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What Information can we gather?
Information requested must be relevant to payment of pension
Section 128(1) VEA - power of Secretary to obtain information from a person
Section 54A(1) VEA - pension recipient required to give particular information relevant to the payment of pension
Section 54AA(1) VEA - pension recipient required to give information, produce documents or appear before an officer
Section 54AA(3) VEA - pension applicant required to give information, produce documents or appear before an officer
Information gathering powers are most commonly used for the purposes of an investigation of a pension claim, a review of a pension rate, or an overpayment investigation. The power to obtain information from a pension or payment recipient or applicant only extends to information on matters relevant to the payment of a pension or payment, the provision of benefits, or the application for payment of benefits. This may include such things as;
- confirmation of bank details, and
- confirmation of tax returns.
Tax file number
The Secretary or a delegate of the Secretary may request, but not compel, a person in receipt of a pension, payment or allowance to provide a written statement of their Tax File Number or the Tax File Number of the person's partner or non illness separated spouse.
Person indebted to the Commonwealth
The Secretary or a delegate of the Secretary may oblige a debtor to provide information about, or documents relating to, his or her financial situation. If the person's address changes, they must notify the Department of the change. If a person has information on the whereabouts of a person who is indebted to the Commonwealth, or information on his or her financial situation, they can be obliged to provide this information to the Department.
Providing incriminating information
A person is not excused from providing information, producing documents or giving evidence requested under section 128 in VEA on the grounds that it may incriminate that person. However, the person is protected from having that information, document or evidence used against him or her in criminal proceedings before a court, unless those proceedings are for an offence under section 128.
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.