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B01/1990 DEPARTMENTALLY INITIATED REVIEWS (DIRs) ASSETS
DATE OF ISSUE: 05 January 1990
DEPARTMENTALLY INITIATED REVIEWS (DIRs) ASSETS
"Assets" cases are to be reviewed during the period February to May.
"Assets" cases for the purposes of the DIR exercise are:
.those assessed under the Assets Test; and
.those assessed under the Income Test but with assets within $20,000 of the prescribed assets limit.
All other service pensioners are "income" cases.
2.The issue of review forms for "assets" cases will take place by the end of January. Issue of forms at this time will enable completion of subsequent action prior to the asset threshold statutory increase in June.
3.Reviews of "assets" cases are to be by means of an income and assets statement (form SP3). This seeks full income and asset information from pensioners, and is only to be used to conduct reviews of "assets" cases (including ad hoc reviews during the year).
4.Each Branch should have stocks of forms SP3 for manual use where appropriate.
PRODUCTION OF FORMS
5.Issue of forms SP3 for "assets" reviews will be initiated from Central Office.
6.Forms SP3 will be produced for "assets" cases and dispatched in mid January, to allow for return and processing by the end of May. Cases will be selected for SP3 dispatch automatically. Forms preparation and mailing will be undertaken through a commercial mailing house all of which will be arranged by Central Office.
7.The forms SP3 will be dispatched with an accompanying letter which will specify that each form is a request for information under section 127 of the Veterans' Entitlements Act, and will specify that the form must be completed and returned within 21 days.
8.Schedules of cases requiring manual examination will be produced. These must be examined and forms prepared and issued manually as required, based on the circumstances of the individual cases. Action records will be automatically registered for all cases appearing in this listing. If a review is not to be undertaken in any case listed, the action record should be deleted as soon as possible.
9.The manual case listing will include:
.special register payments
.trusteeship cases (except where veteran/spouse is trustee)
.overseas address cases (including Papua New Guinea)
.unknown address cases
.manual method of assessment cases (other than 52 - Working Rule B).
CONTROL OF DIRs
10.A schedule of cases will be printed listing forms dispatched, and showing the postal address. This schedule MUST be retained until processing of ALL cases is finalised, as it will be the only proof of the address to which the form was despatched should follow up under the provisions of section 127 be necessary. Form return is to be recorded on PIPS, as this will be used for control purposes (including production of outstanding case listings and management information). The schedule of forms despatched is not provided for control purposes.
11.Control of reviews will be by means of a CMS action record. When forms are despatched, an action record will be created under process type departmentally initiated review assets (section 152). This action will initially be in Form Sent status. Update of this action record through the various processing stages will enable control of cases to be handled automatically.
12.For "assets" reviews, a Classification type Departmentally Initiated Review Assets (915) will be used for the action record. Regular statistical and case reports will be available from CMS, and regular progress reports will be sent from Central Office to enable States to evaluate the status of the review exercise.
13.The review action number will be printed on the form SP3. This action is only to be used for DIR processing, and should be updated to reflect each processing stage.
14.When a form SP3 is returned, receipt MUST be noted on the action record. This may be done by accessing the Form Return (FR) screen. Form return should be noted on the day on which the form is received. This will place the action in Registration (RG) status.
15.On completion of each review, it will be necessary for the examiner to set details of the next cyclical review (including date, periodicity and reason) on the Regular Review (RR) screen. Failure to do so will cause the Submission transaction to be rejected.
NON-RETURN OF FORMS
16.Branches should arrange for the production of an outstanding case listing 28 days after dispatch of the forms, using the CMS reporting facility. The pensioners listed on that report should be contacted by telephone about the outstanding form.
17.When telephone contact cannot be made, a further form is to be sent to the pensioner by certified mail. This is to be accompanied by a letter issued under section 127, requiring return of the form within 14 days to avoid possible suspension of payment.
18.Seven weeks after the initial dispatch, a further listing of outstanding cases should be obtained. Files should be checked to ensure that the form has been sent to the correct address, and that no other reason for non-return is obvious. If no mitigating circumstances exist, suspension action should be considered in accordance with section 58 of the VEA.
COMPLETION OF REVIEWS
19.When PIPs processing is undertaken, the Regular Review (RR) screen MUST be updated in all DIR cases to record details of the next cyclical review. Failure to do so will cause the Submission transaction to be rejected. (The next cyclical review noted in each case should be programmed for the same month as that in which the current review is being processed.)
20.It is expected that there will be cases with urgent actions which need to be processed during the review exercise. If so, the review action (if in Investigation or Submission status) should be reverted to Registration status. This is done by accessing the Assessment Control (AC) Screen and deleting the action assessment details (if a case is in Submission status, it will first be necessary to revoke the Submission transaction.) The urgent action is to be processed using existing manual process codes, after which DIR processing may resume.
INCOME TAX RETURNS
21.The form SP3 requests pensioners to provide copies of income tax returns and/or profit and loss statements where they hold a share in a farm or business, or a property where that property is let. When this documentation is not provided (and no explanation is given by the pensioner) it will be necessary to check the file to ascertain whether the latest financial statements have been received. If not, the pensioner is to be requested to provide the required documents.
22.Should financial statements not be held, pension should be either continued or reduced as appropriate on the basis of the SP3 information pending receipt of the statements. Pension should not be increased at this stage as an overpayment of pension would occur if the SP3 information is later shown to be incorrect. If there is no effect on the pension rate, the review can be completed pending receipt of the returns etc.
23.Any "Type 50" reviews set for follow-up of financial statements should be deleted because they will be requested in future annual reviews.
24.Care should be taken to full data collect manual method of assessment cases (eg hardship and pensioner loan cases). This will ensure that such cases are readily identified for future revaluation and review exercises.
25.Some pensioners in this group have real estate assets for which valuations have been obtained from AVO. These valuations are subject to annual review by AVO and the updated values are to be included in the "assets" review.
26.Processing of "assets" reviews and revaluations should be completed by the cut-off for payday 14 June 1990, the date of the Statutory Increase. Timing of processing may be determined locally, having regard to case numbers and available resources.
27.In some cases the revaluation of the property will not be available before cut-off for 14 June 1990. In these cases, the old value should continue to be held pending a revaluation.
28.Effective dates for processing of SP3 ("assets") reviews will be determined as follows:
(a)where pension will be assessed under the Income Test following the review, GOSP Part 13/12 will apply;
(b)where pension will be assessed under the Assets Test following the review and an increase will result, GOSP Part 13/12 will apply;
(c)where pension will be assessed under the Assets Test following the review and a reduction or cancellation will result, an effective date of 14 June 1990 shall be used.
29.Cancellations from 14 June 1990 should be processed AFTER the automatic April SI run has been completed (ie processing must be undertaken between the SI run and the cut-off for 14 June 1990).
30.Where Asset cases lead to a reduction special arrangements should be made locally. These cases MUST NOT be processed any further than "IN" or "RI" prior to completion of the 19 April 1990 SI. This is to ensure that the SI increase is passed on automatically to those clients.
31.Revised asset valuation provided by AVO are to be included in pension assessment as follows:
(a)any increased valuation which would affect the rate of pension payable should be included in the assessment from 14 June 1990 (regardless of whether the SP3 review has an earlier effective date in accordance with paragraph 28).
(b)any reduced valuation which would affect the rate of pension payable should be included in the assessment in accordance with paragraph 28.
32.The contact officer for the "assets" reviews will be Graham del Casale on telephone (08) 213 2412.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR