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B13/1991 PHARMACEUTICAL ALLOWANCE - PHASE III IMPLEMENTATION
DATE OF ISSUE: 28 MARCH 1991
PHARMACEUTICAL ALLOWANCE - PHASE III IMPLEMENTATION
Phase III of the pharmaceutical changes arising out of the August 1990 Budget will be effective from 21 March 1991. These changes include a name change, the payment of the allowance to pensioners who received an initial lump sum payment, payment to those service pensioners who will not be eligible until 21 March 1991 and systems changes.
2.Service pensioners who have been receiving the supplement fortnightly, ie: those pensioners on less than maximum rate who have income and assets of less than the fringe benefit cut off level (Pensioner Health Benefits (PHB) Card holders), will not be affected by these changes.
3.From 21 March 1991, being the indexation date in March, the Pharmaceutical Supplement will be called the Pharmaceutical Allowance.
4.The reason behind the change of name is that, from that date, the allowance will be paid to all service pensioners and war widows and will be identified separately from pension rather than as a component of pension. The legislation provided for the pharmaceutical supplement for the period 1 November 1990 to 20 March 1991, as an interim measure.
FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT - CURRENT ASSESSMENT CASES
5.All pensioners who are not in receipt of a fortnightly amount of pharmaceutical supplement/allowance will have the allowance automatically coded . The allowance will continue to have a 65 Category code on the PMF.
6.Those pensioners who are to receive the fortnightly payment from 21 March 1991 are war widows and maximum rate service pensioners, except those who have received an additional advance and service pensioners whose income or assets are above the fringe benefit cut off level (Pharmaceutical Benefits Concession (PBC) Card holders).
7.Service pensioners who have income of less than the fringe benefit cut off level, but who are in receipt of less than maximum rate pension, have been receiving fortnightly payment of the pharmaceutical supplement/allowance since 1 November 1990. There will be no change to the payment of these clients.
FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT - NEW GRANTS
8.From 25 February 1991, all new service pension and war widows pension grants will have the fortnightly payment of the pharmaceutical allowance automatically calculated in the PIPS action. The amount of pharmaceutical allowance payable will be calculated by the system and will be visible on the Trial Screen. Details of the Pharmaceutical Allowance will be the last entry on the supporting documentation following the submission of the case (Attachment A). Fortnightly payment of the Pharmaceutical Allowance will be included in the variations field of the submission (D2650) under the type PA (Attachment B).
LIMITATION OF FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTS
9.The payment of the fortnightly allowance will have an automatic limitation placed on it, if the pensioner has applied for and received an advance payment of the allowance. Once the amount of the advance has been 'recovered' the limitation will be automatically lifted and fortnightly payment will commence.
10.The advance payments and recovery will be displayed on the List Screen (PY.LP). The advance amount, the fortnightly recovery amount and the amount to be recovered, (as at the last pension payday) will be the last item recorded on the PIPS supporting documentation, when PIPS action is undertaken (Attachment C).
11.PIPS supporting documentation has been updated to reflect the pharmaceutical allowance. Details of the fortnightly rate of payment, any advance payments, fortnightly limitation rate and current balance of limitation will be recorded on the PIPS documentation from 25 February 1991 (Attachments A & C).
12.The Trial Screen (PP.TR) has been amended to reflect the pharmaceutical allowance by displaying the fortnightly rate of payment and whether there is a recovery of an advance payment in progress (Attachment D).
13.Details of the pharmaceutical allowance will also be displayed on the Determination Screen (PP.DE). Pharmaceutical allowance will be displayed after the currently listed service pension allowances and before disability allowances (Attachment E).
14.All screens and system changes will be in production from 25 February 1991.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR