Social Security Point-in-Time Service Updates

Tuesday 13 July 2021 @ 11.24 a.m.

The Social Security Point-in-Time Service has been updated to include the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Portability Extensions) Act 2021 (Cth) (Act 53 of 2021) and the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 3) Act 2021 (Cth) (Act 61 of 2021).

Act 53 of 2021

This Act amends social security laws to include a permanent discretion to provide portability extensions for pensioners who are temporarily away from their country of residence and unable to return home within 26 weeks for reasons such as serious illness, death of a family member, natural disaster or public health crisis.

From 1 April 2021, changes made to the Social Security Act allowed Age Pension and certain Disability Support Pension recipients who are temporarily overseas to apply for a portability extension if they are unable to return to Australia within 26 weeks of their departure because of COVID-19.

Act 61 of 2021

This Act amends legislation relating to taxation, social security, veterans’ entitlements and the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, and for related purposes.

Schedule 1 to the Act amends the Medicare Levy Act 1986 (Cth) and the A New Tax System (Medicare Levy Surcharge — Fringe Benefits) Act 1999 (Cth) to increase:

  • the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families (along with the dependent child/student component of the family threshold) in line with movements in the CPI;
  • the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families eligible for seniors and pensioners tax offset (along with the dependent child/student component of the family threshold), in line with movements in the CPI; and
  • the Medicare levy surcharge low-income threshold in line with movements in the CPI.

Schedule 3 to the Act amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997), the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) and the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) to provide that annual and lump sum payments made by the Commonwealth to thalidomide survivors are exempt from income tax and do not count as income for the purposes of any income support payments.

These amendments have been updated in the Point-in-Time Social Security Service current to 13 July 2021. (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