any allegations of misuse of the payment by the nominee are received, the nominee arrangement must be reviewed immediately.

Disclosure of information

Information in relation to the principal's PLP or DAPP may be disclosed to their appointed nominee as if they are the recipient.

Payment nominees

The payment nominee should keep a record of the expenditure of the principal's payments in case the arrangement needs to be reviewed. Centrelink may send the nominee a notice requesting a statement to be made regarding their disbursement of money paid to the nominee on behalf of the principal. A nominee commits an offence if they refuse or fail to comply with a notice under section 289. A financial penalty may apply.

Correspondence nominees

Where a principal is required to perform an act for the purposes of PPL law, this can be actioned by the correspondence nominee on behalf of the principal. Any notice that is authorised or required under the PPLAct to be given to the claimant by Centrelink may be given to their correspondence nominee. The correspondence nominee may satisfy all requirements of notices on behalf of the principal.

Where a principal who has a correspondence nominee is required to attend the Department or a particular place under provisions of the PPLAct other than those of Part 6-2, the correspondence nominee may also be advised of the details regarding the requirement and the correspondence nominee may attend with the principal if the latter so wishes.

Nominees must notify matters affecting their ability to act as nominees

Centrelink may give the nominee of a principal a notice under PPLAct section 288 requiring the nominee to inform Centrelink if:

  • an event or change of circumstances happens, or
  • the nominee becomes aware that an event or change of circumstances is likely to happen and the event or change of circumstances is likely to affect:
    • the ability of the nominee to act as the payment or correspondence nominee of the principal, or
    • the ability of Centrelink to give notices to the nominee of the Act, or
    • the ability of the nominee to comply with notices given to the nominee by Centrelink under the Act.

The notice must be in writing and be given personally or by post or by such other means determined by Centrelink. It must also specify how the nominee is to give information to Centrelink and the period within which to do so. Subsection 288(3) provides that the notice under subsection 288(1) is not ineffective just because it does not specify the latter requirement (how the nominee is to give the information to Centrelink), and subsection 288(4) provides that the period must not end earlier than 14 days after either the day on which the event or change of circumstances happens, or the day on which the nominee becomes aware that the event or change of circumstances is likely to happen. This does not apply to a requirement in a notice for a nominee to inform the Centrelink of any proposal by the nominee to leave Australia.

The above requirements extend extraterritorially and to all people, regardless of their nationality or citizenship.

Act reference: PPLAct section 127 Obtaining and using protected information, Part 6-2 Division 4 Functions and responsibilities of nominees, section 296 Right of nominee to attend with principal

Last reviewed: 3 July 2017