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Advice Letters Produced by the Document Generation System

Document

Last amended: 29 August 2006

How the advice letters are produced

Advices are created as the end result of either an action processed by a user, or by automated batch runs by ACT Office. Document Generation (DOCGEN) is the system responsible for processing the data and producing the advice. The paragraphs are stored in the Document Generation – Maintain Advices System (DOGMA) with the advice letters being made up of a combination of these paragraphs selected according to an individual's circumstances/case issues.

Types of advice letters produced

Advice letters are produced on a daily basis as output from the Pensions Information Processing System (PIPS). Some of the information contained in the letters, which are referred to as daily advices, is selected automatically by the DOCGEN system and some of the information is selected manually via a PIPS worksheet when updating a pension record.

Advice letters are also produced automatically by DOCGEN on a periodic basis and in specified circumstances. These are referred to as automatic periodic batch advices. There is no override function to enable the manual selection of specific paragraphs, as the business rules in the DOCGEN system automatically select text according to Commission's policy.

Daily advices

The following table summarises the Commission's current policy for the types of obligations and attachments to be manually selected via PIPS for daily advices.

Types of Daily Advice

Types of Obligations Issued

Types of Income and Assets Attachments Issued

Advice Issued or Suppressed

New Claim

suppressed

(issue You & Your Pension)

full

yes

full

full

yes

Pensioner Initiated Review (PIR)

  • variation

partial

partial

yes

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

full

yes

  • continuation

suppressed

suppressed

yes

  • continuation where residential exempt status changes

partial

suppressed

yes

Departmental Initiated Action (DIA)

  • variation

partial

partial

yes

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

full

yes

  • continuation

suppressed

suppressed

no – should be suppressed

  • continuation where residential exempt status changes

partial

suppressed

yes

Fortnightly Manual

  • variation

suppressed

partial

yes

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

full

yes

  • continuation

suppressed

suppressed

no – should be suppressed

Full Departmental Review

  • variation

full

*full

yes

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

*full

yes

  • continuation

full

*full

yes

* Selection of 'full income & assets' on the PIPS advice screen results in the production of either a complete or a tailored (except for grants which are always full) income and assets statement depending on the circumstances of the pensioner:

  • assets tested pensioners and income tested pensioners who are within $10,000 of their assets threshold receive a complete list detailing all income and assets in the assessment,
  • income tested pensioners who are more than $10,000 below their assets threshold are sent a tailored income and assets list which excludes miscellaneous assets, such as vehicles, that do not affect the pension rate, and
  • blinded clients will have obligations and income and assets defaulted to suppress but can be overridden if required, such as when they are in aged care or have rent assistance. (their advices will not be tailored).
Automatic periodic batch advices

The following table summarises the Commission's current policy for the types of obligations and attachments selected by the DOCGEN system for automatic periodic batch advices.

Types of Periodic Batch Advice

Types of Obligations Issued

Types of Income and Assets Attachments Issued

Frequency of Issue

Automatic Fortnightly Processing

  • variation

suppressed

partial

following review

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

partial

following review

  • continuation

N/A

N/A

advice suppressed

Global Advices - managed investment (MI)/share refresh

  • variation

suppressed

MIs & shares only

March & Sept

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

MIs & shares only

March & Sept

  • continuation

N/A

N/A

advice suppressed

Note: Blinded pensioners only get letter if they have rent assistance as well.

Foreign Pension Variation Advices

  • variation

suppressed

suppressed

March & Sept

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

suppressed

March & Sept

  • continuation

N/A

N/A

advice suppressed

British Pension & Super Variation Advices

  • variation

suppressed

suppressed

following review

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

suppressed

following review

  • continuation

N/A

N/A

advice suppressed

Death Processing System (DPS) Advices

  • variation

*suppressed

suppressed

overnight

  • reduction to nil

suppressed

suppressed

overnight

  • continuation

suppressed

suppressed

overnight

End of Bereavement (EOB) Advices

  • low risk
  • financial and Y&YP only if on SP/ISS
  • full if on AP

suppressed

every 2nd Friday

  • high risk
  • financial and Y&YP only if on SP/ISS
  • full if on AP

** suppressed

every 2nd Friday

  • reduced to nil @ DPS

*** suppressed

full

every 2nd Friday

June Statutory Increase Advices

  • maximum rate pensioners

**** full every 5 years, otherwise suppressed

(given in 2003)

suppressed

June

  • reduced rate pensioners

full every 2 years, otherwise suppressed

(given in 2006)

full every 2 years, otherwise suppressed

(given in 2006)

June

* if granted war widow's/widower's pension (WWP) by DPS, issue WWP obligations

** send statement of circumstances

*** if disability pension (DP) only, issue DP only obligations

**** if blinded, then only told previous obligations still apply

Note 1: With the exception of grants and DPS advices, prescribed rates financial obligations will appear if obligations are suppressed, client is in receipt of income support pension and not blinded.

Note 2: With the foreign pension, British pension and super variation advices, although the income and assets attachment is suppressed, the income from the relevant income stream is shown in the body of the advice.


PIPS is a system used to process many Income Support and Veterans' Compensation cases.

According to Section 179 of the VEA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of Repatriation Commission.

 

 

A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.

ISS is an income support payment that may be paid to eligible war widows and widowers under the VEA and persons receiving wholly dependent partners' compensation under the MRCA, and who satisfy the means tests. It is an indexed rate, increased twice-yearly in March and September in line with changes to the cost of living and/or average wages. Income Support Supplement (ISS) legislation commenced on 20 March 1995. It is a payment created to replace the ceiling rate income support age, carer, wife and disability support pensions, paid to war widows/widowers by Centrelink.

 

 

An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink  or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans  who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.

 

 

One element of the means test for income support pensions whereby the rate of pension payable to a pensioner reduces progressively as their assets increase above a certain threshold known as the assets value limit (AVL).

One element of the means test for income support pensions whereby the rate of pension payable to a pensioner reduces progressively as their income increases above a certain threshold known as the income free area (IFA).

 

 

A person may be regarded as permanently blind in both eyes where:

  • there is a total loss of sight; or
  • visual acuity after correction with suitable lenses is less than 6/60 in both eyes on the Snellen Scale; or
  • where, in the written opinion of an ophthalmologist, the visual field deficits and/or combination of deficits results in a visual impairment which is the equivalent of a corrected visual acuity measure of less than 6/60 in both eyes.

The Commission Guideline CM5829: Determining 'permanently blind', 'no useful sight' and 'blinded in both eyes' may be instructive in making a blinded/blindness determination.

 

Rent Assistance is an allowance, which may be paid to a service pensioner or income support supplement (ISS) recipient to assist in meeting the cost of rental accommodation.

To receive rent assistance, a pensioner must be paying rent (other than Government rent) for accommodation in Australia, and the amount paid must exceed a certain threshold.

The Death Processing System (DPS) is a system used to process death-related cases for DVA clients.

A form of pension that is paid to the partner of a veteran where the veteran has died as a result of war service or eligible Defence ServiceWar widow's/widower's pension is also paid to the partner of a veteran whose death was not war caused if the veteran was a ex-prisoner of war or if the veteran was receiving Extreme Disablement Adjustment Rate, Special Rate (T&PI) or a rate increased in respect of certain war-caused injury or disease.

 

Disability pension, for the purposes of service pension and income support supplement, means:

  • a pension paid for incapacity from war caused conditions, or peacetime, peacekeeping or hazardous service caused conditions (other than a war widow's or orphan's pension); or
  • temporary incapacity allowance; or
  • any other payment in respect of incapacity or death resulting from war or war-like operations in which the Crown has been engaged [usually paid by another Commonwealth country].

Income support pension is:

 

 

According to section 5J(1) of the VEA, an income stream includes:

  • an income stream arising under arrangements that are regulated by the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993; or
  • an income stream arising under a public sector scheme (within the meaning of that Act); or
  • an income stream arising under a retirement savings account; or
  • an income stream provided by a life insurance business (within the meaning of the Life Insurance Act 1995); or
  • an income stream provided by a friendly society (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1996); or
  • an income stream designated in writing by the Commission for the purposes of this definition, having regard to the guidelines determined under subsection 5J(1F) of the VEA;
  • but does not include any of the following:
  • available money;
  • deposit money;
  • a managed investment;
  • a listed security;
  • a loan that has not been repaid in full;
  • an unlisted public security; or
  • gold, silver or platinum bullion.