3.4.5.50 Payability of HEAS

Summary

HEAS (formerly PLS) recipients can continue to receive payments through the HEAS if loss of payability of pension or allowance occurs. However the HEAS ceases if there is a loss of qualification for pension or allowance by the recipient.

If qualification for the underlying pension or allowance is lost, the HEAS debt continues to accrue interest until the HEAS debt is recovered/repaid.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.4.1.20 Payability of Age, 3.6.1.50 Payability of DSP, 3.6.4.90 Payability of CP

Overseas travel

Loan payments under the HEAS can be made overseas as long as the person has adequate real assets in Australia (1.1.A.320) to secure the debt and is qualified for the HEAS.

Part pension payments are subject to the normal rules of portability and proportional portability associated with the pension the person is receiving. HEAS payments are not subject to the portability rules.

Suspension & cancellation scenarios

The following table outlines, in general, the impact on HEAS payments when the qualifying pension or allowance stops (i.e. is suspended or cancelled) or a pension claim is rejected. The HEAS can generally continue where the qualifying pension or allowance stops for a payability reason.

Scenario HEAS impact
Pension or allowance stops due to income or assets exceeding the allowable limits. HEAS payments can continue to be paid as the pension has ceased to be payable but the person has not ceased to be qualified. Loan amounts could increase.
Pension or allowance stops due to the pension rate being reduced to zero because of the direct deduction of another payment or foreign pension. HEAS payments can continue to be paid as the pension has ceased to be payable but the person has not ceased to be qualified. Loan amounts could increase.
Pension or allowance stops for a portability-related reason, due to the person having no payability during portability period. HEAS payments can continue to be paid as the pension has ceased to be payable but the person has not ceased to be qualified. Loan amounts could increase.
Pension or allowance stops because the person receives a mutually exclusive payment from the DVA.

HEAS payments to stop on the same day the pension stops.

The person is no longer receiving or qualified for a Centrelink pension, however, they may be eligible to receive HEAS from DVA.

Pension or allowance stops because the customer failed to reply to a request for information or person's whereabouts are unknown.

HEAS stops on the same day the pension stops.

HEAS is paused until the information is received. HEAS payments will automatically re-start if the pension is restored, including any backdated payment the person is entitled to.

DSP stops because the person is no longer medically qualified. HEAS payments to stop on the same day the pension stops.
CP stops because the customer and/or care receiver no longer meet the qualifying care requirements. HEAS payments to stop on the same day the pension stops.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'social security payment', section 23(1)-'social security pension'

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia

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