SpB Reviews - Quarterly & Intensive Reviews


This topic explains SpB quarterly and intensive reviews. This topic covers the following:

  • purpose of SpB reviews,
  • quarterly reviews,
  • information to be recorded,
  • intensive reviews,
  • file review of grant,
  • cancellation if available funds limit exceeded,
  • review options, and
  • review of third party circumstances.

Purpose of SpB reviews

SpB is ONLY paid when NO alternative form of support is available. Payment can ONLY continue beyond 13 weeks if a review occurs every 13 weeks, up to a maximum 52 weeks to ensure that:

  • it is the correct payment,
  • no other form of support is available, AND
  • the claimant CANNOT make alternative arrangements to change the situation which resulted in a need for income support.

Payment CAN be extended to 65 weeks in special circumstances.

Example: If it is obvious that the person will NOT qualify for payment beyond 65 weeks because they are beginning paid employment.

A manual review is set if a person's eligibility or need for payment is LESS than 13 weeks.

Act reference: SSAct section 10A(2)-'employment', section 23(1)-'income support payment', section 729A Time limit on qualification for certain recipients of special benefit

Quarterly reviews

Depending on the length of time a person is initially identified as needing SpB, a person's claim is identified at grant as either:

  • short term, if the time is LESS than 13 weeks, OR
  • long term if it is longer.

An SpB review form or a notification to complete an on-line review form is automatically issued at:

  • the benefit continuation date plus 10 weeks, AND
  • every 13 weeks thereafter EXCEPT when an intensive review is due.

In short term cases ONLY, if the review form is NOT submitted and actioned, payment is automatically:

  • suspended 3 weeks after the form was issued, AND
  • cancelled 6 weeks after the form was issued.

Information to be recorded

A delegate reviewing SpB MUST record the following information:

  • if payment is to continue:
    • that the SpB review indicates continuing entitlement, AND
    • that the person still satisfies SSAct section 729, AND
    • any change in circumstances, AND
    • the date to which the eligibility end date is to be updated, OR
  • if payment is NOT to continue, the reason.

Intensive reviews

Intensive reviews are selected at:

  • 36 weeks for short term cases, AND
  • 49 weeks for long term cases.

NO review form is automatically issued for these reviews. They are not only income or assets (1.1.A.290) reviews, they provide an opportunity to discuss available options with SpB recipients. The 36-week review ensures that the person is aware of the limitation of payment. If SpB remains the only option, the person MUST be transferred to a long term category. Due to the 52-week payment limit in short term cases, timely completion of the short term intensive review is especially important.

Act reference: SSAct section 8(1)-'income', section 729A Time limit on qualification for certain recipients of special benefit

File review of grant

At each review, a file review of the grant is required to determine whether the person:

  • was entitled to SpB at grant (see example 1), AND
  • continues to be entitled to SpB on reapplication of the available funds test, AND
  • receiving the most appropriate payment (see explanation), AND
  • has changed their income and assets details, AND
  • has changed, or anticipates changing, their:
    • reason for payment, AND
    • circumstances (see example 2), AND
  • has had ALL options considered by a delegate (see example 3).
  • Example 1: Basic qualifications such as hardship and available funds test were met.

  • Explanation: The person is not entitled to any other payment.

  • Example 2: In AoS cases, is it reasonable for the person NOT to continue to accept support from the assurer?

  • Example 3: A social worker or JCA.

Cancellation if available funds limit exceeded

Payment is cancelled when available funds exceed either:

  • the equivalent of 2 weeks benefit for short term cases, OR
  • $5,000 for long term cases.

Review of third party circumstances

When SpB was granted because a change in a third party's circumstances prevented them from continuing to provide support, a review should establish if the third party can again provide support. Any level of support provided by the third party MUST be established to determine the correct rate.

Review options

Some options to consider when making a decision about SpB are:

  • assessment by a:
    • social worker,
    • complex assessments officer, or
    • specialist, and
  • referral to a job capacity assessor, and
  • vocational counselling or retraining opportunities, and
  • local community help.
  • Example: Respite care.

Last reviewed: 15 August 2016