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Lodgement Period for a Claim
Time limits on claiming the bonus and special circumstances
While there are prescribed [glossary:lodg:] — [glossary:e:] — [glossary:ment periods:], the Commission has the discretion to extend the period a person has to lodge their pension bonus claim form due to special circumstances.
Unless the Commission extends the [glossary:lodg:] — [glossary:e:] — [glossary:ment period:], the following lodgement periods apply to claiming the pension bonus:
Last bonus period/member's status
Last bonus period is a full year period.
A 13 week period starting from the end of that last bonus period
Last bonus period is a part year period.
A 13 week period, or a longer period if allowed by Commission, starting from the end of that last bonus period.
If Commission allows late lodgement, the part-year bonus is disregarded in calculating the bonus.
Starts at the end of the last bonus period and ends at the earlier of:
Starts from the end of the person's last bonus period and ends 13 weeks after the person ceases to be a non-accruing member.
A 13 week period starting from the end of their nominated post 70/75 work period.
Discretion to accept late claims - PBS claims lodged prior to 1 January 2008
Prior to 1 January 2008, the Commission only had the discretion to allow a longer period in which to claim a bonus if the person's last bonus period is a part year period.
Discretion to accept late claims - PBS claims lodged on or after 1 January 2008
The Commission has discretion to accept any late pension bonus scheme (PBS) claim lodged on or after 1 January 2008 providing there was a special reason for late lodgement of the claim. The event that caused the late lodgement of the claim may have occurred prior to 1 January 2008.
Reasons for accepting late claims
The intention of the late claims provisions is to allow acceptance of late claims from members who have not been able to lodge a claim within the time limits due to special circumstances, and not for members who deliberately claim late in order to get a higher bonus. The member should be asked for their reasons for making a late claim for pension bonus and evidence should be provided, where applicable/appropriate.
Late claims from non-accruing members
Care must be taken in assessing late claims from non-accruing members, for example, where a non-accruing member has waited until their partner ceases work before claiming a pension and a pension bonus, in order to receive a larger pension bonus. Deliberate late claims are contrary to the intention to close the pension bonus scheme, and should therefore only be accepted in special circumstances.
Special circumstances may include a PBS member being unaware of the change to the scheme, or where a person is unable to lodge a claim due to being hospitalised for an extended period. Where such special circumstances exist, delegates may decide that late claims may be accepted within a reasonable timeframe. Until 20 September 2010 can be regarded as a reasonable timeframe.
Examples of special circumstances for late claims
The Commission has the discretion to allow a longer period in which to claim a bonus where it would not have been reasonably practicable for the claim to have been lodged earlier. For example, the member has poor numeracy skills, was ill, was located in a remote area, or performed irregular work that made it difficult for the member to determine the lodgement period. The discretionary nature of the special circumstances provisions makes it impossible to give a precise list of factors that should be taken into account when considering whether the provisions should be applied. There is usually not one factor which makes a situation unusual, unforseen and exceptional, but a combination of factors applying to each individual.
Failure to claim PBS when claiming pension
The Commission also has the power to treat a PBS claim lodged after the pension claim as a proper claim in some limited circumstances. A claim for bonus from a registered PBS member maybe taken as being lodged at the same time as the claim for pension if:
Legislation Library – Income Support – Pension Bonus
- the person makes a claim for pension, and
- the Commission fails to recognise the person's existing membership in the PBS, and
- the person did not give incorrect information that led to the conclusion a PBS claim was not appropriate, and
- the person receives pension without regard to any pension bonus that may have been payable to them, and
- the person claims the bonus within two years of the lodgement date of the pension claim.
Claiming DFISA bonus
There is no separate DFISA bonus claim. Where a person's pension bonus is reduced (including to nil) because adjusted disability pension reduces their rate of age pension, they will automatically be entitled to a DFISA bonus from DVA. To access the DFISA bonus, a person must lodge a claim for the pension bonus.
Full year period means a continuous period of 365 days.
Part year period means a continuous period of less than 365 days.
According to subsection 45UL(8) of the VEA, a person is an exempt partnered person at a particular time if, at that time, the person is a member of a couple, and:
- the person's partner is an accruing or non-accruing member of the pension bonus scheme, or
- the person's partner is an accruing or non-accruing member of the corresponding scheme under Part 2.2A of the Social Security Act.
A person's 'partner' is someone who is a member of a couple with that person.
Non-accruing membership status is given for a specified time when a person:
- triggers a disposal preclusion period,
- triggers a carer preclusion period by receiving either carer payment from Centrelink or ISS as a carer,
- is on extended, continuous sick leave for at least 4 weeks and not more than 26 weeks,
- is a non-working person registered for the scheme, who is waiting for their working partner to register, where the non-accruing status lasts until the partner registers,
- is a participant in the community Development Employment Program, or
- is in gaol.
Commission may, by Gazettal notice, declare that other kinds of members are non-accruing members.
When a veteran with qualifying service or a war widow eligible to receive income support supplement reaches 70 years of age they become a Post 70 member of the Scheme. For other members, the age is 75 years. Once a person becomes a Post 70/75 member they can no longer accrue any more bonus periods, however, they can continue to work and defer pension as long as they continue to pass the work test.
DFISA bonus is defined in section 5Q(1) of the VEA and is a VEA payment under Part VIIAB of the VEA. A person is entitled to the DFISA bonus if their social security pension bonus is reduced because of the inclusion of adjusted DP in the calculation of their age pension rate. The DFISA bonus is the difference between:
- the amount of pension bonus received under SSL , and
- the amount of pension bonus that would have been received if adjusted DP had not been included in the assessment of age pension.
Section 118NA of the VEA defines adjusted disability pension as:
- disability pension paid under Parts II or IV of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA); and
- permanent impairment payments and special rate disability pension paid under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.
Adjusted disability pension does not include war widow's/widower's pension, or payments made by other governments to compensate for war or service related injuries.
An age pension is a means tested income support payment paid by Centrelink or DVA on behalf of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The majority of age pensions are paid through Centrelink. However, eligible veterans who have an accepted disability or receive a disability pension from DVA, but do not have qualifying service, may be paid their age pension by DVA. Their partner may also receive their age pension from DVA, if eligible.