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2.1.2 Occurrences of overpayments

2.1.2.1An overpayment occurs when an amount of pension, benefit or allowance is paid that is greater than the person's legal entitlement. This can be the result of:

  • a pension payment being precluded by legislation, e.g. dual payment of disability pension and 3rd party compensation for the same condition, Part IIIC compensation recovery, dual payment of war widow's/widower's pension and partner service pension; or
  • a breach of obligations to notify. For example, a change in circumstances for an income support payment has not been advised within the notification period. This may include a commencement of earnings or the pensioner ceases to pay rent for accommodation; or
  • application of the Payment Processing Legislation Amendment (Social Security and Veterans' Entitlements) Act 1998 (date of effect rules) and enhanced debt recovery for income support payments: this results in CRASS or system generated debts, which for lower amounts are recovered by direct limitation to ongoing DVA payments; or
  • a retrospective assessment of disability pension entitlement. This may occur at a primary level, as a result of a section 31 VEA review, a decision of the VRB or AAT or by a decision of a body with higher jurisdiction.
  • a person does not meet, or has ceased to meet, the specific eligibility requirements for a certain allowance or benefit which has been paid, e.g. attendant allowance, VCES payment.
  • overpayments identified as part of DVA/Centrelink clearance procedures i.e. the agency with the ongoing payment recovers the debt by limitation to the pension or benefit.

Note:That where an overpayment is compounded by the effect of administrative delay, the component of the overpayment caused by the delay may be waived. However, the original debt should be recovered. Refer to this manual's Section 7.18 Waiver.

2.1.2.2All overpayments arise as a result of retrospective reassessments authorised by Delegates of the Repatriation Commission, or a higher legal authority, e.g. the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, or court ruling.

2.1.2.3Overpayments occur as a result of:

  • loss of basic eligibility; or
  • change in payability (ie the rate payable).

Note:It should be noted that both occurrences of overpayment may include deceit or fraud, and this therefore not considered a separate category of overpayment.