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B69/1994 VETERANS' CHILDREN EDUCATION SCHEME- RENT ASSISTANCE PAID/PAYABLE TO RECIPIENTS OF THE HOMELESS AND DOUBLE ORPHAN RATE OF EDUCATION ALLOWANCE
DATE OF ISSUE: 30 DECEMBER 1994
VETERANS' CHILDREN EDUCATION SCHEME- RENT ASSISTANCE PAID/PAYABLE TO RECIPIENTS OF THE HOMELESS AND DOUBLE ORPHAN RATE OF EDUCATION ALLOWANCE
The purpose of this instruction is to advise on the application and treatment of rent assistance (RA) payable to recipients of the homeless and double orphan rate of Education Allowance (EA) under the Veterans' Children Education Scheme (VCES).
2.The Government announced in the 1994 Budget that rent assistance would be paid to homeless students who qualify for EA. To maintain consistency with DEET, payment of RA will also be extended to double orphans who qualify for EA.
3.The aim of this initiative is to ensure that students who qualify for the homeless rate of EA will receive the same level of assistance that is provided to other young people. It encourages students to further their education and improve their prospects for the future by removing the incentives for young homeless people to leave education in order to access higher payments such as Young Homeless Allowance from the Department of Social Security
4.The date of implementation is 1 January 1995.
5.DEET will also introduce RA for recipients of the Student Homeless Rate (SHR) of Austudy on 1 January 1995. The SHR includes double orphans.
INCOME AND ASSETS TESTS TREATMENT OF RENT ASSISTANCE
6.RA for recipients of EA at the homeless or double orphan rate under the VCES will not be income or assets tested for the following reasons:
low administrative cost - there is no need to collect income and assets details or conduct regular reviews;
no intrusion to recipients;
neutralises the complex taxability issue regarding VCES and RA;
consistent with compensatory nature of VCES payment (income and assets test free).
RATE OF RA PAYABLE
7.The amount of RA payable to recipients of EA at the homeless and double orphan rate is based on the existing rates and thresholds applicable to RA (as found in Part III of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986). For example, as at 20 September 1994, the rate for not a member of a couple, no children, is $69.20 per fortnight.
8.Each recipient of EA at the homeless or double orphan rate will be sent an invitation to claim RA by the VCES secretaries in each state (Attachment A). Upon receipt of RA details, in those states where the VCES Secretaries do not directly code the form D408, the RA details will be passed on to Income Support staff for coding. An example of a coded form D408 is at Attachment B.
9.Recipients must receive an advice of payment of RA from the VCES Secretaries that includes their obligation to advise DVA of any changes to their circumstances regarding accommodation. Attachment C provides the standard RA obligations paragraph that should be incorporated with the advice of payment of RA. (This paragraph is currently contained in the automatic daily payment advices.)
10.The VEA does not require amendment, however, the VCES (delegated legislation) will be amended to provide for the payment of RA to recipients of the homeless and double orphan rate of EA. The effective date of this amendment will be 1 January 1995.
11.The contact officer for this exercise is Stephen Blair on (06) 289 6412.