C10/2011 June 2011 Statutory Increase Processing - Production and Mailout of Advice Letters with Payment Summaries, Standalone Payment Summaries (Issued without a Covering Letter), and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Departmental Instructions, 2011

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C10/2011 June 2011 Statutory Increase Processing - Production and Mailout of Advice Letters with Payment Summaries, Standalone Payment Summaries (Issued without a Covering Letter), and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  16 June 2011

June 2011 Statutory Increase Processing – Production and Mailout of Advice Letters with Payment Summaries, Standalone Payment Summaries (Issued without a Covering Letter), and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

Amends DI No.

N/A

Replaces DI No.

N/A

Purpose of Instruction

This Departmental Instruction is to provide information about the processing arrangements for the June 2011 Statutory Increase (SI) processing of advice letters with payment summaries, Standalone Payment Summaries (issued without a covering letter), and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate production and mailout.

John Sadeik

National Manager

Income Support

16 June 2011

Introduction

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

A new paragraph to explain the work bonus changes will be added to the June SI advice for clients whose pensions have been varied by the work bonus changes.

Standalone Payment Summaries (issued without a covering letter) and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates will also be issued at this time.

The estimated number of mailpacks are given at Attachment A.

Work Bonus changes effective from 28 June 2011

The changes include:

  •   work bonus discount will apply to all of the first $250 of fortnightly employment income, instead of the current discount rate of 50% for the first $500;
  •   unused fortnightly work bonus can be accrued in a work bonus bank, to a maximum amount of $6,500;
  •   accrued amount in the work bonus bank can be used to offset employment income that exceeds the $250 p/f discount;
  •   the change is to be applied from 28 June 2011, being day 1 of the pay period that includes 1 July 2011.

New Paragraph

Clients whose pension have been varied because of the revised work bonus discount will get an additional paragraph in the June quarterly advice, as shown below:

Employment Income

There has been a change to the work bonus from 28 June 2011.

Under the new work bonus discount rules, the first $250.00 per fortnight of your employment income is disregarded under the pension income test.  Previously only half of the first $500.00 was disregarded.

Your employment income assessment details are set out below.  If the Gross Income figure below does not reflect your actual rate of income from employment you should contact the Department.

Employment Income

Description

Gross Income

ABCD Company

$187.00

XYZ Accountants

$324.00

Employment Deductions

Deduction Type

Deduction

Work bonus discount

$187.00

Work bonus discount

$250.00

Assessable Employment Income - $74.00 per fortnight.

If you do not use all of the $250.00 work bonus discount because you have employment income of less than $250.00 per fortnight, the unused work bonus discount will be credited to a work bonus bank each fortnight.  The maximum amount you can accrue in your work bonus bank is $6,500.00.  Any credit in your work bonus bank will be used to offset your employment income if your employment income increases to above $250.00 per fortnight.

Significant Issues

The June 2011 mailout will incorporate the following events for payday 14 July 2011.

  •   Production of advice letters to all service pensioners, income support supplement recipients and age pensioners including those being paid DFISA only;
  •   Clients who are of qualifying or pension age, have employment income of less than $500 p/f, are assessed as non-transitional and whose pension rates have been varied by the work bonus changes will get an additional paragraph in the advice;
  •   Adjustment of pension rates in accordance with adjustments to the Income Free Area, Assets Free Area and Deeming Thresholds;
  •   Full Income and Assets will not be issued;
  •   Full Obligations will not be issued;
  •   A Financial Obligations paragraph, which includes the prescribed rates, will be present in the advices for all clients, EXCEPT service pensioners and income support supplement recipients who are reduced to nil.  Age pensioners who are reduced to nil, but eligible for payment of DFISA will receive the Financial Obligations paragraph including their prescribed rates;
  •   The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) insert – 'Do you need to lodge a tax return?' will only be issued to clients being paid at less than the maximum rate of income support pension, and to those receiving a Standalone Payment Summary (without a covering letter) or a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate;
  •   End of Financial Year Payment Summary production;
  •   Standalone Payment Summaries, i.e. payment summaries sent without a covering letter, will be issued to clients who received some taxable payment during the financial year but do not receive an advice letter, e.g. Centrelink DFISA clients or clients no longer in payment of income support pension;
  •   Production of Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates (MLEC); and
  •   Advice to pensioners of any gain or loss of treatment eligibility.

Maintenance of IS Advices System

Several amendments to the automatic advices system are implemented in the June 2011 release:

  •   Updated War Widow's Guild contact phone number that appears on the Ex-Service Organisations attachment to Death Processing System (DPS) advices;
  •   Inactivated all the Event Details paragraphs that form part of a PIPS daily advice if selected – it is widely agreed that this attachment is hard to understand and is likely to cause confusion.  Income Support Management has approved termination of its production.  The facility to select Full Event Details in PIPS Advice Screen will also be removed in due course.

Production of Advice Letters

Processing Weekend
17/06/2011 –
19/06/2011

Processing is scheduled to run from Friday evening, 17 June 2011 to Sunday, 19 June 2011.

Any pension variations resulting from this exercise will be effective from 1 July 2011 for payday 14 July 2011.

Critical Dates

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

Friday (pm) 17 June 2011 – Sunday (pm) 19 June 2011

Commence printing advice letters with payment summaries, Standalone Payment Summaries and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates (MLEC)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Progressive lodgment of all Advice Letters, Standalone Payment Summaries and MLECs with Australia Post

Commencing from Monday , 27 June 2011 and completed by COB Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Letter Production

Computershare, located in Ermington, New South Wales will print the advice letters, Standalone Payment Summaries and MLECs, insert the ATO flyers where applicable, envelope and lodge all mail with Australia Post.

Lodgment of Letters

Letters will be progressively lodged with Australia Post commencing Monday, 27 June 2011.  All letters are to be posted by COB Wednesday, 29 June 2011.

A proposed lodgement plan has been included at Attachment B for reference.  Regular updates on progress of the printing and lodgement will be provided to confirm if there are any variations to the lodgement dates.

Letter Content

Letters

Prior to the issue of this Departmental Instruction, comments were sought from staff in each location who were provided with copies of the proposed paragraph sequencing and mock-ups of advice letters for this run.

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

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 the illness separated, have the same IMS postal 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 the mainframe PRODIMS  – Client Correspondence (CO.CO) Screen prior to the processing run to initiate the client request.  Advice default requests in CO.CO will override the DOCGEN advice rules.

Full Obligations & Full Income and Assets will NOT be issued

Neither Full Obligations nor Full Income and Assets will be issued to SP/ISS/AP recipients.

This is in line with the Repatriation Commission policy that:

  •   pensioners receiving pension at less than the maximum rate be provided with their Full Obligations and Full Income and Assets every two years – Full Obligations and Full Income and Assets were last issued to this group in June 2010; and
  •   pensioners receiving the maximum rate of pension are required to be provided with their Full Obligations at a minimum interval of once every five years – Full Obligations were last issued to this client group in June 2008, with the date of next issue expected to be June 2013.  Full Income and Assets are not required to be issued to this client group.

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, except service pensioners and income support supplement recipients who are reduced to nil. Age pensioners who are reduced to nil but eligible for payment of DFISA will receive the Financial Obligations paragraph including the prescribed rates.

Payment Information Attachment

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

SP/ISS/AP pensioners whose pension rates have varied following the processing will receive a Payment Information Attachment.

Tasmanian Office Clients with Overseas Postal Address

Advice letters for Tasmanian Office clients with an overseas postal address will have their advices printed and posted directly from the Mailing House.

Non Taxable Pensioners

Pensioners whose pensions are not taxable (eg, those in payment of invalidity service pension and who are under 65 years of age for males, 64 years for females) will receive an advice letter without a payment summary.

If eligible, a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate (MLEC) will be issued separately to advise them of the number of Medicare Levy exemption days.

A paragraph will advise the client by name, that they will be receiving their MLEC separately.

PAYG Payment Summary -individual Non Business
Service Pension,
Age Pension
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 before the General Information Sheet (GIS).  Each page of the advice letter, including the payment summaries, has a page number printing in the footer information.

General Information Sheet (GIS)

Each advice letter, except those for overseas pensioners, will have a General Information Sheet (GIS).  The GIS provides details of payment rates, income and asset thresholds, deeming rates and thresholds, treatment thresholds, rent assistance rates and other payment information.  There will be a separate GIS for clients assessed under the transitional rules and for those assessed under the non-transitional rules because different rates and thresholds apply.

Because some components of the pension supplement (pension supplement non-taxable and pension supplement flexible) are not payable to overseas pensioners, the information provided on the GIS is not applicable to them.  For this reason, overseas pensioners will not be issued with the GIS to avoid confusion.

ATO insert – Do you need to lodge a tax return?'

A 'pensioner flyer' produced by the ATO titled “Do you need to lodge a tax return?” will only be included in the advice letters produced for those in payment of less than the maximum rate of Income Support pension, those being issued a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate (MLEC) or a Standalone Payment Summary.

The flyer will not be sent to those clients being paid at the maximum rate of income support pension.

Each location will be supplied with a quantity of the flyers to insert with their Enclosures (treatment changes) or Reduction to Nil advice letters which will print at each location for checking prior to dispatch.

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 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.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  DVA staff must not offer advice about taxation liability or the need to lodge a tax 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 2010/2011 threshold amounts will be available in VIEW from 1 July 2011.  Additional information about these thresholds is provided via VIEW Online Help.

Standalone Payment Summaries (issued without a covering letter)

Standalone
PAYG
Payment Summaries – sent without a covering letter

Standalone Payment Summaries will be produced for the following categories:

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

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

All Standalone Payment Summaries, with the exception for overseas addressees listed above, are to be printed and enveloped at the Mailing House, and lodged with Australia Post directly from the Mailing House.

In June 2010, DVA issued 17,724 Standalone Payment Summaries.

Standalone Payment Summaries - Overseas Addressees

Standalone Payment Summaries for clients who reside overseas and who are no longer in payment will not be printed at the mailing house.  A zip file of each Standalone Payment Summary category will be emailed to each location contact officer.  It lists the clients who reside overseas who are to receive a Standalone Payment Summary.  Staff should request a re-print for those overseas clients listed on the report and send their Standalone Payment Summary directly to them.

Standalone Payment Summaries - Unknown Addressees

Where a client has an 'unknown address' recorded, a Standalone Payment Summary will not be produced.  A listing of clients with an 'unknown address' will be provided to each office.

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.  Staff will be able to request a re-print of a deceased client's payment summary when required from 1 July 2011.

Reports of Standalone Payment Summaries

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

MRCA Education Allowance;

Education Allowance;

Other;

Group Destination;

Overseas;

Unknown Address; and

Deceased.

A report file for each category will be emailed in a zip file to the contact officer in each location.

Return Address if not Delivered

All Standalone Payment Summaries sent from the Mailing House 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 1 July 2011, payment summaries for the 2010/2011 financial year may be re-generated using the 'Payment Summary Reprint' facility located under the Advices Tab in VIEW.

Payment Summary Template

The June SI Income Support contact officers will be provided with a 2011 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
  •   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
  •   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
  •   pensioners whose pensions are not taxable (eg, those in payment of invalidity service pension who are under 65 years of age for males, 64 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 the Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate to be issued in 2011 can be found at Attachment D.

Medicare levy exemption – blind pensioners

Blind pensioners 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.

Zip File of MLEC Reports

A report of all clients who receive a MLEC will be produced and emailed in a zip file to the nominated 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 location contact officers will be provided with a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate (MLEC) word template for manual re-issuing of MLECs if required.

Issues Requiring Staff Action

ZIP Files of Advice Schedule Reports

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

Enclosure (Treatment change) Advice Letters

Following the June SI processing, the Enclosure (treatment change) letters will be printed at the nominated printer at each location.

It is requested that the streamed advice letters be checked for accuracy, and reconciled against the reports received in each location to ensure they reflect the correct treatment paragraphs.

If any advice with incorrect treatment information is found, please consult with the Income Support System Support Officers to ensure correct information is provided in the manual replacement advice.

Reduction to Nil Letters

Following the June SI processing, any Reduction to Nil advice letters will be printed at the nominated printer for each location.  Staff are required to include a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) claim form, a CSHC fact sheet and a reply paid envelope.

'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 print at the nominated printer in each respective location as part of the production run.  All forced advices will need to be checked to ensure the content of the advices is correct prior to posting to clients.

Handling of Daily Advices

Cases processed prior to the SI run should have the daily advice dispatched prior to the June advice letter being sent.

Daily advices processed after the cutoff date of 17 June 2011 should be held by staff in each location until confirmation is received from the June SI Business Co-ordinator to release such advices.  This will ensure that pensioners receive their advices in chronological order.

Reprints of June SI Advices via 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 produce the requested reprints of daily advices by 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 after the SI run when the next 'Reprint' job is submitted.  'Unprinted' advice reprint requests will then print when the next 'Reprint' job is submitted.

DVA Income Support Contact Officers

DVA – Income Support Contact Officers

A contact person from each location acts as a liaison point for the Advices Team, and to assist with handling of streamed advices printed at each nominated location printers.

The Income Support (IS) Contacts for the June 2011 quarterly processing exercise are as follows:

NSWGenia Sacharczuk

VICArthur Morihovitis

QLDStephen Hamill

SAMaria Nasilowski

WAMichelle Pauly

TASBryon Kelly

Cards & Advices Team Contacts

Feedback from Staff

Any concerns regarding letters produced as part of this run should be directed to the June SI Project Officer Anissa Lam on 02 9213 7169.  Please ensure that any problems are reported without delay.

Contact Details

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

Anissa Lam

(02) 9213 7169 or Speed Dial 27169

Email: anissa.lam@dva.gov.au


ATTACHMENT A

HOUSEHOLDS TO RECEIVE JUNE SI ADVICES, PAYMENT SUMMARIES AND MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES

APPROXIMATES BASED ON 2010 STATISTICS

STATE

JOB 1 –LMAX

JOB 2 –MAX

JOB 3 –OS

Total no of letters (Job 1, 2 & 3)

JOB 4 –SAPS

JOB 5 –

MLEC

NSW

18413

48026

-

66439

5744

20772

VIC

13355

31960

-

45315

4111

13241

QLD

12395

26544

-

38939

4664

14752

SA

8872

19394

-

28266

1289

4822

WA

6636

11983

-

18619

1500

5615

TAS

2179

5004

693

7876

416

1760

TOTAL

61850

142911

693

205454

17724

60962


ATTACHMENT B

2011 June SI

Proposed lodgement plan for mailpacks produced by the mailing house

Items produced include:

  • Advice letter, including payment summary, for less than maximum rate (LMAX) pensioners
  • Advice letter, including payment summary, for maximum rate (MAX) pensioners
  • Standalone payment summary for clients who are no longer in payment but have received a taxable pension during the financial year
  • Medicare levy exemption certificate for clients who are entitled to Medicare levy exemption but do not receive a payment summary

The volume of mailpacks shown below are indicative numbers only, based on 2010 mailout statistics

LMAX advice

MAX advice

Other

Approx no

State

Approx no

State

Approx no

Mon

27 June

WA

QLD

TAS OS

6636

12395

693

WA

SA

VIC

TAS

11983

19394

31960

5004

Total

19724

Total

68341

Tue

28 June

VIC

13355

QLD

NSW

26544

48026

SAPS

17724

Total

13355

Total

74570

Total

17724

Wed

29 June

SA

TAS

NSW

8872

2179

18413

MLEC

60962

Total

29464

Total

60962


ATTACHMENT C

JUNE 2011 SI PARAGRAPH CONTENT

Example 1:

  • SERVICE PENSION
  • LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE – VARIATION (INCREASE)
  • ASSETS TESTED
  • JOINT ASSESSMENT
  • TAXABLE
  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES ENCLOSED
  • GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET (GIS) ENCLOSED

GPO Box 9998, Brisbane  QLD  4001

Contact:

Telephone:Brisbane Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

123 456 789  044Postal Address:

JOHN SMITHGPO Box 9998 Brisbane Qld 4001

MARY SMITHTelephone:

123 SAMPLE STREETCapital city callers: 133 254

MODELTOWN  QLD  4010Non-capital city callers: 1800 555 254

Facsimile: (07) 3223 8479

20 June 2011

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX000000

Dear Mr and Mrs SMITH,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been increased.  This change will take effect from 1 July 2011.

Payment Information

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

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.

Issue of 2010/2011 Financial Year Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2010/2011 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.

If you are unsure as to whether you are required to lodge a tax return or if you have any questions about taxation matters you should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

Department of Veterans' Affairs' staff are unable to assist with taxation enquiries.

Medicare Levy Exemption

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

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 combined existing assets varies, or your combined 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 regarding Income Support issues you should contact us on 1300 550 452 (Capital city callers) or 1800 550 452 (Non-Capital city callers).  For any other enquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

ALISON STANLEY

Deputy Commissioner

as Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission


PAYMENT INFORMATION ATTACHMENT

The Department calculates 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 14 JULY 2011VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx

Payment for 28 JULY 2011VeteranPartner

TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx

This is made up of:

- xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx

- xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx

Please Note: If you have an overpayment or lump sum advance which is currently being recovered (by deductions from your fortnightly pension), the amount paid into your account may be less than the total fortnightly payment shown above.


GPO Box 9998  in your Capital City

JOHN SMITH

123 SAMPLE STREET

MODELTOWN  QLD  4010

PAYG PAYMENT SUMMARY

INDIVIDUAL NON BUSINESS

Service Pension

Payment Summary for the year ending 30 June 2011

Payee details

JOHN SMITH

123 SAMPLE STREET

MODELTOWN  QLD 4010

DVA reference number: QX000000

Period of payment: 01/07/10 to 30/06/11

Payee's tax file number: 444 444 444

TOTAL TAX WITHHELD: $X.XX

Gross payments: $X,XXX.XX

Medicare levy

full or half exemption days: XXX

Remote area allowance: $XX.XX

Payer details

Payer's ABN or withholding number: 2396 4290 824

Payer's name: Department of Veterans' Affairs

Signature of authorised person: ALISON STANLEY

Date: 20/06/11

See notes on reverse.


Notes:

Total tax withheld: If this payment summary shows an amount in

the total tax withheld field you must lodge a tax return. This ensures

that you receive any refunds of tax you may be entitled to. If no tax

was withheld you may still have to lodge a tax return.

Gross payments: This is the amount you should show as income in

your tax return. The gross payments shown on this payment summary

does not include non taxable payments such as disability pension.

Remote area allowance: 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.

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 payment

summary. If you need to lodge a tax return the number of days shown

will need to be stated at the relevant Medicare levy question.

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, or Short

tax return instructions for the relevant financial year, or call the

Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm

Monday to Friday or visit www.ato.gov.au . Pension enquiries

should be directed to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The Australian Tax Office checks information shown in tax returns

against information provided by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.


Example of the General Information Sheet (GIS) for Service Pensioners (non-transitional).

There is a separate GIS for income support supplement and age pension recipients.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON SERVICE PENSION RATES AND LIMITS

(Information current as at 1 July 2011)

MAXIMUM RATES OF SERVICE PENSION (including pension supplement)

Singles Rate$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

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

PENSION INCOME LIMIT (per fortnight)

Income Free AreaCut Off

Singles Limit$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

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

INCOME TEST:  Pension rate is reduced by 50 cents for each dollar of income above the income free area.

PENSION ASSETS LIMIT

Assets Free AreaCut Off

Home Owner

Singles Limit$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Non Home Owner

Singles Limit$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

ASSETS TEST:  Pension rate is reduced by 37.5 cents for every $250 of assets above the assets free area.

NOTE:

  • Income and assets limits do not apply to blinded service pensioners.
  • Higher income and assets cut off limits may apply if rent assistance is payable.
  • Both income and assets tests are applied to work out a pension rate.  The rate of pension paid is the lower of the two.

GOLD CARD INFORMATION

The Gold Card income and assets limits shown below do not apply if:

  • your disability pension is above 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension (including pension supplement).  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.

The Gold Card income and assets limits shown below apply if:

  • you receive a disability pension below 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension; or
  • you are an Australian veteran or mariner whose eligibility for the Gold Card is dependent solely on your service pension payment.

GOLD CARD INCOME CUT OFF LIMITS

Singles Limit              $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

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

GOLD CARD ASSETS CUT OFF LIMITS

Home OwnerNon Home Owner

Singles Limit$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

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:

SinglesLow Rate:- x% interest up to the threshold of $xx,xxx

High Rate:- y% interest for the remaining balance

CouplesLow Rate:- x% interest up to the threshold of $xx,xxx

High Rate:- y% interest for the remaining balance

ILLNESS SEPARATED COUPLES

Couples separated due to ill health are paid 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.  Rent assistance is not payable if you reside in a government funded (approved) nursing home, or in government funded housing.

The amount of rent assistance you received 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.

Maximum Amount of Rent Assistance Payable (per fortnight)

No children1-2 children3 or more children

Singles Rate$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

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

Rent Limit (per fortnight)

No children1-2 children3 or more children

Singles Limit$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

GIFTING

A gift is an asset which is given away or disposed of without receiving the market value of that gift in return.  A gift may be either a cash amount or non cash assets such as a car or other property.

You must notify us if you give away a total of $10,000 or more in a tax year or $30,000 over a rolling five-year period.

The amount above either limit will continue to be counted as if it were still your asset for a period of 5 years and may therefore continue to affect your pension.  We will also deem income on the value of any gift above either limit for 5 years.


Example of the General Information Sheet (GIS) for transitional rate Service Pensioners.

There is a separate GIS for income support supplement and age pension recipients.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON SERVICE PENSION RATES AND LIMITS

(Information current as at 1 July 2011)

MAXIMUM RATES OF SERVICE PENSION (transition rate)

Singles Rate$XXX.XX (per fortnight)

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

PENSION INCOME LIMIT (per fortnight)

Income Free AreaCut Off

Singles Limit$XXX.XX$X,XXX.XX

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

INCOME TEST:  Pension rate is reduced by 40 cents for each dollar of income above the income free area.

PENSION ASSETS LIMIT

Assets Free AreaCut Off

Home Owner

Singles Limit$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Non Home Owner

Singles Limit$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

ASSETS TEST:  Pension rate is reduced by 37.5 cents for every $250 of assets above the assets free area.

NOTE:

  • Income and assets limits do not apply to blinded service pensioners.
  • Income limits may increase for each dependent child or student up to the age of 22, or if rent assistance is payable.
  • Both income and assets tests are applied to work out a pension rate.  The rate of pension paid is the lower of the two.

GOLD CARD INFORMATION

The Gold Card income and assets limits shown below do not apply if:

  • your disability pension is above 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension (including pension supplement).  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.

The Gold Card income and assets limits shown below apply if:

  • you receive a disability pension below 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension; or
  • you are an Australian veteran or mariner whose eligibility for the Gold Card is dependent solely on your service pension payment.

GOLD CARD INCOME CUT OFF LIMITS

Singles Limit              $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

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

GOLD CARD ASSETS CUT OFF LIMITS

Home OwnerNon Home Owner

Singles Limit$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX,XXX$XXX,XXX

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:

SinglesLow Rate:- x% interest up to the threshold of $xx,xxx

High Rate:- y% interest for the remaining balance

CouplesLow Rate:- x% interest up to the threshold of $xx,xxx

High Rate:- y% 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.  Rent assistance is not payable if you reside in a government funded (approved) nursing home, or in government funded housing.

The amount of rent assistance you received 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.

Maximum Amount of Rent Assistance Payable (per fortnight)

No children1-2 children3 or more children

Singles Rate$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

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

Rent Limit (per fortnight)

No children1-2 children3 or more children

Singles Limit$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

Couples Limit (combined)$XXX.XX$XXX.XX$XXX.XX

GIFTING

A gift is an asset which is given away or disposed of without receiving the market value of that gift in return.  A gift may be either a cash amount or non cash assets such as a car or other property.

You must notify us if you give away a total of $10,000 or more in a tax year or $30,000 over a rolling five-year period.

The amount above either limit will continue to be counted as if it were still your asset for a period of 5 years and may therefore continue to affect your pension.  We will also deem income on the value of any gift above either limit for 5 years.


Example 2:

  • SERVICE PENSION RATE HAS VARIED
  • INCOME TESTED
  • JOINT ASSESSMENT
  • TAXABLE
  • WORK BONUS DISCOUNT AMOUNT HAS VARIED (this change affects clients with less than $500 p/f employment income, with discount apply to all of the first $250 p/f of gross employment income)
  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES ENCLOSED
  • GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET (GIS) ENCLOSED

GPO Box 9998, Brisbane  QLD  4001

Contact:

Telephone:Brisbane Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

123 456 789  044Postal Address:

JOHN SMITHGPO Box 9998 Brisbane Qld 4001

MARY SMITHTelephone:

123 SAMPLE STREETCapital city callers: 133 254

MODELTOWN  QLD  4010Non-capital city callers: 1800 555 254

Facsimile: (07) 3223 8479

20 June 2011

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX000000

Dear Mr and Mrs SMITH,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been increased.  This change will take effect from 1 July 2011.

Payment Information

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

Employment Income

There has been a change to the work bonus from 28 June 2011.

Under the new work bonus discount rules, the first $250.00 per fortnight of your employment income is disregarded under the pension income test.  Previously only half of the first $500.00 was disregarded.

Your employment income assessment details are set out below.  If the Gross Income figure below does not reflect your actual rate of income from employment you should contact the Department.

Employment Income

Owner

Description

Gross Income

Veteran

XXXX XX XXXXXXX

$XXX.XX

Spouse

XXXXXXXXX

$XXX.XX

Employment Income Deductions

Owner

Deduction Type

Deduction

Veteran

Work Bonus Discount

$XXX.XX

Spouse

Work Bonus Discount

$XXX.XX

  • Assessable Employment Income - $XXX.XX per fortnight.

If you do not use all of the $250.00 work bonus discount because you have employment income of less than $250.00 per fortnight, the unused work bonus discount will be credited to a work bonus bank each fortnight.  The maximum amount you can accrue in your work bonus bank is $6,500.00.  Any credit in your work bonus bank will be used to offset your employment income if your employment income increases to above $250.00 per fortnight.

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.

Issue of 2010/2011 Financial Year Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2010/2011 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.

If you are unsure as to whether you are required to lodge a tax return or if you have any questions about taxation matters you should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

Department of Veterans' Affairs' staff are unable to assist with taxation enquiries.

Medicare Levy Exemption

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

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 regarding Income Support issues you should contact us on 1300 550 452 (Capital city callers) or 1800 550 452 (Non-Capital city callers).  For any other enquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

ALISON STANLEY

Deputy Commissioner

as Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment
  • Payment Summaries
  • General Information Sheet


Example 3:

  • AGE PENSION PLUS DFISA
  • LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE – VARIATION (INCREASE)
  • SINGLE ASSESSMENT
  • TAXABLE
  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES ENCLOSED
  • GIS

GPO Box 9998, Brisbane  QLD  4001

Contact:

Telephone:Brisbane Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

123 456 789  044Postal Address:

MR ROBERT MURDOCHGPO Box 9998 Brisbane Qld 4001

223 SAMPLE STREETTelephone:

MODELTOWN  QLD  4010Capital city callers: 133 254

Non-Capital city callers: 1800 555 254

Facsimile: (07) 3223 8479

20 June 2011

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX000000

Dear Mr MURDOCH,

This is to advise you that your:

  • age pension has been increased

  • Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) has reduced to nil.

This change will take affect from 1 July 2011.

Payment Information

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

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.

Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA)

DFISA is a payment made under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 by Veterans' Affairs.  DFISA is payable when your age pension is reduced or not payable because of adjusted disability pension paid by Veterans' Affairs.

DFISA is the difference between the amount your age pension is, and what it would be if adjusted disability pension was not included in your income assessment, but was included in the calculation of any rent assistance you may be entitled to.

The calculation of the rate of DFISA is based on your age pension assessment.  If you wish to request a review of your age pension assessment please see the paragraph below titled 'Your Right of Review'.

Issue of 2010/2011 Financial Year Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2010/2011 financial year, Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for ROBERT MURDOCH is enclosed with this letter.

If you are unsure as to whether you are required to lodge a tax return or if you have any questions about taxation matters you should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

Department of Veterans' Affairs' staff are unable to assist with taxation enquiries.

Medicare Levy Exemption

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for a full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for a 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.

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, you can only be paid an adjustment 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 regarding Income Support issues you should contact us on 1300 550 452 (Capital city callers) or 1800 550 452 (Non-Capital city callers).  For any other enquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

ALISON STANLEY

Deputy Commissioner as Delegate of the Secretary

ATTACHMENTS

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


Example 4:

  • INVALIDITY SERVICE PENSION
  • MAXIMUM RATE
  • NON TAXABLE
  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES NOT ISSUED
  • MLEC ISSUED AND SENT SEPARATELY

GPO Box 9998, Brisbane  QLD  4001

Contact:

Telephone:Brisbane Office

Bank of Queensland Centre

259 Queen Street

Brisbane Qld 4000

123 456 789  044Postal Address:

MR BILL BROWNGPO Box 9998 Brisbane Qld 4001

323 SAMPLE STREETTelephone:

MODELTOWN  QLD  4010Capital city callers: 133 254

Non-Capital city callers: 1800 555 254

Facsimile: (07) 3223 8479

20 June 2011

YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX000000

Dear Mr BROWN,

I am writing to you about your service pension payment from Veterans' Affairs. You currently receive the maximum rate of service pension and this amount remains unchanged.

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.

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate

A Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate showing the number of days BILL BROWN is eligible for a full or half Medicare levy exemption will be issued separately.

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 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 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.

If you have any questions regarding Income Support issues you should contact us on 1300 550 452 (Capital city callers) or 1800 550 452 (Non-Capital city callers).  For any other enquiries please contact the Department at the address or telephone number shown at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

ALISON STANLEY

Deputy Commissioner

as Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • General Information Sheet


ATTACHMENT D

SAMPLE OF MEDICAE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE

Return Address

Return Address

Client name

Client address

Client address

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate

Dear Beneficiary

This is your Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate showing 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.

Your File Number is: XXXXXXXX

The number of days you are eligible for a full or half Medicare Levy Exemption during 2010/2011 is: XXX

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 this 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 2011 or Short tax return instructions 2011 or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

Yours faithfully

     Deputy Commissioner