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B41/1993 INITIAL (INFORMAL) CLAIMS FOR SERVICE, INVALIDITY OR PARTNERS PENSION RECEIVED BY TELEPHONE
DATE OF ISSUE: 12 August 1993
INITIAL (INFORMAL) CLAIMS FOR SERVICE, INVALIDITY OR PARTNERS PENSION RECEIVED BY TELEPHONE
The purpose of this instruction is to specify the requirements for staff receiving initial claims for service pension via the telephone.
2.Currently initial (informal) claims for service pension are accepted only if they are in writing, (prior to the VEA rewrite subsection 46(3) required all initial (informal) claims to be in writing). As a result of the rewrite, the provisions that allow service pension to be backdated to the date of the initial claim (subsections 36B(2), 37B(2), 38B(2) and 39B(2)), no longer require it to be in writing. Therefore, when an initial claim, for age, invalidity, partner or carer service pension is lodged via the telephone it should be accepted as a valid initial claim. It is important to note that while an initial claim may be made orally, the VEA does require the formal claim for service pension to be lodged in writing.
PROCEDURES FOR AN INITIAL (INFORMAL) CLAIM
3.Currently, where a person informs the Department, by phone, that he or she wishes to apply for a service pension, a form D501 (Preliminary Details) is completed by the officer taking the call. The D501 will now be accepted as an initial claim.
4.Where a telephone call is received from a family member or other bona-fide representative of the pensioner, such as a representative from an ex-service organisation (such as the RSL), or solicitors, an initial claim may be accepted.
5.Once the initial claim is received, the Department must inform the applicant that this is not a proper claim and for it to remain valid, (for the purposes of back dating pension payments) a formal claim must be completed in writing within three months of the initial claim. When the initial claim has been lodged, formal application forms should then be sent to the applicant to complete and return to the Department. The date the application forms are sent should be recorded for future reference, if needed.
6.Each Branch Office has established procedures for recording initial claims. It is important that these record keeping procedures are applied when an initial claim is received via the telephone. This will ensure that the correct commencement date is applied when granting service pension.
7.The GOSPs will be amended to reflect the correct interpretation of the VEA.
8.Should you require further information on this matter, the contact officer is John Fely (Policy Administration & Advice), Central Office. Telephone (06) 289 6440, fax (06) 289 4854.
NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR