C19/2005 JUNE 2005 STATUTORY INCREASE - ADVICE LETTER, PAYMENT SUMMARY AND MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Departmental Instructions, 2005

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C19/2005 JUNE 2005 STATUTORY INCREASE - ADVICE LETTER, PAYMENT SUMMARY AND MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT

Document

DATE OF ISSUE: 14 June 2005

JUNE 2005 STATUTORY INCREASE - ADVICE LETTER, PAYMENT SUMMARY AND MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE PRODUCTION AND MAILOUT

Purpose of Instruction

This Departmental Instruction is to provide you with information about the processing arrangements for the June 2005 Statutory Increase (SI) advice letter, payment summary, and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate production and mailout.

John Stevens

A/g Branch Head

Income Support Branch

14 June 2005


Overview

Introduction

In June each year, the Department undertakes a bulk exercise to issue approximately 350,000 households with advice letters to persons in receipt of service pension, age pension including those in payment of Defence Force Income Support Supplement (DFISA) only, or income support supplement.  The majority of these letters will include payment summaries for the end of the financial year.

Standalone Payment Summaries and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates will also be issued at this time.

Significant Issues

The June 2005 mailout will incorporate the following events effective from 1st July 2005 for payday 7th July 2005.

  • Production of advice letters to all service pensioners, income support supplement recipients and age pensioners including those in payment of DFISA only;
  • Changes to pension rates, and allowances in line with adjustments to the Income Free Area and Assets Free Area thresholds;
  • Increase to the deeming thresholds – singles rate from $36,400 to $37,200 and couples rate from $60,600 to $62,000; 
  • Full Income and Assets will not be issued;
  • Full obligations will not be issued, however reference will be made in the body of the advice, to previous obligations issued;
  • All SP/AP/ISS pensioners will receive the Financial Obligations paragraph (including their Prescribed Rates) in their advice letter;
  • End of financial year payment summary production;
  • Standalone Payment Summaries ie., payment summaries sent without a covering letter – to be issued to those eligible pensioners who do not receive an advice letter;
  • The issuing of Standalone Payment Summaries to Centrelink DFISA clients;
  • Production of Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates (MLEC);
  • Advice to pensioners of any gain or loss of treatment eligibility; and
  • Payment of Telephone Allowance to those eligible.

Production of Advice Letters

Processing Weekend -

17/06/05 -

19/06/05

Processing is scheduled to run from Friday evening 17th June 2005 until Sunday, 19th June 2005 with any pension variations effective from 1st July 2005 for payday 7th July 2005.

Critical Dates

Processing period within DVA - (includes 'advices' processing).

Friday (pm) 17th June 2005 – Sunday (pm) 19th June 2004

Commence printing advice letters (SMS).

Tuesday, 21st June 2005

Progressive lodgement of all State's Advice Letters with Australia Post (SMS) to be completed by.

Friday, 1st July 2005

Letter Production

Security Mailing Services, Kingsgrove, Sydney will print the advice letters, add inserts and envelope them.  Production of letters is expected to occur over the period 21st June 2005 – 1st July 2005.

Lodgement of Letters

Letters will be progressively lodged with Australia Post for posting commencing Monday, 27th June 2005.  All letters are to be posted by Friday, 1st July 2005.

Letter Content

Letters

Prior to the issue of this Departmental Instruction, the June SI State Contact Officers, System Support Officers and Managers Income Support were provided with copies of the proposed paragraph sequencing and mock-ups of advice letters for this run.

A number of recommendations were received and have been taken into consideration for the final version of paragraphs and sequencing.

Copies of the expected advice letter content for this run are reproduced at Attachment A.

Single and Joint Advices

All service pensioners and income support supplement recipient couples will receive a joint advice, provided both members of a couple, including illness separated, have the same IMS address recorded.

Age Pensioners receive single advice letters.

Important to note: Staff are reminded that if a client in a joint assessment requests separate or single advices, staff need to update this information using PRODIMS - Client Correspondence Screen - CO.CO prior to the processing run to initiate the client request.  Advice default requests in CO.CO will override the DOCGEN advice rules.

Full Obligations - will NOT be Issued

Full Obligations will not be issued to any SP/ISS/AP recipients. However reference will be made in the body of the advice, to obligations issued previously, advising the client that ...'these obligations still apply.'

Financial Obligations including Prescribed Rates

The Financial Obligations paragraph (which includes prescribed rates information) will be present in the advices for all SP/ISS/AP pensioners.

Full Income and Assets Attachment

A listing of full Income and Assets will not be issued as part of this mailout.

Telephone Allowance

Pensioners entitled to a telephone allowance payment will receive a paragraph advising them about their quarterly payment and the date of that payment – 7 July 2005.  The TA paragraph will advise less than maximum rate pensioners who receive a Payment Information Attachment that ....'TA is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in the letter.'

The TA paragraph will advise those without a Payment Information Attachment ie., maximum rate pensioners ......'Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 7 July 2005, together with your pension payment.'

Non Taxable Pensioners

Those pensioners whose pensions are not taxable (eg, service pension on the grounds of permanent incapacity and under 65 years of age for males, 62.5 years for females) will receive an advice letter only – they will not receive a payment summary.

Where eligible, a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate (MLEC) will be issued separately to these clients advising them of the number of Medicare Levy exemption days.  A paragraph will print advising the client by name, that they will be receiving their MLEC separately.

Maximum Rate Clients - Nil Payment Information Attachments

SP/ISS/AP pensioners who remain on maximum rate following the processing, do not receive a Payment Information Attachment as part of their advice as they are considered to be continuation cases.

2005 PAYG Payment Summary -individual Non Business
  • Service Pension, or
  • AgePension or
  • DFISA or
  • Income Support Supplement

Payment summaries will be issued to all pensioners whose pensions are taxable.

Payment summaries can form part of the advice letter or may be sent without a covering letter.  Where a payment summary is sent without a covering letter, it is referred to as a 'Standalone Payment Summary'.

Payment summaries are sequenced to print after the Payment Information Attachment but before the General Information Sheet (GIS).  Each page of the advice letter, including the payment summary(s), has a page number printing in the footer information.

General Information Sheet (GIS)

Each letter will have a General Information Sheet (GIS).  The GIS will be sequenced to print after the payment summary - the GIS must be used as the consistent last page to enable the enveloping machines at the mailing house to identify the last page of each persons letter ie., gatemarking purposes.

Insert - 'Do You Need to Lodge a Tax Return?'

A 'pensioner flyer' produced by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), in conjunction with Centrelink and DVA will be included with all advice letters, Standalone Payment Summaries and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates issued in this exercise.  This flyer is designed to significantly reduce the number of queries the State Offices may receive about taxation matters.  The brochure is titled “Do you Need to lodge a Tax Return?”.

Each of the State Offices will be supplied with a quantity of the flyers for their information and to insert with the enclosure advices for clients with treatment changes, which are returned to the State Offices for sending.

Pensioners to Contact ATO with Taxation Questions

It is important for DVA staff to note that pensioners have been advised in their letters to contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 if they should have any questions about taxation.  Should pensioners ring DVA offices with questions relating to taxation matters – Staff should refer them to the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

DVA staff must not offer advice about taxation liability or the need to lodge a taxation return.

Information on Tax Thresholds in VIEW

The 'Senior Australians Tax Offset' and 'Pensioner Tax Offset' amounts are displayed in the 'Tax Thresholds Amounts' folder in the 'Fin year Certificate' tab in VIEW.  The 2004/2005 threshold amounts will be available from 10th June 2005.  Information about these thresholds is provided via the VIEW Online Help.

Standalone Payment Summaries

Standalone
Payment Summaries – sent without a covering letter

Standalone Payment Summaries - will be produced for the following categories:

  • Those persons issued with an Education Allowance Payment Summary;
  • Working Rule B Widows,
  •     Those pensioners who are no longer in payment and do not receive an advice but a payment summary for that part of the year for which they were in payment;
  •     Overseas addressees (for clients who were in payment for part of the year but are no longer in payment); and
  •     Centrelink clients in payment of DFISA.

The Standalone Payment Summaries for those listed above, apart from those payment summaries with an Overseas Address, are to be printed at the Mailing House and lodged with Australia Post directly from the mailing house.  This is a change to procedures from previous years where they have been returned to the State Offices for distribution.

Standalone Payment Summaries - Posted Directly to Clients from the Mailing House

For the end of financial year processing in June 2005, we will be producing Standalone Payment Summaries for Centrelink clients in payment of DFISA.  We expect there to be approximately 16,000 Standalone Payment Summaries for clients in this category.

All Standalone Payment Summaries, including Centrelink DFISA payment summaries are to be enveloped and lodged with Australia Post directly from the Mailing House - they will not be returned to each State Office for distribution as they have done in previous years.

Standalone Payment Summaries - Unknown Addressees

Standalone Payment Summaries will not be produced for clients with an 'unknown address' recorded.

Standalone Payment Summaries - Overseas Addressees

Standalone Payment Summaries for clients who reside overseas and who are no longer in payment will be printed at the mailing house and returned to each State Office for distribution.

Standalone Payment Summaries - For Deceased Clients

Standalone Payment Summaries for clients who have died during the financial year will not be printed at the mailing house.  The State Offices are able to request a re-print of a deceased client's payment summary when required from 1 July 2005.

Reports of Standalone Payment Summaries - to be Emailed to State Offices

A Standalone Payment Summary report is generated for each of the following categories:

Education Allowance;

Other;

Group Destination;

Overseas;

Unknown Address; and

Deceased.

A report file for each category about will be emailed in a zip file to each State Office contact officer.

Envelope Return Address if not Delivered - GPO Box 9998 in your Capital City

All States' Standalone Payment Summaries will be enveloped in a single window-faced envelope with a return address of GPO Box 9998 in your Capital City.

Payment Summary Reprint Facility - VIEW Advices Tab

From 1st July 2005, payment summaries for the 2004/2005 financial year may be generated using the 'Payment Summary Reprint' facility located under the Advices Tab in VIEW.

Please note: the 'year of issue' will not print in the payment summary heading for reprinted payment summaries requested from VIEW.  The 'Payment From' and 'Payment To' date range will accurately reflect the correct year/dates payment range.  The 'Authorising Person' will reflect the respective State's Deputy Commissioner, based on the date the reprint is requested.

Payment Summary Template

The June SI State Office contact officers will be provided with a 2005 Payment Summary Template.

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

(MLEC)

A Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate will be issued to those Gold Card beneficiaries who are not in receipt of a taxable income support pension and who do not receive an advice letter, ie,

  • War widows who do not receive income support supplement; or
  • Those veterans who are eligible for a gold card due to their disability entitlement, and are not in receipt of an income support payment or Centrelink DFISA; or
  • Those clients who are eligible for a gold card due to their entitlement under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA); or
  • Australian veterans with Qualifying Service and over 70 years of age, who are not in receipt of an income support payment; or
  • Those pensioners whose pensions are not taxable (eg, service pension on the grounds of permanent incapacity and under 65 years of age for males, 62.5 years for females).

The number of medicare levy exemption days, where applicable, will be stated on the payment summary for all other pensioners.

A sample of a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate, which has been revised in line with feedback received, can be found at Attachment B.

Medicare levy exemption days - blinded Income Support pensioners

Blind veterans and partners in receipt of an Income Support payment are eligible for full or half Medicare Levy exemption. The number of eligible exemption days will be printed on their Payment Summaries.

This affects approximately 660 clients.

Zip File of Reports Listing all MLEC Recipients and Clients with an Unknown Address Recorded

A report of all clients who receive a MLEC will be produced and emailed in a zip file to each State Office contact officer.

A MLEC will not be produced where a client has an 'unknown address' recorded.  However, a report will be produced and emailed in a zip file to all contact officers, listing those clients who are eligible to receive a MLEC but have an unknown address recorded.

MLEC Template

The June SI State Office contact officers will be provided with a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate (MLEC) word template for the re-issuing of MLECs when required.

Issues Requiring State Office Action

ZIP Files of Advice Schedule Reports

A Zip File listing details of all clients who receive an advice will be emailed to the System Support Officer in each State during the week following the processing run.  The Zip File replaces the Advices Schedule Report, which is too large to print on the State Office Printers.

Enclosure Letters

As is the procedure for quarterly processing Enclosure (treatment) advice letters will be printed at the IBM Printhub and sent via courier to each State Office.  It is suggested that these be checked for accuracy, and reconciled against the reports received by each State Office to ensure they reflect the correct treatment paragraphs.

'HELD' Advices to be Forced

As part of the Batch processing run all advices in 'Held' status will be forced to print.  Forced 'held' advices will now print in each respective State Office's nominated printer as part of the production run.  Please ensure your nominated printer is fully operational over the processing weekend as the forced advices will print during that time.  All forced advices will need to be checked to ensure the information in them is correct prior to posting.

Handling of Daily Advices

Cases processed prior to the SI run for payday 7th July 2005 should have the daily advice dispatched prior to the June advice letter being sent.

Daily payment advices processed after the processing run on 17th –19th June 2005 for payday 7th July 2005, should be held by the State Offices until confirmation is received from the June SI Business Co-ordinator to release such advices.  This will ensure that pensioners who have pension variations processed for payday 7th July 2005 will receive their daily advice after the quarterly advice rather than in advance of it.

To minimise the number of daily advices to be held while the June advices are processed, it is suggested that only manual cases (and essential processing) should be processed for payday 7th July 2005.

Reprints of June SI Advices using VIEW Advices Tab

Reprints of individual advice letters produced from the quarterly processing can be requested via VIEW - Advices Tab reprint facility.  Quarterly advice reprints are available and can be requested from day one of the next quarter ie., March quarterly advices from 01/04/yyyy, June quarterly advices from 01/07/yyyy and September quarterly advices from 01/10/yyyy.

Staff Requests for Reprints of Daily Advices - Pre-SI Processing

The 'Reprint' Scheduled jobs which produces the requested reprints of daily advices by State Office staff are postponed as part of the SI processing.  Any requests for an advice reprint on the day of the commencement of the SI processing will not be actioned until following the SI when the next 'Reprint' job is submitted.  'Unprinted' advice reprint requests will then print when the next 'Reprint' job is submitted.

Manual Advices Required – for PA only back onto payment of Service Pension

Following the June SI processing there may be some instances where clients have gone from payment of Pharmaceutical Allowance (PA) (MOA 99 cases) only, onto payment of Service Pension.

Following PIPS processing of these cases a 'new grant' advice with fringe benefits paragraphs and other related new grant information is produced.  A new grant advice does not convey the appropriate wording for this situation, and as such the PIPs advice should be suppressed and a manual advice produced.

State Office Contacts

State Office Contact Officers

NSW  - Genia Sacharczuk  - 02 9213 7106

VIC - David Price - 03 9284 6379

QLD - Steve Jensen/Roger Vickerstaff - 07 3223 8835

SA - Wanda Melnyczek - 08 8290 0425

WA - John Gliddon - 08 9366 8417

TAS - Bryon Kelly - 03 6221 6684

ACT – Paul Segrott - 02 6289 6493

National Office Contacts

Feedback from State Offices

Any concerns regarding letters produced as part of this run should be directed to the June SI Business Co-ordinator in National Office - Pat Webb.  At the end of this process we will be collating all State feedback to analyse any issues raised and develop solutions to address any concerns raised.  Any problems noted should be reported to the Business Co-ordinator, together with any background information detailing the issue.  Please ensure that any problems are reported as early as possible.

Contacts

Any queries regarding advice wording, data cartridges, mail house printing and letter lodgement should be referred to:

Pat Webb

(02) 9213 7288 (Phone) Speed dial: 27288

(02) 9213 7889 (Fax)

pat.webb@dva.gov.au (email)

ATTACHMENT A

JUNE 2005 SI PARAGRAPH CONTENT

Example 1:

  • SERVICE PENSION
  • SINGLE OUTCOME - VARIATION
  • ASSETS TESTED
  • JOINT ASSESSMENT
  • TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • TAXABLE
  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES ENCLOSED
  • GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET

Contact:

Telephone:State Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Postal Address:

JOHN SMITHGPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

MARY SMITHTelephone:

29 MARGARGET STREETGeneral inquiries: 133 254

IPSWICH   QLD   4010Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

Facsimile: (07) 32238585

18 June 2005

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr and Mrs SMITH,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been varied.  This change will take effect from 1 July 2005.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

Recent increases in the cost of living have been applied to the following income and assets limits for service pension:

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

  • Assets Value Limit - this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your service pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

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

For details on these changes please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2004/05 financial year Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for JOHN SMITH is enclosed with this letter.

Payment Summary for MARY SMITH is enclosed with this letter.

Medicare Levy Exemption

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare Levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for full or half Medicare Levy Exemption is shown on your Payment Summary.

You should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 if you have any questions about taxation.

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 7 July 2005, together with your pension payment.  Your telephone allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in the letter.  The current telephone allowance rates are:

Singles Rate - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $X.XX

World War I Veterans - $XX.XX


Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if you gain or dispose of any assets, or the value of your existing assets varies, or your total gross income from all sources increases above $XXX.XX per fortnight.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet 'You and Your Pension'.  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.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

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

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

As Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission


PAYMENT INFORMATION ATTACHMENT

The Department now calculates service pension payments on a daily basis.  This means that your fortnightly pension payment is made up of 14 days of entitlement of pension.  Therefore, when there is a change to your circumstances on any particular day in the fortnight - your pension will be adjusted from that day.  For that reason your pension payment may be different for one or two paydays after a reassessment.

Payment for 7 JULY 2005VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxxxxxx          xxxxxx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xx          xxx.xxxxx.xx          xxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx              x.xx

Payment for 21 JULY 2005VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxxxxxx         xxxxxx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xx          xxx.xxxxx.xx          xxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx              x.xx


2005 PAYG Payment Summary – Individual Non Business

Service Pension

Original

DVA File No: QX999999

Payer's ABN:

2396 4290 824

Tax File Number:               111 111 111

Payment From: 01/07/2004

Payment to:30/06/2005

DOB:  26/02/1971

Client's Name

1st Line of Client's Address

2nd Line of Client's Address

3rd Line of Client's Address

Gross payments:

$0.00

Medicare Levy

Full or Half

Exemption Days: 0

Remote Area

Allowance: $0.00

ThousandsHundredsTensUnits

Total tax withheld -

whole dollars only in wordsNILNILNILNIL

Total tax withheld (whole dollars)$0.00

Authorised Person:5

THIS BOX DOES NOT PRINT IN PRODUCTION VERSION

2005 PAYG Payment Summary – Individual Non Business

Service Pension

CLIENT COPY

DVA File No: QX999999

Payer's ABN:             2396 4290 824

Tax File Number:               111 111 111

Payment From: 01/07/2004

Payment to: 30/06/2005

DOB: 26/02/1971

Client's Name

1st Line of Client's Address

2nd Line of Client's Address

3rd Line of Client's Address

Gross payments:

$0.00

Medicare Levy

Exemption Days: 0

Remote Area

Allowance: $0.00

ThousandsHundredsTensUnits

Total tax withheld - NILNILNILNIL

whole dollars only in words

Total tax withheld (whole dollars)$0.00

Authorised Person:5

THIS BOX DOES NOT PRINT IN PRODUCTION VERSION

If you need to lodge a tax return, detach the ORIGINAL by cutting along the dotted line, and attach it to your tax return and keep the CLIENT COPY for your records.

See Notes On Reverse ?


Notes

  1. Total Tax Withheld

If you have an amount in this box you need to lodge a tax return. This ensures that you receive any refunds of tax you may be entitled to.

2. Gross payments

The 'Gross payments' shown on this statement does not include non-taxable payments such as pharmaceutical allowance, telephone allowance or disability pension. This is the amount you should show as income in your tax return.

3. Remote Area Allowance (RAA)

This amount is not taxable but if you need to lodge a tax return it will reduce any tax offset you may be entitled to.

4. Medicare Levy Exemption

The holders of Veterans' Affairs Gold treatment cards are eligible for a full or half exemption from the payment of the Medicare levy.  Where applicable, the number of Medicare levy full or half exemption days is shown on this form.  If you need to lodge a tax return the number of days shown will need to be stated at the relevant Medicare levy question.

5. Further assistance

If you have any taxation enquiries, particularly in relation to whether you qualify for a full or half Medicare levy exemption, read the Medicare levy section in TaxPack 2005 or Retirees TaxPack 2005, or call the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61. Pension enquiries should be directed to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The Australian Taxation Office checks information shown in tax returns against information provided by Veterans' Affairs.

Notes

1. Total tax withheld

If you have an amount in this box you need to lodge a tax return. This ensures that you receive any refunds of tax you may be entitled to.

2. Gross payments

The 'Gross payments' shown on this statement does not include non-taxable payments such as pharmaceutical allowance, telephone allowance or disability pension. This is the amount you should show as income in your tax return.

3. Remote Area Allowance (RAA)

This amount is not taxable but if you need to lodge a tax return it will reduce any tax offset you may be entitled to.

4. Medicare Levy Exemption

The holders of Veterans' Affairs Gold treatment cards are eligible for a full or half exemption from the payment of the Medicare levy.  Where applicable, the number of Medicare levy full or half exemption days is shown on this form.  If you need to lodge a tax return the number of days shown will need to be stated at the relevant Medicare levy question.

5. Further assistance

If you have any taxation enquiries, particularly in relation to whether you are qualify for a full or half Medicare levy exemption, read the Medicare levy section in TaxPack 2005 or Retirees TaxPack 2005, or call the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61. Pension enquiries should be directed to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The Australian Taxation Office checks information shown in tax returns against information provided by Veterans' Affairs.


This is an example of the General Information Sheet (GIS) for Service Pensioners that will be used in the June 2005 mailout.  There is a separate GIS for income support supplement and age pensioner recipients. Production printing of the GIS is restricted to one page – two images.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON SERVICE PENSION RATES AND LIMITS

(Information current as at T-ADVICE-PRINT-DATE )

MAXIMUM RATES OF SERVICE PENSION (excludes pharmaceutical allowance)

Singles Rate$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Couples Rate (each)$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

PENSION INCOME LIMIT (per fortnight)

Before Service Pension ReducesCut Off*

Singles Rate$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

PENSION ASSETS LIMIT

Pension Before Service ReducesCut Off*

Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XX$XX,XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XX$XX,XX

Non Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XX,XX

Couples Rate (combined)$XXX,XXX$XX,XX

These pension income and assets limits may increase for each dependent child or student up to the age of 22, or if rent assistance is payable.

NOTE: *Income and assets limits do not apply to blind service pensioners.

GOLD CARD INCOME AND ASSETS CUT OFF LIMITS

The treatment benefits income and assets limits apply to you if you are an Australian veteran or mariner whose eligibility for the Gold Card is dependent solely on your service pension payment.

INCOME

Singles Rate              $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Couples Rate (combined)              $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Add $XX.XX per fortnight for each dependent child or student to the age of 22.


ASSETS

Home OwnerNon Home Owner

Singles Rate$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Rate (combined)XXX.XXX$XXX,XXX

Add approximately $X,XXX for each dependent child or student up to the age of 22.

GOLD CARD INFORMATION

The Gold Card income and assets limits apply if you receive a disability pension below 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension.  Should your assessed income or assets exceed these limits you will no longer be eligible for the Gold Card.

The Gold Card income and assets limit do not apply if:

  • your disability pension is above 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension.  Should your service pension cease due to excess income and assets, you will no longer be eligible for a Gold Card;
  • you receive a disability pension at 100% of the general rate, Intermediate rate, EDA or TPI; or
  • you are aged 70 years or over and you are a veteran who served in Australia's Defence Force and have qualifying service from any conflict or you are an Australian Mariner with qualifying service from World War II.

DEEMING

Deeming assumes that any money you have invested in financial assets is earning a particular amount of income regardless of the actual amount earned.  The deeming rates are:

Singles

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $XX,XXX

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

Couples

Low Rate:- 3% interest up to the threshold of $XX,XXX

High Rate:- 5% interest for the remaining balance

ILLNESS SEPARATED COUPLES

Couples separated due to ill health are paid at the single rate of service pension, but have their income and assets assessed as a couple.

RENT ASSISTANCE

You may be eligible for rent assistance if you pay rent to a non-government body or landlord.  The amount of rent assistance you receive depends on the amount of rent you pay and your family circumstances.  Rent assistance is paid at the rate of 75 cents in the dollar for every dollar you pay over the set rent limits.

When calculating the amount of rent assistance payable, any disability pension received, is counted as income and may reduce the rate of rent assistance payable to you or your partner.

Maximum Amount of Rent Assistance Payable (per fortnight)

Singles Rate (no children)$XX.XX

Couples Rate (combined, no children)$XX.XX

Rent Thresholds (per fortnight)

Singles Rate (no children)$XX.XX

Couples Rate (combined, no children) $XXX.XX


Example 2:

  • SINGLE ASSESSMENT - AGE PENSION
  • DFISA IN PAYMENT
  • MULTIPLE OUTCOME
  • NIL TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • TAXABLE
  • PAYMENT SUMMARY ENCLOSED
  • GIS

Contact:

Telephone:State Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Postal Address:

MR FRED JOHNSTONGPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

17 EDWIN STREETTelephone:

IPSWICH   QLD   4010General inquiries: 133 254

Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

Facsimile: (07) 32238585

18 June 2005

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr JOHNSTON,

This is to advise you that your:

  • age pension has been increased.
  • Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) has varied.

This change will take effect from 1 July 2005.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

Recent increases in the cost of living have been applied to the following income and assets limits for age pension:

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

  • Assets Value Limit - this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your age pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

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

For details on these changes please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2004/05 financial year Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for MR FRED JOHNSTON is enclosed with this letter.

Medicare Levy Exemption

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare Levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for full or half Medicare Levy Exemption is shown on your Payment Summary.

If you were previously being paid by Centrelink, they will issue a Payment Summary to you separately.

You should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 if you have any questions about taxation.

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas) if your total gross income from all sources is more than $XXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your total assets is more than $XXX,XXX.XX.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters.  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.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this decision, you can contact your nearest Veterans' Affairs office and discuss the reasons for the decision.  If you remain dissatisfied, you may apply to have the decision reviewed by an Authorised Review Officer, with no prior involvement in the case.  If you decide to apply for a review more than 13 weeks from the day this notice is given to you, arrears can only be paid from the date we receive your application.  Requests for review may be made in person , by telephone or in writing.  The rate of DFISA paid to you is derived from your age pension assessment.  You may seek to have your age pension assessment reviewed if you are dissatisfied with your DFISA rate.

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

As Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS – in the Sequential Order of printing

  • Payment Information Attachment - YES
  • Payment Summary/s              - YES
  • General Information Sheet - YES


Example 3:

  • INCOME SUPPORT SUPPLEMENT
  • INCOME TESTED
  • MULTIPLE OUTCOMES
  • RENT ASSISTANCE IN PAYMENT
  • TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • PAYMENT SUMMARY ENCLOSED
  • GIS

Contact:

Telephone:State Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Postal Address:

MRS JOYCE MUNROEGPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

25 O'RYAN STREETTelephone:

IPSWICH   QLD  4010General inquiries: 133 254

Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

Facsimile: (07) 32238585

19 June 2005

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mrs MUNROE,

This is to advise you that your:

  • income support supplement has been varied.
  • rent assistance has been increased.

This change will take effect from 1 July 2005.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

Recent increases in the cost of living have been applied to the following income and assets limits for income support supplement:

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

  • Assets Value Limit - this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your income support supplement is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • 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 supplement.

For details on these changes please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2004/05 financial year Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for MRS JOYCE MUNROE is enclosed with this letter.

Medicare Levy Exemption

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare Levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for full or half Medicare Levy Exemption is shown on your Payment Summary.

You should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 if you have any questions about taxation.

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 7 July 2005, together with your pension payment.  Your telephone allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in the letter.  The current telephone allowance rates are:

Singles Rate - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $X.XX

World War I Veterans - $XX.XX

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if your total gross income from all sources is more than $X,XXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your total assets is more than $XXX,XXX.XX.


Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet 'You and Your Pension'. 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.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

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

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

as Delegate of Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment - YES
  • Payment Summary/s              - YES
  • General Information Sheet - YES


Example 4:

  • SERVICE PENSION  - JOINT ADVICE - (Both members-  Permanently Incapacitated)
  • INCOME TESTED - JOINT ASSESSMENT
  • SINGLE OUTCOME
  • TA IN PAYMENT
  • NON TAXABLE
  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES NOT ISSUED
  • MLEC ISSUED AND SENT SEPARATELY
  • GIS

Contact:

Telephone:State Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Postal Address:

MR PHILLIP ADAMSGPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

MRS PATRICIA ADAMSTelephone:

6 BOURKE STREETGeneral inquiries: 133 254

IPSWICH   QLD   4010Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

Facsimile: (07) 32238585

18 June 2005

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr and Mrs ADAMS,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been varied.  This change will take effect from 1 July 2005.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

Recent increases in the cost of living have been applied to the following income and assets limits for service pension:

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

  • Assets Value Limit - this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your service pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

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

For details on these changes please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Payment Information

Details of your payments are provided in the Payment Information Attachment.

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate

A Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate showing the number of days MR PHILLIP ADAMS is eligible for full or half Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate will be issued separately.

Telephone Allowance

Your quarterly telephone allowance will be paid on 7 July 2005, together with your pension payment.  Your telephone allowance is a separate payment and is not included in your total fortnightly payment information referred to in the letter.  The current telephone allowance rates are:

Singles Rate - $XX.XX

Couples Rate (each) - $X.XX

World War I Veterans - $XX.XX

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if your combined gross income from all sources is more than $X,XXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your combined assets is more than $XXX,XXX.XX.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet 'You and Your Pension'. 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.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.


Your Right of Review

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

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

as Delegate of Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment - YES
  • Payment Summary/s              - NO
  • Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate sent separately - YES
  • General Information Sheet - YES


Example 5:

  • SERVICE PENSION
  • ASSETS TESTED
  • SINGLE OUTCOME
  • JOINT ASSESSMENT - BOTH MEMBERS HAVE SAME ADDRESS RECORDED = JOINT ADVICE
  • ILLNESS SEPARATED - RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE
  • NIL TELEPHONE ALLOWANCE IN PAYMENT
  • TAXABLE
  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES ENCLOSED
  • GIS

Contact:

Telephone:State Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

Postal Address:

MR ROBERT MURDOCHGPO Box 651 Brisbane Qld 4001

MRS JOY MURDOCHTelephone:

12 JEFFERSON STREETGeneral inquiries: 133 254

IPSWICH   QLD   4010Non-metropolitan callers: 1800 555 254

Dialling from interstate: 1800 13 1945

Facsimile: (07) 32238585

19 June 2004

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX123456

Dear Mr and Mrs MURDOCH,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been varied.  This change will take affect from 1 July 2005.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

Recent increases in the cost of living have been applied to the following income and assets limits for service pension:

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

  • Assets Value Limit - this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your service pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

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

For details on these changes please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2004/05 financial year Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for MR ROBERT MURDOCH is enclosed with this letter.

Payment Summary for MRS JOY MURDOCH is enclosed with this letter.

Medicare Levy Exemption

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare Levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for full or half Medicare Levy Exemption is shown on your Payment Summary.

You should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 if you have any questions about taxation.

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if your combined income from all sources increases above $XX,XXX,XX per fortnight or your combined assets, exceed $XXX,XXX.XX.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet 'You and Your Pension'.  These obligations still apply.

Residential Aged Care Fees

The Department of Veterans' Affairs will advise the Department of Health and Ageing of changes to your income that may affect the amount of residential care fee you pay.


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.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalised This normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

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

If you have any questions about matters concerning Income Support issues you should contact our Income Support Staff on 1300 550 452.  For any other inquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID MACKRELL

Deputy Commissioner

As Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment - YES
  • Payment Summary/s              - YES
  • General Information Sheet - YES


ATTACHMENT B

MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE

Medicare Levy Exemption

Dear Beneficiary

Please find below your Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate.  This Certificate shows the number of days you were eligible for full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare Levy.  This exemption applies, as you were eligible for full treatment at the expense of the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Please note: If you lodge an income tax return YOU DO NOT NEED TO ATTACH this Certificate to your tax return.  However, you should retain the Certificate for your records.  If you need to lodge a tax return, the number of days you were eligible for full or half exemption will need to be stated against the relevant question on your tax return.

If you have any enquiries about the number of days, please contact your nearest DVA office.

If you have any enquiries about whether you are fully or half exempt from the payment of Medicare levy, read TaxPack 2005 or Retirees TaxPack 2005, or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

Yours faithfully

Deputy Commissioner

IF YOU LODGE AN INCOME TAX RETURN, YOU DO NOT NEED TO ATTACH THIS CERTIFICATE TO YOUR TAX RETURN.  PLEASE RETAIN THIS SHEET FOR YOUR RECORDS.

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate

Your File No is:  QKM77734

The number of days you are eligible for a full or half Medicare Levy Exemption during

2004/2005 is: 365

BERYL J. SMITHERS

43 PORT ARTHUR STREET

BURTENGARY  QLD   4045