The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.3.1 Beneficial administration of the legislation

What is beneficial legislation?

Legislation is characterised as 'beneficial' when its purpose is to provide benefits to those affected. The PPLAct is regarded as beneficial legislation because it provides assistance to parents with newborn or recently adopted children. This means where legislative ambiguities arise, the legislation should be interpreted in a way that is most beneficial to claimants/recipients as a whole.

When is the beneficial approach applied?

A beneficial approach can only be applied where the legislation is unclear and there are no policy directives on how the relevant section of the legislation should be interpreted. Consideration must be given as to whether a particular interpretation would be beneficial to most claimants/recipients. Once a favourable interpretation of a section has been made, that approach is to be adopted in all cases. Therefore, it is not possible to apply different interpretations on a case-by-case basis once a beneficial interpretation has been determined for that piece of legislation.

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