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B63/1993 1993 RENT VERIFICATION EXERCISE
DATE OF ISSUE: 17 NOVEMBER 1993
1993 RENT VERIFICATION EXERCISE
The purpose of this instruction is to inform you about the rent verification exercise to be run in November this year.
2.The objective of the Rent Verification exercise is to support the announced Government policy of ensuring that rent assistance is paid only to those pensioners who are financially disadvantaged because of high costs of rental housing. By checking evidence of rent details the Department verifies compliance with the legislation. The amount recorded as rent in the service pension assessment must accord with the definitions of rent given in s.5N(2) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act and the amount actually paid for accommodation.
3.Service pensioners who fail to provide proof of rent details within the required time frame will have rent assistance cancelled.
4.Rent verification forms will be sent to service pensioners who are currently in receipt of rent assistance from this Department except those who fall under the following criteria:
Pensioners who reside in either Medical Institutions "MI" or Retirement
Illness separated couples where a spouse is in either a MI or RV;
Pensioners over 80 years of age. In the case of a married couple, neither will receive a review form if either spouse is over 80 years of age;
State Trustee cases will be listed on a schedule of manual cases. Branch Offices should use their discretion as to whether they will follow up this group;
Government Renters should not be receiving Rent Assistance and will not be included in the exercise.
5.It was originally proposed that clients who have been granted Service Pension, Interstate Transfers and other Rent Assistance recipients who have had a review since 1 June 1993 would be exempt from the exercise. There was insufficient time to test the program to ensure that this group was excluded, so an additional paragraph on the advice will address these clients separately. It will still be necessary for these clients to return the form (See paragraph 11).
6.The exercise has been scheduled for November 1993 on the following timetable:
13-14 November — Program to generate forms for clients in the target group.
15-19 November — Rent verification advice/form will be printed and sent.
17 December — Due date for return of forms
Jan/Feb 94 — Branches to manually cancel any cases where form remains outstanding.
7.A special PIPS processing code, S154, (CMS classn 965, SPP) will be used for the exercise. Examiners will be able to use the Case Create facility for those cases where manual examination is needed to decide whether a form is to be sent (i.e. rent verified) or not. The attribute will default to ROUTINE unless the examiner sets it to COMPLEX or INVOLVED.
8.Examiners should NOT process any other action on the S154 case wherever possible. If another action is to be processed, it should be done as a separate action. Likewise, the details on the returned form should be actioned on the S154 case, not any other. This is important for statistics and evaluation.
9.Cases should be advanced to Registration stage as soon as the completed form is returned. Where no change in Rent Amount or Residential Situation has occurred, examiners should take the case directly from Registration to Case Finalisation stage.
10.When a client writes or telephones to ask for more time to return the form, the examiner should advance the case to Investigation stage, with a reason for the delay being noted. If the form is not returned by the end of the extended period, the examiner should change the Residential Situation code to 'CR' and submit the case for determination. In this way, rent assistance will be cancelled (use current payday).
Reviews since 1 June 1993
11.Where a client has advised that evidence of the rent they pay has already been provided since 1 June 1993, the examiner should normally accept this information.
12.There will not be an automatic cancellation run for those clients who do not return the form by 17 December; it will be left up to the individual Branch Offices to arrange cancellations of RA where pensioners fail to respond within an appropriate time (at Branch Offices discretion). See paragraph 6 - Scheduling.
13.As a general rule, where rent assistance is cancelled and later restored the date of effect is to be payday after receipt of the completed form. However, delegates may allow an earlier date of effect if this is warranted by the circumstances.
14.Forms will not be produced in the following cases; instead, schedules of cases requiring manual examination will be produced.
a.date of death recorded
d.overseas (including Papua New Guinea cases)
e.frozen action records (SB or PY)
f.Special Register cases
15.With regard to (b), examiners should send a Rent Verification form if the pensioner informs the Department of a new address (unless it is clear that rent is no longer paid). Forms should be sent if only disability pension is suspended (c) and where appropriate for cases in Frozen status (e), this will be left to the discretion of the Branches.
16.A copy of the Rent Verification form and advice to pensioners is at Attachment A.
17.The project manager is Tony Whelan, telephone 06- 289 6884. Enquiries on systems related issues should be directed to Raelene Lihou, telephone 06- 289 6081. For other enquiries the contact officer is Scott Carpenter, telephone 06- 289 6386.
18 — The Benefits Standards and Control Section will be conducting a compliance review focusing on veterans who provide receipts for rent from sources other than official Real Estate receipts. The review will endeavour to cross-check the ownership of the property rented by the veteran to ensure that the property being rented is not already owned by the veteran. It is proposed to use the Rent Verification exercise to identify the risk group for the later compliance review.
19.The contact officer for this exercise is Ann Molloy, telephone 06- 289 6437. Managers Income Support will be contacted separately with details of the information needed for the compliance review.
6 November 1993
15 November 1993 — FILE NO SKM0000
Case No 01
You are receiving rent assistance from this Department to help you meet the cost of rent or other charges for your accommodation. The purpose of this letter is to ensure that we are paying you the correct amount of Rent Assistance.
Please fill in the form on the back of this letter. Return the form, with evidence of the amount you pay, in the envelope provided. No postage stamp will then be necessary.
If you do not return this form, together with the evidence required, by 17 December 1993, it will be assumed you no longer need rent assistance, and your pension will be reduced.
You can provide evidence of the amount you pay for accommodation in any one of the following ways:
you can attach a recent rent receipt; or
the person to whom you pay rent can sign the confirmation in question 4; or
you can attach a separate signed statement from that person, confirming how much you pay; or
you can attach a copy of your current lease or tenancy agreement.
If you have already provided evidence of the rent you pay to the Department within the last six months then you do not need to do so again. However, you must still answer Questions 1, 2 and 5 and return the form if you wish to continue to receive Rent Assistance.
Deputy Commissioner as
Delegate of the Secretary
The information requested in this form is required under ss 54A( I ) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act. It may be provided to the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Social Security for matching purposes. It may also be provided to various State Government authorities for the provision of rebate or concessions.
If you have any queries about this form, or have difficulty in obtaining the evidence, please contact this office. Address and telephone numbers are shown at the top of the letter.
Please complete all questions.
1. Our records show that you live in a boarding house and are paying $200.00 per fortnight for your accommodation.
If this is NOT correct,
Please write the correct
Amount you pay per fortnight$
2. Have you already provided evidence of — YES — NO
the rent you pay since 1 June 1993?to Q5 — go to Q3
3. Name of the person you pay for
accommodation — Postcode
That person's address
4. The following information is required as evidence of the rent you pay.
Attach a copy of one of the following:
a recent receipt; or
a signed statement from your landlord; or
a lease; or
a tenancy agreement;
OR — I confirm that the above details are correct and that I am paid the amount shown in question 1.
Have the person you pay for
accommodation sign here:
5. Declaration of Service Pensioner
I declare that the details I have given in this form and any accompanying documents are true and correct. I am aware that there are penalties for making false or misleading statements.
Your partner's signature