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. Arrears of Foreign Payment


Sometimes an agreement country's payment takes a long time to be granted. When a person receives their first payment it often includes a lump sum that represents arrears in their entitlement. Prior to 1 July 2004, under normal definitions in social security law, lump sum arrears of foreign payments were not considered income in respect of the period it represents. From 1 July 2004, lump sum arrears of foreign payments are assessed using SSAct section 1228A.

When an agreement country's benefit is granted, ongoing payments of that payment are used to reassess the person's rate of Australian payment. The rate of Australian payment is reassessed retrospectively to determine whether the person has received a higher rate than they were entitled to.

Act reference: SSAct section 1228A Comparable foreign payment debt recovery

Policy reference: SS Guide Income from overseas payments - general rules

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