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. Expense payments

Expense payments

In circumstances where a person on income management makes an expense payment, the delegate must be satisfied that the expense payment was incurred under circumstances in which income managed funds can be used, i.e. the expense must satisfy the criteria in This also requires the delegate to ensure that the income managed funds are not used to purchase excluded goods and services.

This criterion provides some areas of additional flexibility to assist with income management.

Example: Jessica needs a new fridge because her existing fridge has broken down and cannot be repaired. Jessica purchases a fridge using her credit card. As Jessica has met all of her priority needs, and she has enough money in her income management account, the delegate can pay the resulting debt from income managed funds. Jessica has also provided the delegate with a copy of her credit card statement.

Verification of the expense

The delegate should obtain verification about the nature of any debt (expense) that a person wishes to have paid.

If an amount of the debt was incurred in accordance with, the delegate can use income managed funds to meet the expense. A statement or receipt which clearly indicates the nature of the purchase, and which could be matched to the credit card statement, would be sufficient evidence to enable the delegate to pay the particular credit card expense.

The delegate should not pay the amount of the debt unless satisfied the purchase was in accordance with, and not to acquire excluded goods and services.

Payment direct to credit card

Where an expense is incurred on a credit card, and the credit card balance remains in debt, the delegate may authorise an expense payment be paid directly to the credit card rather than to the income managed person. However, the delegate should have regard to whether funds allocated to the credit card would encourage the person to accrue further credit card debt in the future.

Party payment of an expense

The delegate may also pay only part of an expense.

Example 1: Johannes uses his credit card to buy food and a DVD. The food meets a priority need, while the DVD does not. The delegate authorises payment for the food from income managed funds. However, as Johannes has already allocated all of his income managed funds for the fortnight, the delegate does not authorise payment for the DVD.

Example 2: Yorick uses his credit card to buy an expensive saxophone. The saxophone is not a priority item, but is also not an excluded item. Yorick is able to meet his priority needs and those of his partner and children. However, he does not have enough of his income managed funds left over to pay the full price of the saxophone. The delegate authorises part-payment for the saxophone from Yorick's income managed funds. Yorick may pay the balance of the price of the saxophone from his discretionary funds, or allocate income managed funds for this purpose the following month.

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