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12.2.4 Requirements for Information Gathering
Requirements of a notice requesting information
A notice requesting information from a person must be in writing and may be given personally or by post. The notice must specify:
- the manner in which the information or documents are to be provided,
- the time-frame within which the person has to supply the information or documents, and where applicable,
- the officer the person is to appear before, and
- when and where the person is to appear before the officer.
Time frame for response to a notice – service pension, veteran payment and ISS
Section 54A(4) VEA - time frame for providing information relevant to the payment of pension
Section 54AA(5) VEA - time frame for providing information, producing documents or appearing before an officer
Section 128(1) VEA - time frame for a third party to provide information
Section 128(2) VEA - time frame for a person indebted to the Commonwealth to provide information
The VEA states that a person must not be required to provide information, produce documents or appear before an officer to answer questions, within a period of less than 14 days after the notice is given. To achieve consistency with the notification period for section 54 recipient obligations, a notice requesting information from a service pension, veteran payment or ISS recipient or applicant will inform the person that they have 14 days from the day they are given the notice to provide the information. If the person lives overseas or receives remote area allowance, this period may be extended to 28 days from receipt of the notice. Under the provisions of the Evidence Act 1995, a period of 5 working days is allowed for delivery of a notice to the person.
Examples of time frames for response to a notice – service pension, veteran payment and ISS
The table below illustrates the different time frames required for response to a notice depending on the section under which the notice is issued.
If a notice is issued to a...
and the notice is issued under section...
Then the time frame for response will be...
14 days from receipt of the notice (28 days if the person is living overseas or receiving Remote Area Allowance)
third party regarding a service pension, veteran payment or ISS recipient or applicant
14 days from day of receipt of the notice
21 days from receipt of the notice
third party regarding a disability pension or war widows/widowers recipient or applicant
21 days from receipt of the notice
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.
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.
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].
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 Service. War 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.
According to section 58D of the VEA, an agent is a person who has been nominated by a pensioner and approved by the Commission to receive pension instalments on behalf of the pensioner. The agent must:
- pay the pension or allowance to the pensioner; or
- manage the pension or allowance in accordance with the pensioner's wishes.
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:
- ill health, or
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