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13.2.6.2 Centrelink Clearances

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13.2.6.2 Centrelink Clearances

DVA will seek clearance from Centrelink before granting VCES or MRCAETS assistance to a secondary or tertiary student. Where the student is transferring to the Scheme from another Commonwealth educational assistance or income support scheme an agreed "cut-off" date must be negotiated with Centrelink.

In some cases it is to the student’s advantage to transfer to the Education Schemes retrospectively, in which case an adjustment of the arrears payment will be required to offset the resultant overpayment of the Centrelink benefit. This circumstance generally occurs if the student’s Youth Allowance has been significantly reduced by the income test and where Education Schemes’ benefits can be backdated for a significant period.

The seeking of clearances by DVA aims to reduce the incidence of overpayments, and consequential recovery of payments by DVA. However in instances where a scholarship amount is paid to a person by both DVA and Centrelink for the same period, then the agency who paid it second will be responsible for recovering that amount. This is because eligibility for the scholarships (as contained in the Instruments and the Social Security Act) ceases if the person has received the same amount in the previous 6 or 12 months (depending on the scholarship) i.e. the other agency paid it first.