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14.9.2 Provide funds direct to recipient
Subject to the limitations outlined below, DVA may pay the recipient directly to allow them to pay for supports as outlined in the approved support plan, if the delegate is satisfied that this arrangement is the most suitable in meeting the recipient’s needs.
Recipients should only receive a direct payment where the delegate is satisfied that it:
- is more suitable compared to provider payment and reimbursement;
- will be used to pay for supports as provided in the approved support plan. As a general rule, a recipient is not required to provide quotes before funds are released; however, a delegate may require a quote if in their view the nature of the support warrants it;
- does not exceed the total annual cap;
- does not exceed the individual quarterly limit; and
- (if applicable) the recipient has provided sufficient evidence of expenditure of previous upfront payments.
The benefits of alternative arrangements should be considered against any risks or costs to the individual relative to arrangements to pay the provider directly which include:
- increased administrative burden to the recipient in providing evidence of payments to DVA. The recipient’s vulnerability may be of a nature which reduces their capability to manage additional personal administration
- increased risk of inappropriate spending associated with a lack of DVA involvement in provider payment. This risk is increased in circumstances where the individual has a particular vulnerability which may impact their ability to manage finances, such as gambling or general history of difficulty in financial management.
- The recipient must provide satisfactory evidence of at least 80% of the funds paid to them having been spent on approved supports within the three month period, if they are to receive subsequent upfront payments.
- Satisfactory evidence may include receipts, bank statements, statutory declarations, or other forms agreed by DVA.
- Failure to provide evidence may result in future services being funded through alternative payment arrangements.
- DVA will not undertake recovery action in the event that a recipient fails to provide evidence of expenditure on approved supports. However, as outlined above, this may lead to changed payment arrangements for the recipient which will be reflected in an updated support plan. This should not impede a recipient continuing to receive support under the ASP where needs remain.
- If a recipient spends part of their upfront payment on services not identified in their approved support plan, DVA may still accept this expenditure if the recipient provides appropriate evidence and the delegate is satisfied that the service supported their individual circumstances.
- A recipient can only access up to $5,000 per three month period in direct payments.