3.1.3 Notification & Recipient Obligations

Common obligations

DHS can serve people with a notice requiring them to:

  • come into a DHS office
  • contact DHS
  • attend a particular place for a particular purpose
  • undergo a medical examination
  • provide a medical certificate in support of a claim for SA
  • take reasonable action to obtain a foreign payment
  • provide information as required about a specific matter which may affect their payment (recipients), or claim for payment (claimants)
  • inform DHS of events or changes in circumstances that might affect their payment.

These obligations are explained in more detail in the rest of this topic.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc., section 66A General requirement to inform of a change of circumstances etc., section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card

RapidConnect

Unless exempt from RapidConnect, people contacting DHS about a claim for NSA and YA may be required to attend an interview with an employment services provider or another person/organisation before a claim is made. In addition, people contacting DHS about a claim for NSA or YA may be required to enter into an EPP before a claim is made. Because these people will generally be required to attend such an interview within 2 working days of their initial contact, notification of this requirement is usually given orally.

In general, NSA or YA (job seekers) will not be payable to the person until and from the day they comply with the requirement, but their payment may be backdated to the date the RapidConnect requirement was imposed in some circumstances.

Act reference: SSAct section 544A(1) YA Employment Pathway Plans-requirement, section 547AA YA not payable if person fails to attend interview etc. in certain circumstances, section 605(1) Newstart Employment Pathway Plans-requirement, section 615 NSA not payable if person fails to attend interview etc. in certain circumstances

SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc., Schedule 2 clause 4A Start day for NSA and YA if claimant required to attend an interview

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.1.40 RapidConnect - impact on NSA payability, 3.2.1.45 Exemption from RapidConnect Provisions, 3.2.3.45 RapidConnect - Impact on YA Payability

Come into a DHS office, or contact DHS

In general, DHS may notify people of a requirement to come into an office or contact DHS. Such notification may be given orally or in writing.

If a recipient has been requested to attend an office in relation to a participation matter then the notification must include a statement that advises that failure to comply could constitute a participation failure. If the person fails to comply with the participation requirement, any payment they are receiving or have claimed is NOT payable or ceases to be payable and they lose qualification for any concession card to which they are otherwise entitled.

A participation failure may apply to people receiving NSA, YA, PP, Austudy or SpB who do NOT comply with a notice requiring them to come into a DHS office or contact DHS.

If a recipient has been requested to attend an office in relation to a matter that is not a participation matter then the notification should not include the statement outlined above which advises that failure to comply could constitute a participation failure.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc.

Undergo a medical examination

DHS may notify people claiming or receiving DSP, SA or MOB, or claiming or receiving NSA or YA on the basis of an inability to work full-time or a specified exemption from the activity test, to undergo a medical examination. Such notification may be given orally or in writing. If the person fails to comply with the requirement the payment they are receiving or have claimed is NOT payable or ceases to be payable. A participation failure may apply to people receiving NSA, YA, PP or SpB who do NOT comply with a notice requiring them to undergo a medical examination. They lose temporary incapacity or activity test exemptions.

If the notification advice to undergo a medical examination is participation related then the notification must contain a statement which advises that failure to comply could constitute a participation failure. This statement should only be contained in notices requesting recipients to undergo an activity in relation to a participation matter.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc.

Provide a medical certificate

A claim for SA must be supported by a medical certificate in an approved format.

This requirement may NOT apply if the person is undertaking a rehabilitation program.

The Secretary may exempt a person from the requirement to provide a medical certificate in support of a claim for SA.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc., section 65 Medical certificate in support of claim for SA

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.5.60 Assessment of SA

Take reasonable action to obtain a foreign payment

DHS may issue a notice requiring a person receiving certain payments to take reasonable action to obtain a CFP at the highest rate applicable to the person.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 66 Notice to obtain foreign payment

Provide information as required about a specific matter

DHS may require people to provide specific information about particular events or changes in circumstances that may affect payments. These requirements must be made formally in writing. People subject to these requests are known as statement reporters (1.1.S.350).

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card, section 67 Person who has made a claim

Inform DHS of events or changes

People are obliged to advise DHS, usually within 14 days, of any event or change in circumstances that could affect their payment. People are advised of the types of things they must notify in a written notice issued to them at grant or reassessment. People subject to these obligations are known as notification reporters (1.1.N.126).

Example: The person would need to advise of changes to their:

  • partner status,
  • income and assets,
  • residency status,
  • number of dependent children, AND
  • amount of rent paid.

As the events vary for each payment, the list is NOT exhaustive.

Exception 1: The notification requirements for a person who receives a compensation payment, is the period of 7 days after the day on which the person becomes aware that he or she has received, or is to receive, a compensation payment.

Exception 2: Income support recipients who are NDIS participants (1.1.N.05) are not required to notify the receipt of NDIS amounts (1.1.N.03), how NDIS amounts are spent, or about accounts holding only NDIS amounts.

Explanation: NDIS amounts are to provide care and support for people with disability, and are not for the NDIS participant's income support. A means test exemption applies and NDIS amounts are not assessable under the income or assets tests, under the deeming provisions of the income test, or as a liquid asset. DisabilityCare Australia is responsible for ensuring that NDIS amounts are spent in accordance with the NDIS participant's NDIS plan. Under NDIS business requirements, NDIS amounts should be kept in a separate account.

The exemption of NDIS amounts under the income test only applies in the hands of the NDIS participant. If NDIS amounts are used to pay a person to provide care and/or support for the NDIS participant, the amount paid is treated as employment income (1.1.E.102) for the person providing the care and/or support and must be notified.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card, section 72(3) Subject to subsections (4), (6) and (7), the period specified…

SSAct section 8(8) Excluded amounts-general, see (jag) and (jah), section 1118(1) Certain assets to be disregarded in calculating the value of a person's assets, see (sb), section 1118(1AD) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(sb)…, section 9(1)-'financial investment', section 9(1)-'designated NDIS amount', section 14A(1) Social security benefit liquid assets test definitions, see (dc)

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.N.06 National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, 4.3.2.30 Income exempt from assessment - legislated, 4.6.2.10 General provisions for exempt assets, 4.4.1.40 Exemption of Financial Investments from Deeming, 1.1.L.50 Liquid assets

Provide TFN

DHS may ask, but NOT compel, people to provide a TFN for the person OR their partner OR another person whose income is relevant to the person's rate of payment. The individual can satisfy this request by:

  • providing the relevant person's TFN, and
  • applying to the ATO for a TFN and authorising the ATO to provide the TFN to DHS.

A person who does NOT comply with a request to provide a TFN may have their claim rejected or their payment/card cancelled.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 75 Requesting tax file numbers, section 76 How request for tax file number is satisfied, section 77 Consequences for not giving tax file number

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.1.3.20 Providing TFN Information

Last reviewed: 5 November 2018