3.1.3 Notification & recipient obligations
Services Australia can serve people with a notice requiring them to:
- come into a Services Australia office
- contact Services Australia
- attend a particular place for a particular purpose
- undergo a medical examination
- take reasonable action to obtain a foreign payment
- provide information as required about a specific matter which may affect their payment (recipients), or claim for payment (claimants)
- inform Services Australia of events or changes in circumstances that might affect their payment.
These obligations are explained in more detail in the rest of this topic.
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc., section 66A General requirement to inform of a change of circumstances etc., section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card
Unless exempt from RapidConnect, a person contacting Services Australia about a claim for JSP or YA as a job seeker and who has been referred to an employment services provider may be required to attend an interview with an employment services provider before their payment becomes payable. As job seekers will generally be required to attend such an interview within 2 working days of their initial contact, notification of this requirement may be given orally, in a standard format, at the time of their initial contact.
In addition, people contacting Services Australia about a claim for JSP or YA may be required to enter into a Job Plan before a payment is made.
Job seekers who have been referred to online employment services are not required to attend an appointment but must agree their Job Plan before their payment can commence.
In general, JSP or YA (job seekers) will not be payable to the person until and from the day they comply with the requirement, but their payment may be backdated to the date the RapidConnect requirement was imposed in some circumstances.
Act reference: SSAct section 547AA YA not payable if person fails to attend interview etc. in certain circumstances, section 615(1) JSP not payable if person fails to attend interview etc. in certain circumstances
SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc., Schedule 2 clause 4A Start day for JSP and YA if claimant required to attend interview
Come into a Services Australia office, or contact Services Australia
In general, Services Australia may notify people of a requirement to come into an office or contact Services Australia. Such notification may be given orally or in writing.
If a recipient has been requested to attend an office in relation to a participation matter then the notification must include a statement that advises that failure to comply could constitute a participation failure. If the person fails to comply with the participation requirement, any payment they are receiving or have claimed is NOT payable or ceases to be payable and they lose qualification for any concession card to which they are otherwise entitled.
A participation failure may apply to people receiving JSP, YA, PP, Austudy or SpB who do NOT comply with a notice requiring them to come into a Services Australia office or contact Services Australia.
If a recipient has been requested to attend an office in relation to a matter that is not a participation matter then the notification should not include the statement outlined above advising that failure to comply could constitute a participation failure.
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc.
Undergo a medical examination
Services Australia may notify people claiming or receiving DSP or MOB, or claiming or receiving JSP or YA on the basis of an inability to work full-time or a specified exemption from mutual obligation requirements, to undergo a medical examination. Such notification may be given orally or in writing. If the person fails to comply with the requirement the payment they are receiving or have claimed is NOT payable or ceases to be payable. A participation failure may apply to people receiving JSP, YA, PP or SpB who do NOT comply with a notice requiring them to undergo a medical examination. As a result, they lose temporary incapacity or mutual obligation requirements exemptions.
If the notification advice to undergo a medical examination is participation related then the notification must contain a statement which advises that failure to comply could constitute a participation failure. This statement should only be contained in notices requesting recipients to undergo an activity in relation to a participation matter.
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc.
Take reasonable action to obtain a foreign payment
Services Australia may issue a notice requiring a person receiving certain payments to take reasonable action to obtain a CFP at the highest rate applicable to the person.
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 66 Notice to obtain foreign payment
Provide information as required about a specific matter
Services Australia may require people to provide specific information about particular events or changes in circumstances that may affect payments. These requirements must be made formally in writing. People subject to these requests are known as statement reporters (1.1.S.350).
All recipients who have income from employment, or whose partner has employment income (where relevant), are required to be statement reporters and generally need to report their income fortnightly (excluding those listed in 1.1.S.350).
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card, section 67 Person who has made a claim
Inform Services Australia of events or changes
People are obliged to advise Services Australia, usually within 14 days, of any event or change in circumstances that could affect their payment. People are advised of the types of things they must notify in a written notice issued to them at grant or reassessment. People subject to these obligations are known as notification reporters (1.1.N.126).
Example: The person would need to advise of changes to their:
- partner status
- income and assets
- their partner's income and assets
- residency status
- number of dependent children, AND
- amount of rent paid.
As the events vary for each payment, the list is NOT exhaustive.
Exception 1: The notification requirements for a person who receives a compensation payment, is the period of 7 days after the day on which the person becomes aware that he or she has received, or is to receive, a compensation payment.
Exception 2: Income support recipients who are NDIS participants (1.1.N.05) are not required to notify the receipt of NDIS amounts (1.1.N.03), how NDIS amounts are spent, or about accounts holding only NDIS amounts.
Explanation: NDIS amounts are to provide care and support for people with disability, and are not for the NDIS participant's income support. A means test exemption applies and NDIS amounts are not assessable under the income or assets tests, under the deeming provisions of the income test, or as a liquid asset. DisabilityCare Australia is responsible for ensuring that NDIS amounts are spent in accordance with the NDIS participant's NDIS plan. Under NDIS business requirements, NDIS amounts should be kept in a separate account.
The exemption of NDIS amounts under the income test only applies in the hands of the NDIS participant. If NDIS amounts are used to pay a person to provide care and/or support for the NDIS participant, the amount paid is treated as employment income (1.1.E.102) for the person providing the care and/or support and must be notified.
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card, section 72(3) Subject to subsections (4), (6) and (7), the period specified …
SSAct section 8(8) Excluded amounts-general, see (jag) and (jah), section 1118(1) Certain assets to be disregarded in calculating the value of a person's assets, see (sb), section 1118(1AD) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(sb) …, section 9(1)-'financial investment', section 9(1)-'designated NDIS amount', section 14A(1) Social security benefit liquid assets test definitions, see (dc)
Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.N.06 National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, 184.108.40.206 Income exempt from assessment - legislated, 220.127.116.11 General provisions for exempt assets, 18.104.22.168 Exemption of Financial Investments from Deeming, 1.1.L.50 Liquid assets
Services Australia may ask, but NOT compel, people to provide a TFN for the person OR their partner OR another person whose income is relevant to the person's rate of payment. The individual can satisfy this request by:
- providing the relevant person's TFN, and
- applying to the ATO for a TFN and authorising the ATO to provide the TFN to Services Australia.
A person who does NOT comply with a request to provide a TFN may have their claim rejected or their payment/card cancelled.