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C42/1997 SEPTEMBER 1997 ADVICE MAILOUT

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  4 SEPTEMBER 1997

SEPTEMBER 1997 ADVICE MAILOUT

Purpose of instruction

This Departmental Instruction is to provide information about processing information for the September quarterly advices.

BOB HAY

BRANCH HEAD

INCOME SUPPORT

Background

Introduction

The department's quarterly advices facility has been designed to enhance communication between the Department and the veteran community.  In general, quarterly advices are sent in January, March, June and September of each year.  Advices are sent to income support pensioners.  The size of the mailout is dependent on the issues (eg. Budget changes, pension indexation, etc) current at the time.

A/L Events

The September Quarterly Advice mailout will incorporate the following events for pay-day 25 September 1997:

  • deeming rate change;
  • global refresh of managed investment and share data;
  • indexation of some minor allowances;
  • payment of telephone allowance to those eligible.

Processing sequence

An advice is to be produced for:

  • all less than maximum rate SP/ISS clients;

Obligations

Obligations are to be suppressed for all advices produced.  Reference will be made to previous obligations issued to clients.

Income and Asset listings

Full Income - Asset listings are to be produced only for clients who have either shares or managed investments listed in their assessment.

Production

The reassessment processing run and advice production will be conducted on the weekend of 5/7 September 1997.  No fortnightly run for deprived assets and Profit Fort will be done prior to the weekend quarterly advice run and will therefore not impact on the transactions generated for the quarterly advices run.  The major reassessment program ("BAL") will be run to reassess cases affected by any of the events above.  Detailed ADP processing requirements will be sent separately to State System Support Officers.

Rules for processing

Advices

System support and advice contact officers in each State Office have been provided with copies of the advice mock up and variations paragraphs.

Payment

processing

The payment processing is scheduled to run from Friday evening 5 September until Sunday evening 7 September 1997.  A processing timetable appears later in this instruction.

Pensioners for whom an advice will be generated

Affected clients

A quarterly advice is to be produced for all less than maximum rate service pensioners and all less than maximum rate income support supplement clients(less than ceiling rate of $120.10).  The advice may include other relevant paragraphs, such as treatment and/or fringe benefits eligibility.

Client numbers

The estimated number of advices for this run is approximately 75,000

Advice printing

Two sites for quarterly advice printing will be used due to the size of this run.  Advice letters for NSW and VIC will be printed at Leigh Mardon (Melbourne).  Advice letters for the rest (QLD, SA, WA and TAS) will be printed at Lane Bros (Adelaide).  All data will be supplied to the printers on cartridge on Monday 8 September 1997.

Special register

Special Register and overseas advices will be supplied to the mailing houses on separate cartridges and forwarded to the relevant State Offices.

Components of the mailout

Quarterly advice processing

As mentioned earlier, a quarterly advice will be produced for all less than maximum rate service pensioners and less than maximum rate income support supplement pensioners.  The range of paragraphs, the circumstances under which these will be applied and the paragraph wording have been supplied to State Office contact officers.  Sample advice letters are contained in this DI.

Advices - general

ADP

Processing

Detailed information regarding ADP Processing will be 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 matter concerning ADP Processing.

Timetable

Key time frames and events for the September mailout are summarised below.  The first processing run will begin on the evening of Friday 5 September 1997.

Date

Event

Friday 5 Sept 1997

Cut off for pay period 58 (11 Sept 97), 12 noon State Office time.

Friday 5 Sept 1997 (pm)

Day 1 processing for pay period 59

(25 Sept 97).  Daily advices from this processing to be dispatched immediately.

Friday 5 Sept (pm)

BAL re-assessment run.

Sat. 6 Sept

Quarterly Advices processing runs.

Mon. 8 Sept until cut-off for pay 59

Examiner action on manual schedules.

Advices - daily

Holding of daily advices

Cases processed in advance for day 1 of pay period 59 (25 September 1997) should have the daily advice dispatched prior to the quarterly advice being sent.

Daily payment advices produced after the processing run on 5-7 September 1997 for pay period 59 (25 September 1997), should be held by State Offices 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 payday 25 September 1997 will receive their daily advice after the quarterly advice rather than in advance of it.

Manual

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 processing) should be processed for pay day 25 September 1997.  General pensions processing should continue unabated but should be submitted for the subsequent pay day.

Dispatch of quarterly advices

Advice lodgement

As requested via State Office feedback, the quarterly advices will be held at the mailing houses for lodgement with Australia Post at the end of the processing week.  The only exception to this will be Tasmanian advices, as Tasmania have requested that their advices be sent when ready. As advices are lodged for each State, the project officer will advise the appropriate State contact officer.

Reprint of selected advices

Any requests for reprints of individual quarterly advices should be referred to State Office System Support Officers.

Contacts

There will be one National Office contact for this quarterly advice run.  Any queries regarding advice wording, AL data cartridges, mailing house printing and advice lodgement should be referred to:

Elizabeth Joyner

(02) 6289 6078

E-mail C-C-BD-11

Quarterly advices - pensioner feedback

Feedback from State Offices

Any concerns regarding advices produced as part of this run should be directed immediately to the NO contact officer, Elizabeth Joyner.  At the end of this AL we will be collating all State feedback to avoid problems recurring.  Any problems noted should be reported to the contact officer with the nature of the query and the file number of the client.  Please ensure that problems are reported as early as possible.

Advice Mockups

Advice mockups

Attached are mockups of the advice letters.

Mock up 1:   Single veteran, less than maximum rate SP, no change to rate of pension, TA paid, no MIs/shares.

Mock up 2:   Pensioner couple, less than maximum rate SP, receiving SDA, SDA amounts indexed, decrease to rate of pension, TA paid, with MIs/shares.

Mock up 3:...Single veteran, reduced to nil rate, still in payment of DP and PA, has MIs/shares.

Mock up 4:...Single veteran, total reduced to nil, no remaining payment, has MIs/shares.

Advice variables

Please note, in the following samples:

  • letterhead and DC name and signature block will change according to State;
  • the words “service pension” represent a variable, “income support pension” will appear for client in receipt of ISS;

[this represents a fix to a problem highlighted by State Offices in previous feedback]

  • the words “income test” represent a variable, “assets test” will appear where applicable; and
  • the word “decrease” in pension will be replaced with “increase” where applicable.

Mock up 1

SINGLE VETERAN, LESS THAN MAX RATE SP,

TA PAID, NO MIs/SHARES, NO CHANGE TO RATE OF PENSION

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

STATE OFFICE

AMP Place

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD

Postal Address:

SEYMOUR PLANET

GPO Box 651 Brisbane  QLD  4001

43 VENEZIA AVENUE

ROMA  QLD  4455

Telephone:

Metropolitan residents:  (07) 3223 8333

Country residents:   1800 113304

Interstate residents: 1800 777634

Facsimile:  (07) 3223 8585

8 September 1997

_

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX111111

Dear Mr Planet

I am writing to you about your service pension payment from Veterans' Affairs.

Payment Details

The fortnightly rate of pension you will receive from 25 September 1997 is shown below.

Payments to SEYMOUR PLANET

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT

$XXX.xx

This is made up of :-

-   Service pension

XXX.xx

-   Rent assistance

XX.xx

-   Pharmaceutical allowance

X.xx

No Change to Rate of Pension

The income and/or asset values of your financial assets have been reassessed.  However, this has not varied the amount of service pension paid to you.

Consumer Price Index

A negative Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been reported for the period December 1996 to June 1997.  As a result, there will be no indexation of service pension rates.

Deemed Interest Rate Change - Financial Assets

With effect from 25 September 1997, a deemed income rate of 3% for amounts up to $30,400 ($50,600 per couple) and 5% for amounts over $30,400 ($50,600 per couple), will be used to work out income recorded for your financial assets.

This has resulted in a change to the income amounts used to work out your rate of service pension.

What is Deemed Income?

For pension purposes, income from financial assets such as accounts with banks, building societies and credit unions, loans, bonds, debentures, gifts, shares, managed investments and bullion is deemed.  The value of all your financial assets are added together, and deemed interest rates are applied to calculate the income.

At present, deemed income is calculated as follows, regardless of the actual interest rates, on the total of all your financial assets:

$0 to $30,400at 3%

$30,400+at 5%

If your investments are earning more than the 3% and 5% deeming rates, this additional income will not affect the rate of your service pension.

Total Financial Assets

FINANCIAL ASSETS VALUE

INTEREST RATE

INCOME PER FORTNIGHT

$30,400

3%

$35.08

$15,400

5%

$29.62

$45,800

$64.70

Telephone Allowance

Telephone allowance will be paid on 25 September 1997, together with your new fortnightly rate of pension shown above.  There has been an increase in the general rates of telephone allowance.  The new rates are:

  • World War 1 - $42.50
  • General Rate (single pensioners, war widow(er)s and recipients of certain rates of disability pension) - $15.60
  • Married Rate - $7.80 each for pensioner couples.

Your Obligations

Your obligations have been explained to you in previous advices; these obligations still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  When that change has been finalised, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Service Pension Review Officer at this office.  If you decide to apply you must do so within 3 months of being advised of this variation.  A request for review must be in writing and set out your reasons for seeking this review.

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 as

Delegate of the Secretary

Mock up 2

PENSIONER COUPLE, LESS THAN MAX RATE SP,

RECEIVING SDA, SDA AMOUNTS INDEXED,

PENSION RATE DECREASED, TA PAID,

HAS MIs/SHARES, FULL I/A LISTING ATTACHED

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

STATE OFFICE

AMP Place

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD

Postal Address:

GREGORY PRINCE

GPO Box 651 Brisbane  QLD  4001

DEBORAH PRINCE

VILLA 43/21 MONTE CARLO WAY

Telephone:

MONAK  NSW  2738

Metropolitan residents:  (07) 3223 8333

Country residents:   1800 113304

Interstate residents: 1800 777634

Facsimile:  (07) 3223 8585

8 September 1997

_

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX222222

Dear Mr and Mrs Prince

I am writing to you about your service pension payment from Veterans' Affairs.

Payment Details

The fortnightly rate of pension you will receive from 25 September 1997 is shown below.

Payments to GREGORY PRINCE and DEBORAH PRINCE

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT

$XXX.xx

$XXX.xx

This is made up of :-

-   Service pension

XXX.xx

XXX.xx

-   Specific disablement allowance

XX.xx

-   Pharmaceutical allowance

X.xx

X.xx

Change to Rate of Pension

You currently receive service pension under the assets test.

Changes in the income and/or asset values of your financial assets have been recorded.  This has resulted in a decrease in the amount of service pension paid to you.

Consumer Price Index

A negative Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been reported for the period December 1996 to June 1997.  As a result, there will be no indexation of service pension rates.

Allowances which did increase as a result of movements in the CPI are Recreational Transport Allowance, Attendant Allowance and Specific Disablement Allowance (Items 7-15)

Reassessment of Financial Assets

The asset values of listed shares and unit based managed investment products have been reassessed.  Details of your investments are listed in this advice.

Deemed Interest Rate Change

Effective 25 September 1997, a deemed income rate of 3% for amounts up to $30,400 ($50,600 per couple) and 5% for amounts over $30,400 ($50,600 per couple), will be used to work out income recorded for your financial assets.

This has resulted in a change to the income amounts used to work out your rate of service pension.

Medical Treatment for GREGORY PRINCE

Your eligibility for the treatment benefits available with the Gold Repatriation Health Card is dependent on income and asset limits.  As your income and assets are equal to or above these limits, you are no longer eligible for treatment benefits from the date of this variation.  Please destroy your old card as any treatment expenses will no longer be covered by the Department.

Telephone Allowance

Telephone allowance will be paid on 25 September 1997, together with your new 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) - $15.60
  • Married Rate - $7.80 each for service pensioner couples.

Your Obligations

Your obligations have been explained to you in previous advices; these obligations still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  When that change has been finalised, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Service Pension Review Officer at this office.  If you decide to apply you must do so within 3 months of being advised of this variation.  A request for review must be in writing and set out your reasons for seeking this review.

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 as

Delegate of the Secretary

INCOME AND ASSETS USED TO ASSESS YOUR PAYMENT

(Information current as at 8 September 1997)

You are both receiving service pension at less than the maximum rate payable.

The amount that you are both paid depends on your combined income and assets but does not include the home in which you live.  The pension is calculated under two separate tests: an income and an assets test.  The test that pays the lower rate of pension is the one that applies.

You are currently paid under the assets test.  The total of your fortnightly assessed income is $324.92.  The total of all your assets (excluding any deductible assets) is $219702.65.  Details of how your pension has been assessed are shown below.

Savings and Cheque Accounts

Description

Account Number

Asset Amount

Commonwealth Bank

111202

$800.00

National Australia Bank

222111

$1,000.00

IMPORTANT  We understand that balances in savings type accounts may fluctuate regularly.

Term Deposits and Other Accounts

Description

Account Number

Asset Amount

QLD Treasury

123123123

$10,000.00

Money Loaned

Description

Type

Asset Amount

AGC

DEBENTURE

$30,000.00

SALE ADV BANK SHARES

N/A

$19,400.00

Listed Securities and Unlisted Public Securities

Description

No. of Shares

Asset Amount

NATIONAL AUST. BANK - 50C ORDINARY FULLY PAID

2,395

$8,550.15

COMMONWEALTH BANK - $2.00 ORDINARY FULLY PAID

2,600

$42,328.00

COLES MYER LIMITED - 50C ORDINARY FULLY PAID

275

$687.50

NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK $1.00 ORDINARY FULLY PAID

2,100

$39,574.50

ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED - $1.00 ORDINARY FULLY PAID

4,375

$36,662.50

Note:  Income from financial assets is deemed.

Total Financial Assets

FINANCIAL ASSETS VALUE

DEEMED INTEREST RATE

DEEMED INCOME PER FORTNIGHT

$50,600.00

3%

$58.38

$138,602.65

5%

$266.54

$189,202.65

$324.92

What is Deemed Income?

For pension purposes, income from financial assets such as accounts with banks, building societies and credit unions, loans, bonds, debentures, gifts, shares, managed investments and bullion is deemed.  The value of all your financial assets are added together, and deemed interest rates are applied to calculate the income.

At present, deemed income is calculated as follows, regardless of the actual interest rates, on the total of all your financial assets:

$0 to $50,600at 3%

$50,600+at 5%

If your investments are earning more than the 3% and 5% deeming rates, this additional income will not affect the rate of your service pension.

Other Income and Assets

The following income and assets are those which do not have extended deeming applied to them but are still used to determine your rate of pension.

Home Assets

The asset and/or income values shown below are the amounts used for pension purposes.

  • Market value of household contents - $7,000.00

Miscellaneous Assets

  • Car - 1996 Ford Laser with a net market value of $18,000.00
  • Car - 1986 Calais Holden with a net market value of $5,500

Mock up 3

SINGLE VETERAN, REDUCED TO NIL RATE SP,

IN PAYMENT OF DP & PA, HAS MIs/SHARES

I/A LISTING WILL BE PRODUCED

AN EXAMPLE IS NOT ATTACHED (REFER PREVIOUS MOCK UP)

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

STATE OFFICE

AMP Place

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD

Postal Address:

BORIS LONDON

GPO Box 651 Brisbane  QLD  4001

28 PHANTOM PLACE

WEST END  QLD  4101

Telephone:

Metropolitan residents:  (07) 3223 8333

Country residents:   1800 113304

Interstate residents: 1800 777634

Facsimile:  (07) 3223 8585

8 September 1997

_

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX333333

Dear Mr London

I am writing to you about your service pension payment from Veterans' Affairs.

Payment Details

Your service pension has been reduced to nil because your income and/or assets exceed the limits that allow for payment of the pension.  The fortnightly rate of pension you will receive from 25 September 1997 is shown below.

Payments to BORIS LONDON

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENT

$XXX.xx

This is made up of :-

-   Disability pension

XXX.xx

-   Pharmaceutical allowance

X.xx

Consumer Price Index

A negative Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been reported for the period December 1996 to June 1997.  As a result, there will be no indexation of service pension rates.

Reassessment of Financial Assets

The asset values of listed shares and unit based managed investment products have been reassessed.  Details of your investments are listed in this advice.

Deemed Interest Rate Change

Effective 25 September 1997, a deemed income rate of 3% for amounts up to $30,400 ($50,600 per couple) and 5% for amounts over $30,400 ($50,600 per couple), will be used to work out income recorded for your financial assets.

This has resulted in a change to the income amounts used to work out your rate of service pension.

Fringe Benefits

As you are no longer eligible for a service pension, you no longer qualify for fringe benefits.  Please destroy your existing Pensioner Concession Card.

Your Right to Re-Apply

You may re-apply to have your service pension restored at any time if your income and/or assets fall below the limits that would allow for payment of the pension.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  When that change has been finalised, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Service Pension Review Officer at this office.  If you decide to apply you must do so within 3 months of being advised of this variation.  A request for review must be in writing and set out your reasons for seeking this review.

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 as

Delegate of the Secretary

Mock up 4

PENSIONER COUPLE, REDUCED RATE SP - REDUCTION TO NIL

INDEXATION, HAS MIs/SHARES, NO OTHER PAYMENT

I/A LISTING WILL BE PRODUCED

EXAMPLE HAS NOT BEEN ATTACHED (REFER MOCKUP 2)

Commonwealth Department of

Veterans' Affairs

STATE OFFICE

AMP Place

10 Eagle Street

Brisbane QLD

Postal Address:

DANIEL MORGAN

GPO Box 651 Brisbane  QLD  4001

ELIZABETH MORGAN

27 PARIS CLOSE

Telephone:

LYONS  ACT  2606

Metropolitan residents:  (07) 3223 8333

Country residents:   1800 113304

Interstate residents: 1800 777634

Facsimile:  (07) 3223 8585

25 September 1997

_

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX444444

Dear Mr and Mrs Morgan

I am writing to you about your service pension payment from Veterans' Affairs.

Payment Details

Your service pension has been reduced to nil because your income and/or assets exceed the limits that allow for payment of the pension.  This change to your fortnightly rate of pension applies from 25 September 1997.

Reassessment of Financial Assets

The asset values of listed shares and unit-based managed investment products have been reassessed.  Details of your investments are listed in the attachment.

Fringe Benefits

As you are no longer eligible for a service pension, you no longer qualify for fringe benefits.  Please destroy your existing Pensioner Concession Card.

Your Right to Re-Apply

You may re-apply to have your service pension restored at any time if your income and/or assets fall below the limits that would allow for payment of the pension.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  When that change has been finalised, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Service Pension Review Officer at this office.  If you decide to apply you must do so within 3 months of being advised of this variation.  A request for review must be in writing and set out your reasons for seeking this review.

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 as

Delegate of the Secretary