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Exemption Due to Difficulty Accessing Financial Services
Last amended: 6 July 2006
Distance from financial institutions more than 30 kilometres
The Commission's policy, to allow an exemption where payment by direct credit cannot be accessed, is regarded as satisfied where a pensioner lives in an area 30 kilometres or more from facilities offered by financial institutions.
Distance from financial institutions less than 30 kilometres but services inadequate
Pensioners living or working within 30 kilometres of services offered by financial institutions may apply for exemption on the basis of isolation where their area is inadequately served by transport networks.
Financial services available but inadequate
Exemption from direct credit payment may be granted where a pensioner has ready access to financial services but the services offered are inadequate. This could be the case where the only financial services available to the person are through an agency such as a Post Office which may not include electronic linkups with the head office of the financial institution.
Examples where difficulty accessing financial services would be accepted
Difficulty accessing financial services will be accepted where:
- a lack of public transport services exists between the pensioner's residence and the financial institution,
- there is a lack of reasonable roadways between the pensioner's residence and the financial institution, and
- the only available financial services are through an agency and are inadequate.
Examples where difficulty accessing financial services would not be accepted
Difficulty accessing financial services would not be accepted where:
- the pensioner operated an account with a financial institution on a regular basis either before or since the grant of pension in the same or similar residential and/or personal circumstances, or
- there is any financial institution which is accessible to the pensioner, which offers the full range of banking services (regardless of whether the pensioner prefers another financial institution that may not be in their area).
Exemption due to difficulty in using new banking technology
Exemption due to an inability to handle new banking technology should only be considered where other banking facilities, such as conventional teller service, are not available.
It is expected that this basis for exemption will arise only infrequently, as changes to banking technology, including the use of ATMs, have become established. It may be accepted however that a person has a difficulty in using new banking technology where the claim is based on:
- age, frailty or a medical condition, or
- a physical or mental disability.