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4.11 Review of S17(5) Weekly Payments to 'Prescribed Children'
Delegates are required to obtain a copy of the birth certificate of any 'prescribed child' with a SRCA entitlement. This certificate is required as a condition of payment. Therefore the age of a person subject to Ss17(5) payments should be known to the case-managing delegate, and should be prominently displayed both on the payment file and also on the Defcare process screen.
Where the child is still under 16 years old, the entitlement to this benefit need not be formally reviewed (other than to annually update the weekly amount payable).
However delegates should still make contact at appropriate intervals to ensure the entitled child is still living with the adult to whom payment is made. Telephone contact would suffice in such cases (providing the delegate takes a comprehensive note of the conversation).
Delegates should also write to the child's parent or guardian 12 months before that child turns 16 to advise that adult:
a)Payment will cease either at the child's 16 — th birthday, or at the end of the academic year in which the child turns 16 (depending on whether the child continues at school to the end of that year), UNLESS continuing with full time education
b)Early advice of intentions will allow for continuity of payment after 16 — th birthday.
d)Any overpayments due to incorrect notification will be repayable to the Department.
There is a letter for this purpose available in the Defcare Standard Letter suite
Subsequently, annual checks should be undertaken at the end of each academic year. An annual review form is available in the Defcare Standard Letter Suite. At the end of the school year a review task will be generated for all children over 16 who are in payment. The annual review form should be sent (to the parent if the child is under 18 and to the child themselves if they are over 18) as soon as possible after this task appears. The form should be returned before the new school year starts to avoid any overpayment for children not continuing in full-time education (further discussion about what is considered to be full-time education can be found in chapter 36.3.4 of the Incapacity Handbook).
Where it is evident that the child may soon alter or defer or leave the course of education, the delegate should naturally maintain a closer liaison. At all contacts, delegates should remind the relevant parties that overpayments (i.e. payments which continue because the Department was not advised of the termination or suspension of education) will be recovered in full.
Where the child has availed his/her self of the assistance of the Veterans' Children's Education Service – and note this is a service available to dependent children where the employee's death is covered by the ADB – these details can be sought from the VCES delegates in that State Office.
Where the 'child's' program of education continues up to and beyond his/her 25 — th birthday, the Delegate should warn or remind that person that S17(5) payments will terminate on that 25 — th birthday. There is no discretion under the Act to continue payments to the end of the academic year in which that birthday falls. The payments must end no later than that birthday.
Delegates should give due warning/reminder of intent to cease payment at 12 months and then at 1 month before that deadline.