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 intended only as a guide to social security payments. 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. Temporary Changes to Splitting Arrangements

Temporary changes

The Secretary of DSS (or delegate) must divide restrictable payments to trial participants or voluntary participants into a 'restricted portion' and 'unrestricted portion'.

The restricted portion must be paid into a welfare restricted bank account and may only be used by the recipient to purchase goods and services other than alcoholic beverages, gambling or cash-like products that can be used to purchase excluded goods and services. It will also not be possible to make cash withdrawals from a welfare restricted bank account.

For restrictable payments paid to a trial participant or voluntary participant by instalments, the default restricted portion percentage amount is 80%. For payments not made by instalments (e.g. lump sums), the default restricted portion is 100%.

In some situations, the Secretary may make a temporary determination that under subsection 124PJ(3) of the SS(Admin)Act, a trial participant's or voluntary participant's restricted portion will be reduced to 0%.

There are 2 broad classes of such determinations, as set out in subsection 124PJ(4). The first includes persons where the Secretary is satisfied that the participant is unable to use his or her Cashless Debit Card or access the participant's welfare restricted bank account as a direct result of:

  • a technological fault or malfunction with a participant's Cashless Debit Card or welfare restricted bank account, or
  • a natural disaster.

The second is where the Secretary is satisfied that the participant is a participant to whom a restrictable payment is payable in instalments, and that any part of the restrictable payment is payable as either:

  • an urgent payment due to the person being in severe financial hardship as a result of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, or
  • a hardship advance payment pursuant to SS(Admin)Act section 51.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 124PJ Restrictable payment to be split into restricted and unrestricted portions

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