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. Payments to a third party

Protection of a person's interests

In certain circumstances, payments may be paid to someone else on behalf of a person. As some people are vulnerable to exploitation, this should be done in a way that does not conflict with the intention of the inalienability provisions in the SS(Admin)Act. It is considered that the rule against inalienability will not be infringed if the person consents to the arrangements. Processes should, as far as possible, put people in control of their own finances.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 60 Protection of social security payment

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.4.3 Protection of payment

Circumstances where payment can be made to another person

Payment to another person/party should ONLY occur if:

  • there is a group payment arrangement, OR
  • a payment nominee has been appointed, OR
  • the person is incapable of managing their financial affairs AND there is a formal guardianship (1.1.G.80) arrangement, (including court appointed arrangements), OR
  • it is necessary to alleviate the person's immediate hardship by making an urgent payment to a third party on a one-off basis, OR
  • the person is a dependent YA person (1.1.D.80) under 18. The payment then goes to the parent, or the dependent YA person if authorised by the parent, OR
  • the delegate, the YA applicant (aged over 18 or independent) or the parent of a dependent young person has directed that the whole or part of a person's payment be paid to a third party on behalf of the person.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 45 Payment of YA - person under 18 and not independent, section 123B Appointment of payment nominee

SSAct section 5(1)-'parent'

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.G.68 Group payments, Payability of YA, Payment methods for advance payments - benefits & pensions, Regular direct credit payments, Urgent payments

Payment nominees

A person who wants their payments, including advance payments, to go to another person on an ongoing basis has the option of appointing a payment nominee. In determining whether to appoint a payment nominee, consideration should be given to the individual circumstances of the person and other avenues of payments to a third party to ensure that a nominee arrangement is the correct arrangement for the person.

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.5.1 Payment nominee

Payments of DSP to supported employment agencies

If DSP is paid to a supported employment agency, formerly known as a sheltered workshop, under a group payment system, the employer MUST pass on the full amount and may NOT make deductions for any reason. The employer, however, may choose to pay weekly or fortnightly.

The person should be advised about Centrepay and/or rental deductions, or referred to an appropriate agency or social worker for financial counselling if appropriate, to assist them in paying their rent in the future.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 55 Payment into bank etc., section 60 Protection of social security payment

Policy reference: SS Guide Urgent payments, 8.4.3 Protection of payment

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