3.8.1.55 Date of Effect & Arrears of RA

Summary

This topic discusses the rules which determine the date of effect for RA payments and the situations when arrears of RA can be paid. The issues covered are:

  • date of effect,
  • continuing recipients who have a general obligation to notify of a change,
  • RA and FTB,
  • continuing recipients who are required to make a statement in respect of a given period,
  • effect of accelerated claimant matching (ACM) form or rent certificate not returned,
  • ACM obligations,
  • rent reviews, and
  • arrears of RA.

Date of effect

Date of effect rules determine the day from which a new or changed rate of RA is payable.

Note: These date of effect rules apply to RA only. They may produce a different outcome for RA compared to the date of effect rules for primary payments.

The rules differ depending on the situation of the RA recipient and whether the decision is favourable or unfavourable.

A decision is considered FAVOURABLE if the recipient's RA is increased.

A decision is considered UNFAVOURABLE if the recipient's RA is decreased or stopped.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1.40 Notification, Verification & Recipient Obligations for RA, 8.6.1 Date of Effect of Determinations - Summary of Legislation

Continuing recipients with a general obligation to notify of a change in circumstances (i.e. non-stimulus)

Recipients of RA are required to advise of a change in circumstances under SS(Admin)Act section 68(2)(a). A recipient's notification period is as instructed on their last form/statement received from Centrelink (generally 14 days).

If the recipient… And the decision is Then the date of effect is… SS(Admin)Act reference
advises of the change in their circumstances within the notification period, favourable, the date of event (1.1.D.19) or date of notification (1.1.D.22), whichever is later. section 110(1)
does not advise of the change in their circumstances within the notification period, favourable, the date of event (1.1.D.19) or date of notification (1.1.D.22), whichever is later (will generally be date of notification). section 110(1)
advises of the change in their circumstances within the notification period, unfavourable,
  • if the change is processed in the same entitlement period the event occurred (or an earlier period for notification of future events), the date of effect is the date of event.
  • if the change is processed in the entitlement period immediately following the period in which the event occurs, the date of effect is the start date of the period in which the change is processed.
  • if the change is processed in a later entitlement period (not the one immediately following the event), the date of effect is the day after the end of the notification period (1.1.N.125).

section 118(2)

section 93(1)(g) section 99(1)(g)

section 93(1)(h)

section 99(1)(h)

does not advise of the change in their circumstances within the notification period, unfavourable, the date of event (an overpayment should be raised). section 118(7) or section 100

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68(2) Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card

RA & FTB

Because date of effect rules are different under family assistance legislation, it is possible for a person's RA to be backdated as long as the claim is made within 12 months from the end of the relevant income year, when it is received as part of FTB Part A.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1.10 Qualification for RA

FA Guide 3.1.4.30 Rent assistance, 4.4.2.10 Change in Non-Income Related Circumstances

Continuing recipients who are required to make a statement in respect of a given period (i.e. stimulus)

Recipients must provide a statement to Centrelink in order to receive payment for a given period. At this time, they are given the opportunity to change their rent details. The statement may be in the form of a continuation form for activity tested recipients, or for non-activity tested recipients the statement can be made using any one of a variety of reporting channels, e.g. by an automated telephone system, the internet, by ringing or by visiting a CSC.

Recipients are required to advise of a change in circumstances under SS(Admin)Act section 68(2)(b). A recipient's notification period is as instructed on their last review form.

If the recipient… And the decision is… Then…
complies within the notification period (i.e. the event occurred within the given period), favourable, the date of effect is the date of event.

SS(Admin)Act section 110(2)

does not comply within the notification period, favourable, see the date of effect rules for the recipient's primary payment.
advises of the change in their circumstances within the notification period, unfavourable, the date of effect is the date of event.

SS(Admin)Act section 118(5)

does not comply within the notification period, unfavourable, see the date of effect rules for the recipient's primary payment.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68(2)(b) The Secretary may give a person to whom this subsection applies…, section 110(2) Subject to subsection (2A)…, section 118(5) Subject to subsections (5A) and (5B)…

Effect of accelerated claimant matching (ACM) form or rent certificate not returned

When an ACM form is not returned then the primary payment including RA is cancelled. When a rent certificate is not returned then the person's RA payment only is cancelled.

If the form is returned within 13 weeks, subject to meeting qualification provisions, reinstate payment to date of cancellation.

  • If the new rate is greater than the old rate, the date of effect of the new rate is the date of notification.
  • If the new rate is less than the old rate, the date of effect of the new rate is the date of event.

If the form is returned outside 13 weeks, the new rate is paid from the day the form is returned.

  • If new rate is less than old rate, raise overpayment to date of event.

For date of effect rules for FTB recipients see FA Guide 4.4.2.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 81 Cancellation or suspension for non-compliance with certain notices, section 81A Rate reduction determination for non-compliance with notice relating to rent assistance, section 85 Resumption of payment after cancellation or suspension, section 85A Rate increase determination following rate reduction for non-compliance with notice relating to rent assistance, section 110 Date of effect of favourable determination, section 114 Date of effect of other favourable determinations

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.10.5.10 General Date of Effect Rules

FA Guide 3.1.4.30 Rent assistance

ACM obligations

Income support recipients are required to advise of a change in circumstances under SS(Admin)Act section 68(2)(b). There is no specified period for ACM reviews. Recipients have 21 days to return the review letter. See information above for action if the review letter is NOT returned.

If the decision is… Then the date of effect is… Because…
favourable, the date of event or notification, whichever is later (will generally be date of notification),

SS(Admin)Act section 110(1)

the recipient failed to notify under section 68(2)(a).
unfavourable, the date of event (overpayment should be raised),

SS(Admin)Act section 118(13)

the recipient failed to notify under section 68(2)(a). Section 100 would then apply to reduce their rate of payment.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 110(1) Date of effect of favourable determination, section 118(13) In any other case, an adverse determination takes effect…

Rent reviews

RA recipients are required to verify their current rental details (including any change in circumstances) under SS(Admin)Act sections 192 and 196. The review does not specify a given period but the form must be returned within 14 days. See information above for action if the form is NOT returned.

If the decision is… Then the date of effect is… Because…
favourable, the date of notification, (when the rent certificate is received) or date of event, whichever is later (will generally be date of notification),

SS(Admin)Act section 110(1)

the recipient failed to notify under section 68(2)(a).
unfavourable, the date of event (overpayment should be raised),

SS(Admin)Act section 118(13)

the recipient failed to notify under section 68(2)(a). Section 100 would then apply to reduce their rate of payment.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 110(1) Date of effect of favourable determination, section 118(13) In any other case, an adverse determination takes effect:…

Arrears of RA

Arrears may be payable when an RA recipient's payment is cancelled due to non-verification of rent details and they subsequently verify.

For administrative reasons, advices and questionnaires ask, where necessary, that required verification or information be supplied within 14 days. However, if an income support recipient has been asked to provide verification of their rent and the RA is cancelled after 14 days, due to no verification provided, they have 13 weeks from the date of cancellation to request a reconsideration. Recipients can verify the amount of rent they pay with a current lease or tenancy agreement, a rent certificate or rent declaration (2.2.13.20).

The following table explains when arrears of RA can be paid for social security payments:

If the… Then arrears of RA…
  • recipient does not verify their circumstances within 14 days and their payment has been cancelled, AND
  • they subsequently request a reconsideration within 13 weeks of receiving written notice of the original decision,
are payable to the date of cancellation.
  • recipient's payment has been cancelled as they have not verified their circumstances,
    AND
  • they do not subsequently verify within 13 weeks of receiving written notice of the original decision,
are not payable. The date of effect is the date verification is provided.
  • written advice about the payment is not sent (the advice does not have to make specific reference to granting or rate of RA),
are payable, and there is no restriction on them, subject to entitlement of primary payment.

For rules for RA recipients being paid RA with FTB see the FA Guide 3.1.4.30.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 81A Rate reduction determination for non-compliance with notice relating to rent assistance, section 85A Rate increase determination following rate reduction for non-compliance with notice relating to rent assistance, section 110 Date of effect of favourable determination, section 114 Date of effect of other favourable determinations

Last reviewed: 2 January 2018