Arrears of Foreign Payment


Sometimes an agreement country's payment takes a long time to be granted. When a person receives their first payment it often includes a lump sum that represents arrears in their entitlement. Prior to 1 July 2004, under normal definitions in social security law, lump sum arrears of foreign payments were not considered income in respect of the period it represents. From 1 July 2004, lump sum arrears of foreign payments are assessed using SSAct section 1228A.

When an agreement country's benefit is granted, ongoing payments of that payment are used to reassess the person's rate of Australian payment. The rate of Australian payment is reassessed retrospectively to determine whether the person has received a higher rate than they were entitled to.

Act reference: SSAct section 1228A Comparable foreign payment debt recovery

Policy reference: SS Guide Income from Overseas Payments - General Rules

Last reviewed: 21 September 2015