Social Security Point-in-Time Service Updates

Wednesday 5 July 2017 @ 12.46 p.m.

The Social Security Point-in-Time Service has been updated to include the amendments from the following Acts:

  • Social Services Legislation Amendment (Energy Assistance Payment and Pensioner Concession Card) Act 2017 (46 of 2017);

  • Social Services Legislation Amendment (Seasonal Worker Incentives for Jobseekers) Act 2017 (54 of 2017);

  • Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Budget Measures) Act 2017 (59 of 2017); and

  • Social Services Legislation Amendment (Queensland Commission Income Management Regime) Act 2017 (74 of 2017).

Act 46 of 2017

Schedule 1 will pay a one-off energy assistance payment to recipients of the age pension, disability support pension and parenting payment single, together with recipients of various veterans’ payments, who are payable and residing in Australia on 20 June 2017. 

Schedule 2 will provide a pensioner concession card to various former social security pensioners and veterans’ payments recipients where the recipient’s payment or pension was cancelled on 1 January 2017 due to the rebalancing of the assets test parameters by the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Act 2015 .

Act 54 of 2017

This Act provides a social security income test incentive aimed at increasing the number of job seekers who undertake specified seasonal horticultural work, such as fruit picking. This change will be trialed for 2 years, commencing 1 July 2017.

Act 59 of 2017

Schedule 1 - Australian participants in British nuclear tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force 

Schedule 1 of the Act would amend the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Act 2006 (APBNTTA) to provide people already covered under the APBNTTA (British Nuclear Test Participants (BNT)), as well as Australian veterans of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) and civilians present at a British nuclear test area during a relevant period with treatment for all conditions.

Schedule 2 - Work test for intermediate or special rate of pension

Schedule 2 of the Act would amend the current outdated work history restrictions for the Special and Intermediate Rates of Disability Pension provided in the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 to better reflect modern working arrangements. The changes would remove the current requirement for claimants over 65 to have worked for 10 years with the same employer, and for self-employed clients to have worked a minimum of 10 years in the same profession, trade, vocation or calling. Instead, the work history requirement for Special and Intermediate Rates of Disability Pension would just require a period of 10 continuous years of work in any field or vocation prior to applying for the Special or Intermediate Rates of Disability Pension.

Schedule 3 - Rehabilitation programs 

Schedule 3 of the Act would insert instrument making powers into the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA), enabling the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission to determine a class of persons eligible to participate in an early access to rehabilitation pilot programme. Certain other amendments are made by this Schedule to break the nexus between acceptance of liability and undertaking rehabilitation, as currently Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (anticipated to become the DRCA on 1 July 2017) and MRCA claimants have to wait until their initial liability claim is accepted before they can access rehabilitation services.

Act 74 of 2017

The Act amends the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to enable a two year continuation of the Income Management element of Cape York Welfare Reform. The continuation of Income Management until 30 June 2019 is a key element of the reforms and will continue to assist in stabilising people’s circumstances and fostering behavioural change, particularly in the areas of school attendance, parental responsibility and increasing individual responsibility.

The amendments made by Acts 46, 54, 59 and 74 of 2017 have been updated in the Point-in-Time Social Security Service current to 5 July 2017. (NB: Subscription required).

If you are not already a subscriber to this or other Point-in-Time Services then please contact us to find out more or to take a free trial