9.2.1 Payment nominees
When a payment nominee might be used
A person (the principal) who is receiving or is to receive either PLP or DAPP directly from Centrelink and who wants their payment to go to another person on an ongoing basis can request the appointment of a 'payment nominee'.
Centrelink may appoint a payment nominee in other circumstances, although only after taking into consideration the wishes (if any) of the proposed principal regarding the making of such an appointment. Full consideration should be given to the individual circumstances of the proposed principal and other avenues of payments to a third party to ensure that a payment nominee arrangement is the correct arrangement for the principal, bearing in mind that the principal must:
- be the primary carer (1.1.P.230) of the child to remain eligible for PLP, or
- be caring for the child to be eligible for DAPP.
In practice, a person who is eligible for PLP is unlikely to be in a situation where payments should be directed to a nominee. If a nominee is needed, it may be likely that the person is unable to provide enough care for the child to meet the PPL primary carer eligibility requirements. The more appropriate course of action may be to transfer unused PLP to a secondary claimant or have a new primary carer claim as a primary claimant, depending on the circumstances surrounding the ongoing primary care of the child.
Similarly, when responding to a third party requesting information regarding the recipient's payments, it may be more appropriate to consider the release of information under other provisions of the PPLAct rather than by appointing a nominee.
Appointment of payment nominee
Centrelink may appoint a person (or a body corporate) to be the payment nominee of another person (principal) for the purposes of PLP or DAPP, or both. The appointment must be in writing and if the appointment is for PLP, Centrelink may direct that the whole or a specified part of each instalment of PLP be paid to the nominee. If the appointment is for DAPP, Centrelink may direct that the whole or a specified part of a payment of DAPP payable to the nominee's principal to be paid to the nominee. The nominee may only be appointed with their written consent indicating their acceptance of appointment and their understanding of obligations under PPL law.
Letters giving notice of the nominee appointment are to be sent to both the principal and the nominee. The same person may be appointed as both the payment nominee and the correspondence nominee, but this is not required. In appointing a nominee, Centrelink must take account of the wishes (if any) of the principal.
Payment of instalments to payment nominee
Payments to nominees must be to an account maintained by the nominee or as directed by Centrelink.
Instalment payments to a nominee are taken to be payments to the principal.
Centrelink may give a notice under section 289 to the payment nominee of a principal, requiring the nominee to give the Department a statement about a matter relating to the disposal by the nominee of an instalment of PLP or a payment of DAPP, paid to the nominee on behalf of the person.
Act reference: PPLAct section 127 Obtaining and using protected information, section 280 Appointment of payment nominee, section 282 Provisions relating to appointments, section 284 Payment of instalments to payment nominee, section 289 Statement by payment nominee regarding disposal of money
Privacy Act 1988 Schedule 1 clause 6 Australian Privacy Principle 6-use or disclosure of personal information
Policy reference: PPL Guide 9.2.4 Responsibilities of nominees