2.2.3 Verifying Financial Information

Summary

This topic describes verification for the following financial information:

  • income,
  • financial circumstances, and
  • assets and real estate.

Verifying income

An income support claimant or recipient's income and that of their partner or parents, in the case of dependant YA claimants or recipients should be verified, UNLESS the declared amount is sufficient to preclude payment.

Example: Acceptable forms of evidence include:

  • pay slips,
  • share scrip,
  • latest tax return or assessment notice,
  • bank books, AND
  • letter from employer on the employer's letterhead.

Verifying financial circumstances

Income support claimants or recipients should be requested to produce any passbooks or statements of accounts held with banks, credit unions and building societies. Relevant details should be recorded, including:

  • title of account,
  • name of institution,
  • account number, and
  • final balance.

Withdrawals that do not relate to usual living expenses should also be checked. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain evidence to confirm expenditure. Details of the source of any regular deposits should be obtained from the person as this may indicate the person is receiving regular income from some other source.

In order to ensure that the correct entitlement is being calculated from the time the person's income support payment commences, it is important that up-to-date balances of any accounts held by the person are obtained at the time of claim. Please note that a recent ATM receipt is NOT acceptable for this purpose at time of claim.

At review the income support recipient must provide statements of accounts. The statement will verify balances and may show changes and/or possible income from other sources that may not have been notified by the person. An income support recipient can also be asked to provide further statements of account when they receive them.

In limited circumstances, where the customer service adviser is not satisfied that the person has disclosed full financial details, it may be necessary to request that they supply a detailed statement of account prior to approving payment or completing review action.

If a person is unable to produce the required records, it may be necessary to contact the bank or other financial institution.

Verifying assets & real estate

In most cases, the income support claimant or recipient's statement of their assets, including real estate, is accepted. Where an assessor has some doubt or needs clarification, documents can be requested. This documentation only serves to:

  • confirm ownership of the property, AND
  • establish the exact location of the property, AND
  • determine the type of real estate.
    • Example: Vacant bush block or residential block.

Some documentation is requested as a matter of course with a module.

Example: Module R asks for current rates notice and tax returns where the property generates income.

Valuations by a professionally qualified valuer are carried out where:

  • there is likely to be an affect under the assets test, OR
  • the person's total assets are within $10,000 of the asset impact level.

The value of a person's former home is usually available in the transfer documents as the value accepted for stamp duty. If these documents are unavailable obtain a valuation from a professionally qualified valuer.

If a person provides funds for the construction of a granny flat, a copy of the building contract should be seen to verify that the construction cost approximates to the amount provided by the person.

Policy reference: SS Guide 4.6.5.30 Assessing Property, Real Estate & Unit Trusts

Last reviewed: 19 October 2017