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Who can we Request Information From?
Pension or payment recipients and applicants
The Secretary or his delegate can request specified types of information from pension or payment recipients and applicants, and/or recipients and applicants of associated allowances and benefits. A request for information can be made to:
- a person to whom a pension, payment, allowance or other benefit under the VEA is being paid,
- a person whose claim for pension, attendant allowance, or recreation transport allowance is under consideration,
- a person who is receiving treatment under Part V of the VEA,
- a person whose application for treatment under Part V of the VEA is under consideration,
- a person who is being paid a service pension, a veteran payment or ISS,
- a person whose claim for service pension or ISS is under consideration,
- a person whose eligibility for veteran payment is under consideration,
- a person receiving benefits under Part IIIB Division 12.
For the purposes of requesting information, a 'person' who is receiving a pension includes a person who is receiving some or part of a pension or veteran payment on behalf of someone else. In most cases the person would be a trustee.
There is a general provision giving the Secretary or his delegate the power to require any person to provide information for the purposes of the VEA. This includes a person employed in, or in connection with, a Commonwealth, State, or Territory Government Department or authority.
Depending on the case involved, it may be necessary to approach any number of the following (this list is not exhaustive):
- banks, building societies or other financial institutions,
- investment bodies such as MLC, AMP,
- employers or former employers,
- doctors (e.g. for an invalidity service pension or invalidity ISS claim),
- tax agents,
- the partner or family of the person concerned, and
- executors of an estate.
Note that there is no legislative authority or provision to demand information from a person or party residing overseas, therefore there is no validity in quoting section 128 of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 in overseas cases.
When a person in receipt of a foreign pension or payment does not know their current rate of pension or payment, reference to the CLIK Procedure Library at P10/C1/S5.
If you are still unable to obtain information from a person and they have not complied with their obligations by forwarding you a statement from their pension or payment provider, you may consider suspending the pension or payment. Refer to P12/C1/S5 (Penalties for Failure to Meet Obligations).
Person indebted to the Commonwealth
The Secretary or his delegate has the power to obtain specific information from a person who is indebted to the Commonwealth under or as a result of the VEA. This power extends to obtaining information from a person who may have relevant information about a person who is indebted to the Commonwealth.
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.
The purpose of attendant allowance is to assist an eligible Veterans, Members of the Forces, or a Member of a Peacekeeping Force with the cost of an attendant to help with such things as feeding, bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living. The allowance is paid to the veteran and not the attendant.
To be eligible for attendant allowance the person must be in receipt of a Disability Pension for Incapacity for a war-caused or defence-caused injury or Disease that severely affects a persons' ability to care for themselves. Attendant allowance is payable at a higher or a lower rate depending on the type of Injury or disease accepted under the Veterans' Entitlements Act.
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.