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. Notification & recipient obligations for PP

Notifiable events for PP

In addition to the common notifiable events, PP recipients MUST notify Centrelink within the 14-day notification period, if any of the following events occur, or are likely to occur:

  • they marry, register their relationship or start living with someone as their partner (either of the same or opposite sex)
  • they start to share the care of any of their dependent children (1.1.D.70) with another person, other than their partner
  • where the care of a child is shared with another person, and the time the child lives with the recipient decreases
  • where they have been granted an exemption and during the period of the exemption their circumstances change so that they would no longer be eligible for the exemption, if the exemption was granted
    • due to being a registered and active foster carer (for example, they cease to be an active foster carer)
    • because they are home schooling their child/ren (for example, they cease to home school their child/ren)
    • because they are facilitating distance education for their child/ren
    • because they are caring for 4 or more dependent children aged between 6 and 15 inclusive, or
    • because they are caring for a child with a disability (for example, the child with the disability is no longer in their care).

Common provisions

Some notification and recipient obligations are common to MOST payments, and these are explained in 3.1.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc., section 64 Effect of failing to comply with requirement to attend Department etc., section 66 Notice to obtain foreign payment

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.3 Notification & recipient obligations

Reporting methods

A PP recipient can be required to give information to Centrelink in one or both of 2 different ways. The first way is that all recipients are required to report if a specified event or circumstance change occurs or is likely to occur (1.1.N.126). The second way is that some recipients are also required to give a statement about a specified matter, and sometimes to give a separate statement for each of several specified periods (1.1.S.350). This is known as statement reporting. All PP recipients who have employment income, 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).

A PP recipient who is a statement reporter is generally required to lodge a Reporting Statement on a specified day each fortnight to allow their continued payability to be assessed. A PP recipient who is a statement reporter may be allowed to lodge their Reporting Statements at intervals other than fortnightly in certain circumstances. This is known as variable reporting.

Before a PP recipient can be placed on variable reporting, the Secretary must be satisfied that:

  • the person may be reasonably expected to satisfy the qualification requirements of PP, AND
  • it is reasonable to expect that PP will be payable to the person for the period, AND
  • the person will comply with the Act during the period.

Detail on the factors to consider when determining whether a JSP recipient may qualify for variable reporting is available at Where applicable, these factors should also be considered when determining whether to place a PP recipient on variable reporting.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 68 Person receiving social security payment or holding concession card

SSAct section 500E Prospective determinations for some recipients

Statement reporters - late reporting

PP will be cancelled if the recipient has not reported 14 days after the due date. However, if special circumstances exist the payment MAY be restored. When a recipient is very late reporting, the following information should be considered to determine if special circumstances apply:

  • The reasons for the late reporting. The longer the delay, the greater the need to provide detailed reasons to account for the delay for the full period.
  • Whether Centrelink contributed in any way to the delay (see example 1).
  • Other mitigating or extenuating factors that may call for a more generous approach (see example 2).
  • The plausibility of the reasons for the delay.
  • Whether the recipient belongs to a disadvantaged group (see example 3).

Example 1: By not giving specific information when requested to do so or by giving incorrect information.

Example 2: Unexpected telecommunication problems, for example, phone service is down due to storms, etc., or the person has been indisposed.

Example 3: They are a migrant with low level of English comprehension or an Indigenous Australian.

Employer reporting for business services for PPS recipients

With the recipient's consent, employer reporting allows the business service to report their PP employee's wage details directly to Centrelink on a regular basis. The amount reported by the employer is taken to be the income of the person in the fortnight, that is, it is the amount received not earned for business services recipients.

Last reviewed: