C33/1997 THE 1997 JUNE AMENDING LEGISLATION (AL)/STATUTORY INCREASE RUN | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Departmental Instructions, 1997

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C33/1997 THE 1997 JUNE AMENDING LEGISLATION (AL)/STATUTORY INCREASE RUN

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  13 JUNE 1997

THE 1997 JUNE AMENDING LEGISLATION (AL)/STATUTORY INCREASE RUN

Table of contents

Overview............................................................53

What will happen in this June AL...........................................53

Who we are writing to and information they will receive...........................53

Number of Pensioner Households..........................................53

Processing Details.....................................................53

Issues requiring State Office action.........................................53

Contact numbers.......................................................53

ATTACHMENT A - PARAGRAPH SEQUENCING......................................53

ATTACHMENT B - PARAGRAPH CONTENTS........................................53

ATTACHMENT C - SAMPLE ADVICES..............................................53

ATTACHMENT D - NEW INCOME LIMITS - EFFECTIVE 1 JULY 1997...................53

ATTACHMENT E - MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE......................53

Overview

Simpler advices this year

This year the content of the Quarterly Advice letter is simpler than in previous years.

No  OBLIGATIONS

The previous policy of a minimum period of providing full obligations and assessment information every 12 months, has been extended to:

  • 5 years for maximum rate pensioners; and
  • 2 years for reduced rate pensioners.

This decision was made by the Repatriation Commission on

15 April 1997.

Obligations will not, therefore, be included in the June advice letters.

No GLOBAL reassessments

As a result of changes to extended deeming, a global reassessment of income support pensions in respect of managed investments and shares will normally only occur in the quarterly processing in March and September.

A global reassessment will not occur in this June AL run.

Group Certificates (GCs) for TAXABLE pensioners

All income support pensioners whose pensions are taxable, will receive a letter and an attached GC unless tax deductions were made during the year.

The GCs for pensioners who have had tax deductions, will be sent to State Offices for checking prior to mailing.

All GCs will include the period (in days) the pensioners are exempt from paying the Medicare Levy.

NON TAXABLE pensioners

Those pensioners whose pensions are not taxable (e.g., service pension on grounds of permanent incapacity and under 65 years of age) will receive an advice letter only if they are receiving pension at less than the maximum rate.

Payment Boxes

The letters to all reduced rate income support pensioners will include a payment box notifying of a small increase as a result of CPI adjustments to income and asset test thresholds.

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates (MLEC)

A separate MLEC will be sent to all pensioners who held a gold treatment entitlement card in 1996/97 (i.e. disability pensioners; war widow/ers; non-taxable income support pensioners).

These pensioners will not receive an advice letter.

Telephone Allowance (TA)

The letters will inform pensioners entitled to the telephone allowance about their June quarterly payment.

Treatment Eligibility

The letters will inform pensioners who gain or lose full treatment eligibility as a result of the quarterly processing.

Content of Advice Letters

Details of the content of the letters is at ATTACHMENTS A, B, and C.

What will happen in this June AL

Events covered by the 1997 June AL processing

The following events will be covered by the June '97 AL processing:

  • end of financial year Group Certificate (GC) production;

  • Medicare Levy Exemption (MLE) Certificate production;

  • Reassessment of income support pensions in respect of Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases to:

- deeming thresholds,

- Income Free Area (IFA) and Asset Free Area (AFA) limits; and

- asset threshold for treatment eligibility;

  • payment of Telephone Allowance;

  • loss of Treatment eligibility for income support pensioners whose eligibility was 'saved' last year as a result of extended deeming;

  • introduction of new client group - these are the age pensioners who receive Disability Pension and have agreed to have their income support pension administered by DVA - Bring 'em Back (BEB)*; and

  • production of advice letters.

  NB: As at today, the Legislation has not been passed and DSS are still working on the basis that it will be passed prior to 20 June.

Changes in Treatment eligibility

A relatively small number of veterans will have their eligibility for treatment changed as a result of this AL.  These pensioners fall into one of three groups:

  • 'Saved' Treatment - Those pensioners whose eligibility was 'saved' 12 months ago when extended deeming was introduced* will now lose their 'saved' status;

  • AFA Treatment Limit increase - A very small number of asset tested pensioners will gain eligibility for a gold card because of the CPI increase to this limit;

  • Change from Income to Asset tested - A few pensioners may change from being income tested to being asset tested as a result of the CPI increases to the IFA and AFA limits.  Some of these pensioners may lose their gold card eligibility.

* NB: These pensioners were advised about the 'saved' arrangement twelve months ago

Who we are writing to and information they will receive

If income support pension is TAXABLE
  • Maximum rate SP and ISS pensioners will receive:

- an advice letter and an attached group certificate which will include the number of MLE days recorded (including where the number of days equals 'zero').

The CPI adjustment to the limits will not vary the total pension amount for maximum rate pensioners.  Their advice letter will, therefore, not include a payment box.

  • Less than Maximum rate SP and ISS pensioners will receive:

- an advice letter (with a payment box) and an attached group certificate which will include the MLE days recorded.

However, if tax deductions have been made during the year, the group certificate will be not be attached to the advice letter and will be forwarded to State Offices for reconciliation of the amount of tax deducted.

If income support pension is NON-TAXABLE
  • Maximum rate SP(Invalidity) pensioners receive:

  - a MLE Certificate only.

  • Less than Maximum rate SP and ISS pensioners will receive:

- an advice letter including a payment box but NO group certificate; and

- a separate MLE Certificate (i.e. it will not be included as part of the advice letter).

MLE certificates only

Disability pensioners, War widows not in receipt of ISS, and SP(Invalidity) who are on maximum rate, will receive a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate only.

Inserts

Each envelope will include three inserts:

  • a single double sided sheet titled New Income Limits and New Assets Limits (see Attachment D)
  • a brochure from DSH insurance

(contact Tony May (06) 289 6608)

  • a brochure from the Australian War Memorial Foundation

   (contact Mark Baker (06) 243 4371)

NB: Sample copies of the DSH and AWM inserts have been forwarded to the A/Ds Income Support for information.

Number of Pensioner Households

Household numbers (to receive GCs and/or MLE Certificates)

Type

NSW

VIC

QLD

SA

WA

TAS

AUST

SP

66,532

45,096

41,110

20,161

19,054

8,824

200,777

ISS

23,230

16,976

12,154

5,790

4,704

2,412

65,266

Other Gold card holders*

18,230

12,288

8,740

3,620

3,613

1,513

48,004

Total

107,992

74,360

62,004

29,571

27,371

12,749

314,047

*Note: These figures include DP 'only' gold card holders who are not in receipt of SP, and war widows who are not in receipt of ISS.

Processing Details

Processing weekend

The following will be conducted on the weekend of 13 -15 June 1997:

  • processing for Day 1 of pay period 53 (3 July 1997);
  • Medicare Levy Exemption processing;
  • processing for Group Certificates;
  • reassessment of pensions in respect of CPI increases to thresholds;
  • advice formatting runs; and
  • production of output cartridges for Mailing Houses.

*Note: The fortnightly run for deprived assets, profit or fees, DTSP, FIs, MIs and Shares will not be carried out for pay period 53 (3 July 1997).

SSO's to issue local ADP processing timetable

Detailed information regarding ADP Processing has been issued to State Systems Support Officers in a separate memorandum.

The Systems Support Officers will be issuing a local processing timetable and should be consulted on any related matters.

Key processing dates for AL:

Date

Event

Thursday 12 June 1997

Fortnightly cut off for pay period 53

(3 July 1997)

Thursday 12 June to Sun 15 June.

AL/SI Processing (as above)

Sunday 15 June

Quarterly Advices processing runs.

Monday 16 June until cut-off for pay period 54

Examiner action on manual schedules for SP

From 18 June to

30 June.

Quarterly Advices to be printed at Mailing Houses and lodged progressively with Australia Post

Mailing Houses

Two mailing houses will be used for the June mailout:

  • Leigh Mardon (located in Melbourne)
  • Lane Print Group (located in Adelaide).

Leigh Mardon

Leigh Mardon will print, add inserts, and mail all advices and GCs for:

  • Victoria, and
  • New South Wales.

Lane Print Group

Lane Print Group will print, add inserts, and mail all advices and GCs for:

  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Western Australia, and
  • Tasmania.

Lane Print Group will also print and mail Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates for all States.

Issues requiring State Office action

Despatch cases processed in advance

Cases processed in advance for 3 July 1997 should have the daily advice despatched prior to the Quarterly Advice being sent.

Hold Daily payment advices

Daily payment advices produced after the processing run on 13-15 June 1997 for pay period 53 (3 July 1997), should be held until confirmation is received from the Quarterly Advices Project Officer in National Office to release such advices.

This will ensure that pensioners who have pension variations processed for pay-day 3 July 1997 will receive their daily advice after the quarterly advice rather than in advance of it.

Process only manual and essential cases

To minimise the number of daily advices to be held whilst quarterly advices are processed, it is suggested that only manual cases (and essential cases) be processed for payday 3 July 1997.

Continue general processing for following payday

General pensions processing can continue but should be submitted for the subsequent payday i.e. pay period 54 -17 July 1997.

Reprints of selected advices

Any requests for reprints of individual Quarterly Advices should be referred through System Support Officers to the Mainframe Support Help Desk on (06) 289 6799.

Reprints of GCs

System Support Officers will receive a formatted Group Certificate in Word for Windows for any reprints.

Check and mail tax deducted cases

The GCs for pensioners who have had tax deductions will be sent to the System Support Officers in each State to arrange checking and mailing.

Sort and mail Special Register and Overseas cases

The output for Special Register and Overseas cases will be sent to the System Support Officers for referral to the Payment Administration areas for sorting and mailing.

Monitoring of enquiries

Arrangements have been made with the PABX network manager to automatically monitor incoming phonecalls over a four week period from 16 June to 11 July.

It would be appreciated if Assistant Directors Income Support could provide a brief report* outlining the general nature and volume of the enquiries received over the 4 week period ending 11 July.  The report can be addressed to John Stevens in Queensland.  This will ensure that your comments and any problems are addressed for next June's AL run.

*NB: Report based on anecdotal information from staff will suffice and detailed statistical information is not required.

Contact numbers

National Office Contacts

Phone number

E-mail

John Stevens

(07) 3223 8568

Q-B-BPRIS

Peter Read

(06) 289 6426

C-C-BD-02

Masuda Sheikh

(06) 289 6442

C-C-BD-03

Tracey Cunningham

(06) 289 6398

C-C-BD-07

Murray Chynoweth*

(06) 289 6799

C-C-BD-08

*NB: Murray will be available at the phone number indicated above but will be physically located at Lane Print Group in Adelaide for the duration of the mailout.

JOHN STEVENS

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT

ATTACHMENT A - PARAGRAPH SEQUENCING

Paragraph

To whom

State Office address and phone no.

All *

Date

All

File Number

All

Name and address

All

Salutation

All

Opening Paragraph

All

Group Certificate Paragraph

Taxable payments only

Pension assessed under the Income Test

Income tested

Pension assessed under the Assets Test

Assets tested

IFA/AFA /Deeming Changes

All

Your payment is unchanged

Maximum rate pensioners

Your payment is increased

Reduced rate pensioners

Payment Box

Reduced rate pensioners

Telephone Allowance

All eligible for payment

Saved Treatment

1996 Saved treatment cases coming off

Saved Treatment - reverting to white card

1996 Saved treatment cases coming off but retaining treatment for A/Ds.**

Treatment Eligibility

Those gaining eligibility as result of AFA increase

Losing Treatment

Those losing treatment after changing from income to assets tested

Closing Paragraph

All

Signature Block (State specific)

All

*WA have specified 09 366 8548 as the main contact number for that State.

This number is for use only in the June advices.

** SP/DP with DP <50%; Section 85/2 cases.

NO ADVICE LETTER TO CLIENTS IN RECEIPT OF MAXIMUM RATE NON-TAXABLE PAYMENTS.

ATTACHMENT B - PARAGRAPH CONTENTS

Opening Paragraph

I am writing to you about your income support pension.

Group Certificate paragraph - FOR TAXABLE ISP RECIPIENTS ONLY

Group Certificates

As it is the end of the 1996/97 financial year Group Certificates are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.  If no tax deductions have been made from your income support pension for the 1996/97 financial  year, your original Group Certificate has been included with this letter.  If tax deductions have been made on your behalf, the Group Certificate will be mailed separately.  You should contact your local Taxation Office if you have any questions about taxation.

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you do not have to pay the Medicare Levy for that period.  The period for which you have been exempt from the levy appears on your Group Certificate.


Income Test

Your income support pension is currently assessed under the income test on the basis of income deemed from your financial assets and income from other sources.

Assets Test

Your income support pension is currently assessed under the assets test on the basis of the total value of your assets excluding the home in which you live.

IFA/AFA/Deeming changes

CPI changes to the Income and Assets Tests

Recent increases in the Consumer Price Index have been applied to the following income and assets limits for income support pension:

  • Income Free Area - this is the amount of income you can have before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Assets Free Area - this is the amount of assets you can have (besides your family home) before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable; and

  • Deeming Thresholds - these are the amounts of financial assets you can have before the higher deemed interest rates are applied to the assessment of income support pension.

The new limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”

Maximum Rate Pensioners

As you are currently in receipt of the maximum rate of income support pension, these changes do not affect  the amount of pension you receive.

Reduced Rate Pensioners

Your income support pension has been increased as a result of these changes.

PAYMENT DETAILS PARAGRAPH FOR REDUCED RATERS - USUAL

PAYMENT BOX FOR REDUCED RATERS - USUAL

Payment Details

The fortnightly rate of pension you will receive from 3 July 1997 is shown below.

PAYMENTS TO XX  XXXXX  XXXXX

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT$XXX.XX

This is made up of :

  • - XXXXXXX$XXX.XX
  • - XXXXXXX$   XX.XX

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 3 July 1997, together with your fortnightly rate of pension.  The rates of telephone allowance are:

  • World War 1 - $42.50
  • General Rate (single income support pensioners, war widow(er)s and recipients of certain rates of disability pension) - $15.40
  • Married Rate - $7.70 each for income support pensioner couples.

Saved treatment cases who are losing eligibility - single

Medical Treatment

The extension of the deemed income rules to other financial assets from 4 July 1996 meant that you would have normally lost your treatment eligibility as there was an increase in your income from financial assets.  However, a decision was made to 'save' your eligibility for treatment benefits until 30 June 1997 to allow you time to make alternative health care arrangements if required.  Accordingly, from 1 July 1997 you are no longer eligible for treatment benefits.  Your gold card should not be used from this date and should be returned to your nearest DVA office as soon as possible.

The income limits for treatment benefits are listed in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

Saved treatment cases who are losing eligibility - married

Medical Treatment for [CLIENT NAME]

The extension of the deemed income rules to other financial assets from 4 July 1996 meant that you would have normally lost your treatment eligibility as there was an increase in your income from financial assets.  However, a decision was made to 'save' your eligibility for treatment benefits until 30 June 1997 to allow you time to make alternative health care arrangements if required.  Accordingly, from 1 July 1997 you are no longer eligible for treatment benefits.  Your gold card should not be used from this date and should be returned to your nearest DVA office as soon as possible.

The income limits for treatment benefits are listed in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

SOME SAVED TREATMENT CASES MAY REVERT TO A WHITE CARD BECAUSE OF THEIR ACCEPTED DISABILITIES OR 85/2 BENEFITS.

Saved treatment cases who are reverting to a white card - single

Medical Treatment

The extension of the deemed income rules to other financial assets from 4 July 1996 meant that you would have normally lost your full treatment eligibility as there was an increase in your income from financial assets.  However, a decision was made to 'save' your eligibility for treatment benefits until 30 June 1997 to allow you time to make alternative health care arrangements if required.  Accordingly, from 1 July 1997 you are no longer eligible for treatment benefits.  Your gold card should not be used from this date and should be returned to your nearest DVA office as soon as possible.

The income limits for treatment benefits are listed in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

You are still eligible for treatment of your service related disabilities.  A white card which covers treatment for these conditions will be issued shortly.

Saved treatment cases who are reverting to a white card - married

Medical Treatment for [CLIENT NAME]

The extension of the deemed income rules to other financial assets from 4 July 1996 meant that you would have normally lost your treatment eligibility as there was an increase in your income from financial assets.  However, a decision was made to 'save' your eligibility for treatment benefits until 30 June 1997 to allow you time to make alternative health care arrangements if required.  Accordingly, from 1 July 1997 you are no longer eligible for treatment benefits.  Your gold card should not be used from this date and should be returned to your nearest DVA office as soon as possible.

The income limits for treatment benefits are listed in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

You are still eligible for treatment of your service related disabilities.  A white card which covers treatment for these conditions will be issued shortly.

Gaining treatment eligibility - single

Medical Treatment

You are now eligible to receive full medical and hospital treatment through this Department. Eligibility for treatment is based on income and asset limits. These are:

Income TestAssets Test

per fortnightHomeownersNon Homeowners

Partnered (combined)[Updated Income & Assets Limits appear here]

Single Veterans[Updated Income & Assets Limits appear here]

$52.00 is added per fortnight to the income test limits for each dependant child/student under 25.

A Gold Repatriation Health Card will be sent within the next four (4) weeks. Instructions on its use and the benefits available will also be supplied with the card. In the meantime, if you require any medical treatment before receiving the card, the doctor should contact the Department to confirm your eligibility.

If you have paid for any privately arranged medical treatment since [EFFECTIVE DATE], the Department will consider refunding reasonable expenses if you cannot recover the expenses from other sources, such as a medical/hospital benefits organisation or Medicare. To claim a refund you should contact this office for an application form.

The Gold Card entitles you to a higher level of treatment than the White Card that you currently hold.  You should return the White Card to this office.

Gaining treatment eligibility - married

Medical Treatment For [CLIENT NAME]

You are eligible to receive medical and hospital treatment through this Department for most conditions whether or not they are war-caused. Eligibility for treatment is based on income and asset limits. These are:

Income TestAssets Test

per fortnightHomeownersNon Homeowners

Partnered (combined)[Updated income and assets limits appear here]

Single Veterans[Updated income and assets limits appear here]

$52.00 per fortnight is added to the income test limits for each dependant child/student under 25.

A Gold Repatriation Health Card will be sent within the next four (4) weeks. Instructions on its use and the benefits available will also be supplied with the card.  In the meantime, if you require any medical treatment before receiving the card, the doctor should contact the Department to confirm your eligibility.

If you have paid for any privately arranged medical treatment since [EFFECTIVE DATE], the Department will consider refunding reasonable expenses if you cannot recover the expenses from other sources, such as a medical/hospital benefits organisation or Medicare. To claim a refund you should contact this office for an application form.

The Gold Card entitles you to a higher level of treatment than the White Card that you currently hold.  You should return the White Card to this office.

LOSING TREATMENT ELIGIBILITY AS A RESULT OF CHANGING FROM THE INCOME TEST TO THE ASSETS TEST

Single veteran reverting to white card

Medical Treatment

Eligibility for treatment benefits available with the Gold Card is dependant on income and assets limits.  Currently different income test limits and assets test limits apply for treatment benefits.  These limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

As a result of the CPI adjustments to the income test and assets test limits, your pension is now assessed under the assets test.  This means that, although your rate of service pension has increased, you are no longer eligible for the treatment benefits associated with the Gold Card.  You should return the card to this office as soon as possible.

You are still eligible to receive treatment through the Department for your service related disabilities.  A white card which covers treatment for these conditions will be issued shortly

Married veteran reverting to white card

Medical Treatment for [CLIENT NAME]

Eligibility for treatment benefits available with the Gold Card is dependant on income and assets limits.  Currently different income test limits and assets test limits apply for treatment benefits. These limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

As a result of the CPI adjustments to the income test and assets test limits, your pension is now assessed under the assets test.  This means that, although your rate of service pension has increased, you are no longer eligible for the treatment benefits associated with the Gold Card.  You should return the card to this office as soon as possible.

You are still eligible to receive treatment through the Department for your service related disabilities.  A white card which covers treatment for these conditions will be issued shortly

Single veteran, no other eligibility

Medical Treatment

Eligibility for treatment benefits available with the Gold Card is dependant on income and assets limits.  Currently different income test limits and assets test limits apply for treatment benefits. These limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

As a result of the CPI adjustments to the income test and assets test limits, your pension is now assessed under the assets test.  This means that, although your rate of service pension has increased, you are no longer eligible for the treatment benefits associated with the Gold Card.  You should return the card to this office as soon as possible.

Married veteran, no other eligibility

Medical Treatment for [CLIENT NAME]

Eligibility for treatment benefits available with the Gold Card is dependant on income and assets limits.  Currently different income test limits and assets test limits apply for treatment benefits. These limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

As a result of the CPI adjustments to the income test and assets test limits, your pension is now assessed under the assets test.  This means that, although your rate of service pension has increased, you are no longer eligible for the treatment benefits associated with the Gold Card.  You should return the card to this office as soon as possible.

Closing paragraph

If you have any questions about any of the above matters, please contact the department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Signature Block (State specific)

Yours sincerely

Gary Collins

Deputy Commissioner

ATTACHMENT C - SAMPLE ADVICES


MARRIED; MAX RATE SP; GROUP CERTIFICATE ATTACHED

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

STATE OFFICE

AMP Place

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD

Postal Address:

JOHN VETERAN

GPO Box 651 Brisbane  QLD  4001

SIMONE VETERAN

24 JUNIOR RD

Telephone:

WODEN  QLD 4111

Metropolitan residents:  (07) 3223 8333

Country residents:   1800 113304

Interstate residents: 1800 777634

Facsimile:  (07) 3223 8585

16 June 1997

_

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX321546

Dear Mr and Mrs Veteran

I am writing to you about your income support pension.

Group Certificates

As it is the end of the 1996/97 financial year Group Certificates are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.  If no tax deductions have been made from your income support pension for the 1996/97 financial  year, your original Group Certificate has been included with this letter.  If tax deductions have been made on your behalf, the Group Certificate will be mailed separately.  You should contact your local Taxation Office if you have any questions about taxation.

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you do not have to pay the Medicare Levy for that period.  The period for which you have been exempt from the levy appears on your Group Certificate.

Income Test

Your income support pension is currently assessed under the income test on the basis of income deemed from your financial assets and income from other sources.

CPI changes to the Income and Assets Tests

Recent increases in the Consumer Price Index have been applied to the following income and assets limits for income support pension:

  • Income Free Area - this is the amount of income you can have before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Assets Free Area - this is the amount of assets you can have (besides your family home) before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable; and

  • Deeming Thresholds - these are the amounts of financial assets you can have before the higher deemed interest rates are applied to the assessment of income support pension.

The new limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

As you are currently in receipt of the maximum rate of income support pension, these changes do not affect  the amount of pension you receive.

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 3 July 1997, together with your fortnightly rate of pension.  The rates of telephone allowance are:

  • World War 1 - $42.50
  • General Rate (single income support pensioners, war widow(er)s and recipients of certain rates of disability pension) - $15.40
  • Married Rate - $7.70 each for income support pensioner couples.

If you have any questions about any of the above matters, please contact the department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely

Gary Collins

Deputy Commissioner

SINGLE, REDUCED RATE;

SAVED TMT COMING OFF

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

STATE OFFICE

AMP Place

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD

Postal Address:

PETER WRITE

GPO Box 651 Brisbane  QLD  4001

C/- PAMELA'S GARAGE

MARALAL  4777

Telephone:

Metropolitan residents:  (07) 3223 8333

Country residents:   1800 113304

Interstate residents: 1800 777634

Facsimile:  (07) 3223 8585

16 June 1997

_

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX45454

Dear Mr Write

I am writing to you about your income support pension.

Group Certificates

As it is the end of the 1996/97 financial year Group Certificates are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.  If no tax deductions have been made from your income support pension for the 1996/97 financial  year, your original Group Certificate has been included with this letter.  If tax deductions have been made on your behalf, the Group Certificate will be mailed separately.  You should contact your local Taxation Office if you have any questions about taxation.

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you do not have to pay the Medicare Levy for that period.  The period for which you have been exempt from the levy appears on your Group Certificate.

Income Test

Your income support pension is currently assessed under the income test on the basis of income deemed from your financial assets and income from other sources.

CPI changes to the Income and Assets Tests

Recent increases in the Consumer Price Index have been applied to the following income and assets limits for income support pension:

  • Income Free Area - this is the amount of income you can have before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Assets Free Area - this is the amount of assets you can have (besides your family home) before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable; and

  • Deeming Thresholds - these are the amounts of financial assets you can have before the higher deemed interest rates are applied to the assessment of income support pension.

The new limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

Your income support pension has been increased as a result of these changes.

Payment Details

The fortnightly rate of pension you will receive from 3 July 1997 is shown below.

Payments to PETER WRITE

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT

$XXX.XX

This is made up of :-

-   Service Pension

XXX

-   Pharmaceutical Allowance

XX

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 3 July 1997, together with your fortnightly rate of pension shown above.  The rates of telephone allowance are:

  • World War 1 - $42.50
  • General Rate (single income support pensioners, war widow(er)s and recipients of certain rates of disability pension) - $15.40
  • Married Rate - $7.70 each for income support pensioner couples.

Medical Treatment

The extension of the deemed income rules to other financial assets from 4 July 1996 meant that you would have normally lost your treatment eligibility as there was an increase in your income from financial assets.  However, a decision was made to 'save' your eligibility for treatment benefits until 30 June 1997 to allow you time to make alternative health care arrangements if required.  Accordingly, from 1 July 1997 you are no longer eligible for treatment benefits.  Your gold card should not be used from this date and should be returned to your nearest DVA office as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about any of the above matters, please contact the department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely

Gary Collins

Deputy Commissioner

MARRIED, REDUCED RATE SP NON-TAXABLE

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

STATE OFFICE

AMP Place

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD

Postal Address:

DAVID FIRST

GPO Box 651 Brisbane  QLD  4001

PREMALA FIRST

ISHARNA ROAD

Telephone:

MUTHAIGA 4226

Metropolitan residents:  (07) 3223 8333

Country residents:   1800 113304

Interstate residents: 1800 777634

Facsimile:  (07) 3223 8585

16 June 1997

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX23456

Dear Mr and Mrs First

I am writing to you about your income support pension.

Assets Test

Your income support pension is currently assessed under the assets test on the basis of the total value of your assets excluding the home in which you live.

CPI changes to the Income and Assets Tests

Recent increases in the Consumer Price Index have been applied to the following income and assets limits for income support pension:

  • Income Free Area - this is the amount of income you can have before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Assets Free Area - this is the amount of assets you can have (besides your family home) before your pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable; and

  • Deeming Thresholds - these are the amounts of financial assets you can have before the higher deemed interest rates are applied to the assessment of income support pension.

The new limits are set out in the attachment headed “New Income Limits and New Assets Limits”.

Your income support pension has been increased as a result of these changes.

Payment Details

The fortnightly rate of pension you will receive from 3 July 1997 is shown below.

Payments to DAVID FIRST and PREMALA FIRST

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT

XXX.XX

XXX.XX

This is made up of :-

-   Service Pension

XXXXX

XXXXX

-   Pharmaceutical allowance

XXX

XXX

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 3 July 1997, together with your fortnightly rate of pension.  The rates of telephone allowance are:

  • World War 1 - $42.50
  • General Rate (single income support pensioners, war widow(er)s and recipients of certain rates of disability pension) - $15.40
  • Married Rate - $7.70 each for income support pensioner couples.

If you have any questions about any of the above matters, please contact the department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely

Gary Collins

Deputy Commissioner

ATTACHMENT D - NEW INCOME LIMITS - EFFECTIVE 1 JULY 1997

INCOME FREE AREA - SERVICE PENSION

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

Single

$98.00

$100.00

Partnered - combined

$172.00

$176.00

INCOME FREE AREA - INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

Single

$553.40

$555.40

Partnered - combined

$852.00

$856.00

INCOME LIMIT AT WHICH SERVICE PENSION CEASES

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

Single

$804.40

$806.40

Partnered  -combined

$1343.20

$1347.20

Illness separated - combined

$1584.80

$1588.80

Illness separated - each

$792.40

$794.40

Maximum Rent Assistance Income Limits

Single

$954.00

$956.00

Partnered - combined

$1484.40

$1488.40

INCOME LIMIT AT WHICH

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT CEASES

Single

$793.60

$795.60

Partnered - combined

$1332.40

$1336.40

Maximum Rent Assistance Income Limits

Single

$943.20

$945.20

Partnered - combined

$1473.60

$1477.60

INCOME CUT OFF  LIMITS FOR TREATMENT BENEFITS* (SERVICE PENSION)

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

Single

$246.00

$246.00

Partnered - combined

$428.00

$428.00

            *for conditions not accepted as service related.  $52.00 per fortnight is added to the income limits for each dependant child/student under 25.

DEEMING THRESHOLDS

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

Single

$30,000

$30,400

Partnered - combined

$50,000

$50,600

NEW ASSETS LIMITS EFFECTIVE 1 JULY 1997

ASSETS FREE AREA -

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

SERVICE PENSION

HOMEOWNERS

Single

$124,000

$125,750

Partnered - combined

$176,000

$178,500

NON-HOMEOWNERS

Single

$212,500

$215,750

Partnered - combined

$264,500

$268,500

ASSET FREE AREA -

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT

HOMEOWNERS

Single

$200,000

$201,750

Partnered - combined

$289,500

$292,000

NON-HOMEOWNERS

Single

$288,500

$291,750

Partnered - combined

$378,000

$382,000

ASSETS LIMIT AT WHICH SERVICE PENSION CEASES

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

HOMEOWNERS

Single

$241,750

$243,500

Partnered - combined

$371,500

$374,000

NON-HOMEOWNERS

Single

$330,500

$333,500

Partnered - combined

$460,000

$464,000

ASSETS LIMITS AT WHICH INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT CEASES

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

HOMEOWNERS

Single

$240,000

$241,750

Partnered - combined

$369,500

$372,000

NON-HOMEOWNERS

Single

$328,500

$331,750

Partnered - combined

$458,000

$462,000

ASSETS CUT OFF LIMITS FOR TREATMENT BENEFITS * (SERVICE PENSION)

OLD RATE

NEW RATE

HOMEOWNERS

Single

$141,250

$143,250

Partnered - combined

$201,500

$204,500

NON-HOMEOWNERS

Single

$229,750

$233,250

Partnered - combined

$290,000

$294,500

*for conditions not accepted as service related

ATTACHMENT E - MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE

Medicare Levy Exemption

Dear Beneficiary

If you lodge an income tax return for 1996/97, please attach the lower certificate of this sheet to your return.  It shows the number of days you were exempt from paying the Medicare Levy because you were eligible for full treatment at the expense of this Department.

If you have any general enquiries, please contact your nearest DVA office.  You should contact your local Australian Taxation Office with any enquiries about taxation.

Yours faithfully

Deputy Commissioner

IF YOU LODGE AN INCOME TAX RETURN, RETAIN THIS COPY FOR YOUR RECORD.

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate (copy)

YourThe number of days you are

File No.eligible for Medicare Levy

isExemption during

1996/97 is

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

?

IF LODGING AN INCOME TAX RETURN, DETACH HERE AND PIN THIS SHEET TO YOUR RETURN

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate

YourThe number of days you are

File No.eligible for Medicare Levy

isExemption during

1996/97 is