6.2.1 Initial eligibility determinations for PLP
An initial eligibility determination may be made where an effective claim for PLP has been made, and Centrelink cannot yet make a determination that PLP is payable to the claimant, for example, because the child has not yet been born and hence the birth has not been verified as required before a payability determination can be made.
Initial eligibility determination - claimant is not eligible
In making an initial eligibility determination, Centrelink may determine that a claimant is not eligible to receive PLP if Centrelink is, at the time of making the determination, satisfied that there is no possibility of the person becoming eligible for PLP in respect of the child.
Example: An expectant mother makes a claim for PLP one month before the expected date of birth of her baby. The claimant has only worked for 3 of the past 13 months, and has no prospect of meeting the PPL work test by the time her baby is born.
Initial eligibility determination may be deferred
If at the time when an initial eligibility determination may be made, Centrelink is uncertain about whether a claimant will be eligible to receive PLP, Centrelink may defer making an eligibility determination.
Example: An adopting parent who will be the initial primary carer of the child makes a claim for PLP 2 months before the expected date of adoption. At the time the claim is made the claimant does not meet the Australian residency test, but expects to do so just before the child enters the couple's care as part of the process of adoption. Centrelink may defer making an initial eligibility determination on the claim until after the claimant has met the Australian residency requirements.
Initial eligibility determination - claimant is initially eligible
However, if a person makes an effective primary claim, Centrelink may make an initial eligibility determination that the person is initially eligible for PLP for a child, if Centrelink is satisfied that the person satisfies the:
- work test,
- income test, and
- Australian residency test.
If a person makes an effective secondary claim, Centrelink may make an initial eligibility determination that the person is initially eligible to receive PLP for a child, if Centrelink is satisfied that the person satisfies the:
- work test,
- income test, and
- Australian residency test, or
- will satisfy those tests on the day the person becomes the child's primary carer.
An initial eligibility determination gives claimants some certainty and allows them to make leave and financial plans in advance of the birth, and it enables Centrelink and the employer to establish the employer role in preparation for payments of PLP to an employee following the birth.
When the initial eligibility determination comes into force
An initial eligibility determination comes into force on the day it is made.
Notice of initial eligibility determination
If Centrelink makes an initial eligibility determination, Centrelink must give a notice of the determination to the claimant.
In all cases involving a notice of a decision, PPLAct section 306(4) provides that a decision is not ineffective just because the notice was not given or was given late, or the notice did not comply with the requirements of the provision.
Assumptions when making initial eligibility determination
In deciding whether to make an initial eligibility determination, Centrelink may act on the assumption that the state of affairs known to Centrelink when making the determination will remain unchanged.
This does not prevent the actual state of affairs being looked at again when a payability determination is being made.
In addition, if a person makes an effective claim for PLP and Centrelink does NOT make a payability determination that PLP is NOT payable to the person, the person must notify Centrelink of anything that causes or is likely to cause the person to cease to be eligible for PLP on a day. A person commits an offence if the person refuses or fails to comply with the requirement.
Act reference: PPLAct Part 2-2 Division 5 Initial eligibility determinations about PLP, section 125 Obligation to notify of change of circumstances, section 306 Notice of decisions
Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.2 PPL scheme work test for PLP, 2.2.3 PPL scheme income test for PLP, 2.2.4 PPL scheme Australian residency test & absences from Australia for PLP, 4.1 Claims for PLP, 6.2 Initial eligibility & payability determinations for PLP, Part 8 Review of decisions