Social Security Point-in-Time Service Updates

Thursday 8 November 2018 @ 4.02 p.m.

The Social Security Point-in-Time Service has been updated to include the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Act 2018 (Cth) (Act 110 of 2018), the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Student Reform) Act 2018 (Cth) (Act 111 of 2018) and the Education and Other Legislation Amendment (VET Student Loan Debt Separation) Act 2018 (Cth) (Act 116 of 2018).

Act 110 of 2018

This Act expands the cashless debit card arrangements to a further trial site, the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay area to run until 30 June 2020, specifies the class of trial participants for the area and increases the total number of trial participants overall to 15,000.
The Act also introduces an exception from Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 for merchants that implement product level blocking will be introduced, where systems would automatically identify that a cashless debit card is being used for payment and, if any restricted products are being purchased, decline the transaction. Lastly, the Act introduces a limitation upon the use of the restricted portion of a payment to a participant, to prevent the portion being used to obtain cash-like products which could be used to obtain alcohol or gambling.

Act 111 of 2018

This Act gives effect to a 2018-19 Budget measure aimed at providing improved access to Youth Allowance (YA) (student) for regional students.
The Act also makes two technical amendments to the maintenance income test for YA and also makes one technical amendment to the Student Assistance Act 1973.

Act 116 of 2018

The principal purpose of the Education and Other Legislation Amendment (VET Student Loan Debt Separation) Act 2018 (the Act) is to separate VET student loan debts from other forms of Higher Education Loan Program debts (HELP debts) and establish VET student loans as a separate income contingent loan administered under the VET Student Loans Act 2016 (VSL Act). The amendments in the Act operate together with amendments in the Student Loans (Overseas Debtors Repayment Levy) Amendment Act 2018.

The Act also amends the VSL Act to allow the courses and loan caps determination made by the Minister by legislative instrument under subsection 16(1) of the VSL Act (currently the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016)), to incorporate, by reference, any matter contained in an instrument or other writing as in force from time to time.

The amendments made by these Acts have been updated in the Point-in-Time Social Security Service current to 7 November 2018. (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