11.1.12.80 Urgent payments under income management

Urgent payments

This topic contains information on:

  • can income managed funds meet the need, and
  • making an urgent payment for a person who is subject to income management.

For information on the interaction between weekly payments and income management see 11.1.7.50.

Can income managed funds meet the need

Before issuing an urgent payment (8.4.2.10) to a person, consideration should be given to whether the need can be met through the person's income managed funds. Consideration will also need to be given to the impact this action will have on the ability to meet future priority needs and expenses.

Making an urgent payment for a person who is subject to income management

When an urgent payment of a social security payment that is subject to income management is made to a person, the amount of the urgent payment will include both an income managed and a non-income managed component. It is not possible to generate an urgent payment without generating both components. Any time an urgent payment of a social security payment is made, the relevant deductible portion of the amount must be credited to the person's income management account.

If an urgent payment of a social security payment is made, the component that is the deductible portion will still be income managed, so it could only be disbursed to the person through the payment methods available through the SS(Admin)Act.

The delegate must ensure that the authorisation of an urgent payment does not result in priority needs not being met, and will not cause hardship in the future.

Note: If the person is subject to income management under either the Child Protection or VIM Measures, and receives a regular unrestricted direct payment, this will also need to be taken into account. If an urgent payment is paid, it may be appropriate for the person to receive an unrestricted direct payment from the income managed portion of the payment.

If a person is subject to income management, there are 3 options available to meet a request from the person for funds to be provided on an urgent basis to meet expenses.

The first option is to make an urgent payment in the exact amount required, and use a combination of discretionary funds AND non-income managed funds to pay the person's expense/s.

Example: Jacinta needs $200 to buy an air ticket to visit her sick uncle. She is income managed under the Child Protection Measure, and deductions are made from her social security payment at a rate of 70%. All her income managed funds have already been allocated to other needs. She is not entitled to receive a regular unrestricted direct payment. An urgent payment of $200 can be paid to Jacinta. This urgent payment would be split into 2 distinct amounts - $60 (30% of $200) paid directly to Jacinta (discretionary funds), and $140 (70% of $200, the income managed amount) which must first be credited to Jacinta's income management account and can then be disbursed to Jacinta or to a third party organisation (TPO) on her behalf. In combination, the discretionary funds of $60 and the disbursement of $140 from Jacinta's income management account make up the $200 that Jacinta needs to buy the ticket.

The second option is to pay the urgent payment in a quantum that allows the person's expenses to be met from the discretionary portion of the urgent payment.

Note: This option may not be available in a particular case, depending on the person's rate of payment.

The third option is to pay the urgent payment in a quantum that allows the person's expenses to be met from the income managed portion of the urgent payment.

Note: This option may not be available in a particular case, depending on the person's rate of payment.

In addition, a person who is in receipt of a 20% unrestricted payment (11.1.5.60) would also be able to directly access that additional portion from their income managed funds.

Before taking action to make an urgent payment, alternative forms of assistance noted in 8.4.2.10 should be considered.

Last reviewed: 11 November 2019