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Person Unable to Comply with Obligations

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Inability to comply with obligations

VEA?

A person must comply with an obligations notice to the extent that they are able to comply. Inability to comply with obligations effectively results in the notification period specified in the notice not being applied when determining the date of effect. Consequently, the person would not be penalised for failing to comply with the notice.

Examples of inability to comply with obligations

The following would be reasonable excuses for not complying with an obligations notice:

  • person experiences a sudden and incapacitating illness rendering them incapable of complying;
  • a natural disaster or state of emergency exists or is declared in the person's locality, or if not in the person's locality, to the extent that such disaster or emergency in another locality affects person's ability to comply,
  • person is reliant on third party for advice of happening of an event, and advice not received from third party in time to allow compliance, or
  • other circumstances that the decision maker considers appropriate.
Non-example of inability to comply with obligations

An obligations notice under section 54 VEA applies to a trustee of a person, as it would to the person. Being a trustee is not a reasonable excuse in itself for not complying with the notification provisions.

Determining the date of effect where the pensioner is unable to comply with obligations

If the person is found to have reasonable excuse for not complying with the notice, the decision maker may determine the date of effect of the change in circumstances, based on an assessment of the facts of the case. This date of effect determination can be made under Division 15 of the VEA, which sets out the rules for situations other than responses to section 54 obligations where the pension is:


Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

Trustee has two meanings depending on the context, (i) and (ii).

(i) a person who looks after someone else's affairs

According to section 202 of the VEA, a trustee is a person appointed by the Commission to administer the financial affairs of a pensioner who may be incapable of managing their own affairs for reasons such as:

  • age,
  • infirmity,
  • ill health, or
  • improvidence.

These criteria include circumstances where a pensioner has a psychiatric disorder or a mental illness as a result of alcohol or drug addiction.

A trustee can be appointed, with or without the consent of the pensioner and once appointed, a trustee has full control of the pension payment.

(ii) a person responsible for administration of a trust

According to section 52ZO of the VEA, trustee has the same meaning as in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.