5.4.5 MOB advance payment
Claiming an advance
Recipients can claim an advance at the new claim stage or any time after MOB has been granted.
A recipient can receive an advance payment of their current rate of MOB (i.e. either the standard or the higher rate) if they:
- are likely to be qualified for MOB throughout the advance payment period (1.1.A.80), and
- have not received an advance payment in the last 12 months.
Act reference: SSAct section 1045 Qualification for mobility advance
Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.6 MOB - qualification & payability
Amount of advance
The amount of the advance payment is equal to 13 fortnightly payments.
One advance can be paid every 12 months. Claims for a further advance can be lodged 11 months or later after the last advance.
Example: The advance payday is 1 September 2020 the 12-month period ends on 1 September 2021, a further claim for an advance can be lodged one month prior to 1 September 2021. This advance payment will be made on the first payday of the new advance period.
Effect on payments
Once the advance is paid, fortnightly payments do not resume until the end of the advance payment period. This includes recipients who:
- receive an advance payment, AND
- cease to qualify for MOB during the advance period, AND
- re-apply for MOB before the end of the advance period.
Recipients cannot return an advance payment and resume fortnightly payments unless the payment was made to the person incorrectly.
Example: An advance paid to the wrong John Smith.
Qualifying for higher rate MOB during an advance of standard rate MOB
People who qualify for the higher rate of MOB during an advance period of the standard rate are able to acquit the standard rate advance period earlier.
Without an early acquittal, a person who qualified for the higher rate during an advance payment period of the standard rate would be unable to attract the higher rate until the end of the 26 week advance payment period.
Calculating the early acquittal for the advance period
The following steps are used to work out the early acquittal of the advance period:
|1||Work out the number of days that remain of the 26 weeks advance payment period.||
If Jeanie qualifies for the higher rate after 10 weeks of the advance payment period, there would be 16 weeks remaining, which is 112 days (16 weeks multiplied by 7 days = 112 days).
Multiply 112 days by the following formula:
Standard rate of MOB specified in subsection 1044(1). Higher rate of MOB specified in subsection 1044(1A).
If the result is not a whole number, it is rounded down to the next whole day.
$103.00 (standard rate) divided by $144.00 (higher rate) = 0.715
Multiplied by 112 days = 80.09 days.
Rounded down to the next whole day - 80 days.
|3||Subtract the result from step 2 from the number of days that were remaining at the time the recipient qualified for the higher rate (i.e. subtract the result under step 2 from the result under step 1).||
112 days − 80 days = 32 days
Note: Thirty-two days is the number of days the advance period is reduced by.
Determine the new (reduced) advance payment period.
Subtract the result under step 3 from 182 days (being 26 weeks × 7 days i.e. the full advance period).
182 days − 32 days = 150 days
For Jeanie, her advance payment period, which would ordinarily be 182 days (had she not qualified for higher rate MOB during the advance period), is acquitted 32 days early, leaving her with a new reduced 150 day advance payment period.
Payment of the higher rate of MOB would commence from day 151 instead of at the end of the advance period.
Act reference: SSAct section 1044A Reduction of the advance payment period, section 1044 Rate of MOB
Overpayments can ONLY be raised if the recipient deliberately misrepresented their circumstances in order to receive an advance payment of MOB. Overpayments are NOT raised against a recipient who receives an advance payment then, during the advance pay period:
- unexpectedly ceases or reduces work, training or job search (1.1.J.40), OR
- otherwise loses qualification for the standard or higher rate.
Example: A debt can be raised if the recipient when applying for an advance knowingly makes a false statement that their qualifying activity, such as work or vocational training, will continue for at least the next 26 weeks.
Act reference: SSAct section 1224D MOB advance debts