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6.3.12 Interim Payments
Delegates have the power to make interim incapacity payments if the calculation of the person's correct entitlement is delayed while information is being sought from an external agency. For example;
advice from Defence about the person's rank/pay level at discharge; or
information regarding the person's Commonwealth superannuation entitlements.
18.104.22.168 Interim payments at a rate equal to 100% Normal Earnings
From 1 January 2017, interim payments can be made under section 89B for serving members and 126A for former members at a rate equal to 100% of the person’s NE, less any actual earnings, for the first 45 weeks of payment. After 45 weeks, the interim payment is reduced to 75% of NE. This applies to MRCA payments only (SRCA interim payment arrangements remain unchanged). These provisions are only applicable if the person would be entitled to receive a Commonwealth-funded superannuation benefit (i.e. they were medically discharged or retired from the ADF).
If a person begins to receive any Commonwealth superannuation benefits, including interim superannuation benefits, then they are no longer eligible to receive interim incapacity payments under section 89B or 126A. Instead they become eligible for incapacity payments under section 89A or 126 and payments are made at 100% of NE minus the superannuation benefit. A new decision should be made under the relevant section.
Payment at the interim rate of 100% NE under section 89B (serving member) or 126A (discharged member) can:
entitlement to compensation for incapacity has been established;
details of the person’s rank and pay are available;
the person has requested interim incapacity payments;
the person has submitted a claim for their Commonwealth-funded superannuation and
the person has been warned of the potential for overpayment, the consequences thereof (i.e. recovery action), and explicitly authorises the delegate to proceed with interim payments.
If advice on a person’s allowances is outstanding, interim payments can be made based onNE that excludes allowances.
Delegates have no discretion to assume the "missing" values of a calculation or to use the person's unsupported assertion about the superannuation amount etc. Only information sourced from the responsible agency is admissible. If a person is receiving earnings, this amount must be reduced from the interim incapacity payment amount.
If a person has submitted a claim for superannuation benefits and then withdraws that application or has not complied with a requirement to provide information, or take any further action, in relation to the application for the benefit, then the decision to pay interim incapacity benefits can be revoked (and the person would not be entitled to benefits under section 89A or 126). The decision to revoke must be in writing. The decision to revoke is not appealable and should not include review rights.
22.214.171.124 Interim Payments at National Minimum Wage
If rank and pay cannot be established, delegates have the discretion to approve interim incapacity payments on the basis of section 179 i.e. to pay the person at a rate equal to the national minimum wage (NMW). Every effort must be made to obtain rank and pay information from Defence (via SAM). Alternatively, a salary variation advice (SVA) may be used, where it has been issued within a month of discahrge there is no requirement for Defence to confirm.
If a person receives an interim superannuation benefit while receiving interim payments at the NMW, there is no reduction to their incapacity payment.
126.96.36.199 Payments when a person is not entitled to receive Commonwealth-funded superannuation or has not, or refuses to, submit a claim for benefits
In cases where a member is not entitled to receive Commonwealth-funded superannuation i.e. they have discharged at their own request or they have been medically discharged but have not submitted a claim for invalidity superannuation or have indicated they are not intending to submit a claim, the delegate should pay incapacity payments at 100% NE (less any actual earnings) under section 89A or section 126. The person should be advised of the process to access their superannuation entitlements (if applicable) and encouraged to apply. After 45 weeks the incapacity payments will reduce to 75% NE (less any actual earnings).
188.8.131.52 Overpayment recovery
Section 415 (3) of the MRCA authorises the recovery of overpayments directly from the claimant's entitlements paid under the MRCA and section 421 authorises the recovery of an overpayment of incapacity payments from a superannuation payment.