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DI-09-2020 June 2020 Statutory increase Processing - Production And Mail Oout Of Advice Letters With Payment Summaries, Stand Alone Payment Summaries And Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

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June 2020 Statutory Increase Processing - Production and Mailout of Advice Letters with Payment Summaries, Standalone payment Summaries (Issued without a Covering Letter), and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

Amends DI No:N/A
Replaces DI No:N/A
Purpose of InstructionThis Departmental Instruction is to provide information about the processing arrangements for the June 2020 Statutory Increase (SI) processing of advice letters with payment summaries, Standalone Payment Summaries (issued without a covering letter), and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate production and mailout.
Overview

Introduction

In June each year the Department undertakes a bulk exercise to issue advice letters to persons in receipt of service pension, age pension including those in payment of Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) only, or income support supplement.

The majority of these letters will include payment summaries for the end of the financial year.

Standalone Payment Summaries (issued without a covering letter) and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates will also be issued at this time.

The estimated number of mail packs is given at Attachment A.

Key Points

The key points of this SI and mail out are:

  • Advice letters will be produced for all recipients of service pension (SP), income support supplement (ISS), age pension (AP) including those being paid DFISA only and veteran payment (VP);
  •  Reassessment of payment rates will be made in accordance with adjustments to the Income Free Area, Assets Free Area and Deeming Thresholds
  •  Full Obligations will not be issued with advices
  •  Full Income and Assets will not be issued with advices
  •  End of Financial Year payment summary production will be produced
  •  The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) insert – ‘Do you need to lodge a tax return this year?’ will only be issued to clients paid at less than the maximum rate of income support payment, and to those receiving a Standalone Payment Summary (without a covering letter) or a Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate;
  •  Standalone Payment Summaries (SAPS), i.e. payment summaries sent without a covering letter, will be issued to clients who received some payment during the financial year but do not receive an advice letter, e.g. Centrelink DFISA clients or clients no longer in payment of income support;
  •  Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates (MLEC) will be produced
  •  Advices to clients who gain or lose treatment eligibility; and
  •  Advices to clients with a valid overseas postal address for all states will be printed and posted directly from the mail house.
Production of Advice Letters

Processing Weekend - 

15/06/2019 - 16/06/2019

Processing is scheduled to run from Friday evening, 12 June 2020 to Sunday, 14 June 2020.

Any payment variations resulting from this exercise will be effective from 1 July 2020 for payday 16 July 2020.

Critical Dates

Processing period within DVA – (includes 'advices' processing)

Friday (pm) 12 June 2020 – Sunday (pm) 14 June 2020

Commence production of advice letters with payment summaries, SAPS and MLECs mail packs

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Progressive lodgment of all advice letters, SAPS and MLECs with Australia Post

Commencing Monday, 22 June 2020 and completed by Friday, 26 June 2020

Mail Pack Production

The contracted mail house located in Canberra will print the advice letters, SAPS and MLECs, insert the ATO flyers where applicable, envelope and lodge all mail packs with Australia Post.
Lodgment of Mail PacksLetters will be progressively lodged with Australia Post commencing Monday, 22 June 2020.  All letters will be posted by close of business Friday, 26 June 2020.
Return Address if not deliveredAll mail packs sent from the mail house will be enveloped in a single window-faced envelope with a return address of GPO Box 9998 BRISBANE QLD 4001
DFISA Advices from Centrelink ProcessingDVA will be suppressing all Centrelink daily DFISA variation advices with an effective date of 1 July 2020, which are transmitted to DVA following the Centrelink processing run. All other advices will print as part of the normal processing, including Centrelink DFISA cancellation and grant advices.
Letter Content

Letters and Attachments

Sample copies of the expected advice letter content for this run are reproduced at Attachment B.  Samples of the Payment Summary and Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate are reproduced at Attachment C and Attachment D, respectively.

Single and Joint Advices

All recipients of SP, ISS and VP couples will receive a joint advice, provided both members of a couple, including the illness separated, have the same IMS postal address recorded or the same CRS postal address for overseas couples.


Age pensioners will receive single advice letters unless otherwise requested.


Important to note: Staff are reminded that if a client in a joint assessment requests separate or single advices, they need to update this information using the mainframe PRODIMS – Client Correspondence (CO.CO) screen prior to the processing run to initiate the client request.


Advice default requests in CO.CO will override the DOCGEN advice rules.

Full Obligations & Full Income and Assets for Less Than Maximum Rate Clients

Full Obligations and Full Income and Assets will not be issued to clients receiving income support payment at less than the maximum rate. This is in line with the Repatriation Commission policy that:

  •  Pensioners receiving pension at less than the maximum rate be provided with their Full Obligations and Full Income and Assets every two years

Full Obligations and Full Income and Assets were last issued to this group in June 2018 and hence they will be issued again in June 2020.

Full Obligations for Maximum Rate Clients

Full Obligations will not be issued to clients receiving the maximum rate of income support payment. Full Income and Assets are not issued to this client group. This is in line with the Repatriation Commission policy that:

  •  Pensioners receiving the maximum rate of pension are required to be provided with their Full Obligations at a minimum interval of once every five years

Full Obligations were last issued to this client group in June 2018 and the next issue will be in June 2023.

Financial Obligations including Prescribed Rates

The Financial Obligations paragraph, which includes prescribed rates information, will be present in all the advices for SP/ISS/AP/VP recipients.

 

Payment Information Attachment

Clients who remain on maximum rate following the processing will not have a Payment Information Attachment as part of their advice as they are considered to be continuation cases.

Clients whose payment rates have varied following the processing will receive a Payment Information Attachment.

Clients with Overseas Postal AddressSI advice letters for all clients with a valid overseas postal address will be printed and posted directly from the mail house.

PAYG Payment Summary

Payment summaries will be issued to all clients who received a payment from DVA during the 2019/2020 financial year.  

Clients will be sent a payment summary listing both taxable and tax exempt (i.e. non-taxable) payments.  The tax exempt payment information will be broken into the following categories:

  • Tax-free pensions and benefits including tax exempt disability pension, war widow/widower pension, service pension and income support supplement; and

  • Other tax exempt payments.

Payment summaries will form part of the advice letter for all SP/ISS/AP/VP recipients.

Where a payment summary is sent without a covering letter, it is referred to as a Standalone Payment Summary (SAPS).

Payment summaries will not be sent to clients who are under 16 years of age on 30 June 2020 and did not receive a taxable payment in the financial year 2019/2020.

A sample of the payment summary can be found at Attachment C.

General Information Sheet (GIS)

Each advice letter, except those for clients who are overseas residents, will have a General Information Sheet (GIS). The GIS provides details of payment rates, income and asset thresholds, deeming rates and thresholds, treatment thresholds, rent assistance rates and other payment information. There will be a separate GIS for clients assessed under the transitional rules and for those assessed under the non-transitional rules because different rates and thresholds apply.

Some components of the pension supplement (pension supplement non-taxable and pension supplement flexible) are not payable to overseas clients. Therefore, the information provided on the GIS is not applicable to them. For this reason, overseas clients will not be issued with the GIS to avoid confusion.

ATO insert – Do you need to lodge a tax return?'

A 'pensioner flyer' produced by the ATO titled “Do you need to lodge a tax return?” will only be included in the advice letters produced for those in payment of less than the maximum rate of income support pension, those being issued a SAPS or a MLEC.

The flyer will not be sent to those clients being paid at the maximum rate of income support pension. 

Clients to Contact ATO with Taxation Questions

It is important for DVA staff to note that clients have been advised in their letters to contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 if they have any questions about taxation.  Should clients ring DVA offices with questions relating to taxation matters, staff should refer them to the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  DVA staff must not offer advice about taxation liability or the need to lodge a tax return.

Information on Tax Thresholds in VIEW

The 'Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offsets' amounts are displayed in the 'Tax Threshold Amounts' folder in the 'Fin Year Certificate' tab in VIEW.  The 2019/2020 threshold amounts will be available in VIEW from 1 July 2020.  

  

Standalone Payment Summaries (issued without a covering letter)

SAPS – sent without a covering letter

SAPS will be produced for the following categories:

  • Persons issued with an Education Allowance;

  • Working Rule B Widows;

  • Clients who received income support payment for part of the financial year and are no longer in payment of an income support payment;

  • Disability pensioners and war widows/widowers who do not receive any income support payments;

  • Overseas addressees (for clients who were in payment for part of the year but are no longer in payment); and

  • Centrelink clients in payment of DFISA.

SAPS – posted directly to clients from the Mailing House

All SAPS, with the exception for overseas addressees listed above, are to be printed, enveloped and lodged with Australia Post directly from the mail house.

Approx. 75,000 SAPS are sent each year during this excercise.

SAPS - Overseas AddresseesSAPS for clients who reside overseas and who are no longer in payment will not be printed. A file of each SAPS category listing the clients who reside overseas and are to receive a SAPS will be e-mailed to each location contact officer. Staff should request a re-print for those overseas clients listed on the report and send their SAPS directly to them..
SAPS - Unknown AddresseesWhere a client has an 'unknown address' recorded, a SAPS will not be produced.  A list of clients with an 'unknown address' will be provided to each location contact officer.
SAPS - For Deceased ClientsSAPS for clients who have died during the financial year will not be printed. Staff will be able to request a re-print of a deceased client's payment summary when required from 1 July 2020.

SAPS Reports

A SAPS report is generated for each of the following categories:

MRCA Education Allowance;

Education Allowance;

Other;

Group Destination;

Overseas;

Unknown Address; and

Deceased.

A report for each category will be e-mailed to the contact officer at each location.

Payment Summary Reprint Facility - VIEW Advices Tab

Reprints of the 2019/2020 financial year payment summaries will be available from 1 July 2020 using the 'Payment Summary Reprint' facility located under the Advices Tab in VIEW.

Display of Tax File Number on Payment Summary Reprints

The tax file number (TFN) will appear in payment summaries produced from the Payment Summary Reprint facility. The AUstralian Taxation Office has advised is a client has provided a TFN, the TFN must be quoted on the payment summary issued by the Department.

Payment Summary TemplateThe June SI Income Support contact officers will be provided with a 2019/2020 financial year Payment Summary Template for manual re-issue if required.

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificates

(MLEC)

A MLEC will be issued to those Gold Card beneficiaries who are not in receipt of an income support payment and who do not receive an advice letter, that is:

  • Australian veterans with Qualifying Service and over 70 years of age who are not in receipt of any payment from DVA.

The number of Medicare Levy exemption days, where applicable, will be stated on the payment summary for all other pensioners.

A sample of the Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate to be issued in 2020 can be found at Attachment D.

Medicare levy exemption – For Blind Pensioners

Blind pensioners in receipt of SP/ISS/AP are eligible for full or half Medicare Levy exemption. The number of eligible exemption days will be printed on their Payment Summaries.

Blind VP recipients are not entitled to a Medicare levy exemption.

MLEC Reports

A report of all clients who receive a MLEC will be produced and emailed in a zip file to the nominated contact officer.

A MLEC will not be produced where a client has an 'unknown address' recorded.  However, a report will be produced and emailed to all contact officers, listing those clients who are eligible to receive a MLEC but have an unknown address recorded.

MLEC Template

The June SI location contact officers will be provided with a MLEC Word template for manual re-issuing of MLECs if required.

Issues Requiring Staff Action

Advice Schedule ReportsA report listing details of all clients who receive an advice will be e-mailed to the nominated contact officer at each location during the week following the processing run.

Enclosure (Treatment change) Advice Letters

Enclosure (treatment change) letters will be printed at the nominated printer at each location.

The streamed advice letters should be checked for accuracy and reconciled against the reports received at each location to ensure they reflect the correct treatment paragraphs.

If any advice with incorrect treatment information is found, please consult with the Income Support System Support Officers (SSOs) to ensure correct information is provided in the manual replacement advice.

Reduction to Nil LettersReduction to Nil advice letters will be printed at the nominated printer at each location. Staff are required to include a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) claim form and a CSHC fact sheet with the advice mail pack, if these are referred to in the advice letter.

Handling of Daily Advices

Daily advices for cases processed after the cutoff date of 12 June 2020 should be held until instructions are received to release such advices following final lodgement of all June 2020 SI advices to ensure clients receive their advices in chronological order.

Bereavement advices are exempt from these requirements and therefore they may be released.

Reprints of June SI Advices via VIEW Advices Tab

Reprints of individual advice letters produced from the quarterly processing can be requested via VIEW – Advices Tab reprint facility.  Quarterly advice reprints are available and can be requested from day one of the next quarter ie. March quarterly advices from 01/04/yyyy, June quarterly advices from 01/07/yyyy and September quarterly advices from 01/10/yyyy.

Reprints of Daily Advices – Pre-SI ProcessingThe 'Reprint' scheduled jobs which produce the requested reprints of daily advices by staff are postponed as part of the SI processing.  Any requests for an advice reprint on the day of the commencement of the SI processing will not be actioned until after the SI run when the next 'Reprint' job is submitted.  'Unprinted' advice reprint requests will then print when the next 'Reprint' job is submitted. 

DVA Income Support Contact Officers

Income Support Contact Officers

For the 2020 June SI, all 'streamed' advices will be printed in DVA Sydney Office printer VNSOPR14. Hence contact Officers will not be needed from all states, however staff are still encouraged to contact Business Systems Administration (as below) if anyone has questions.

Streamed advices will be printed and checked in Sydney.

Contact Details

Any queries regarding this mail out should be referred to:

John Eden

john.eden@dva.gov.au

Ganes Jagadeeswaran
(02) 9213 7310 or extension 412310
ganes.jagadeeswaran@dva.gov.au 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janice SIlby

Assistant Secretary

Income Support  Branch

3 June 2020

 

ATTACHMENT A

HOUSEHOLDS TO RECEIVE ADVICE LETTERS WITH PAYMENT SUMMARIES OR STANDALONE PAYMENT SUMMARIES OR MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES

ESTIMATES BASED ON 2018 STATISTICS

STATE

JOB 1 -

Less than Maximum Rate

JOB 2 - Maximum  rate

JOB 3 - Overseas

Total no of advice letters

(Job 1+2+3)

JOB 4 - Standalone Payment Summary

JOB 5 -

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate

                        NSW

9385

22865

-

3225023629406

VIC

625015522

-

2177212716234

QLD

10618

18008

-

28626

24697

242

SA

3104

7004

-

10108

5581

129

WA

3855

6958

-

10813

6860

200

TAS

1113

2433

545

4091

1930

26

TOTAL

34325

72790

545

107660

75413

1237

 Please note:

  • Northern Territory clients are included in the numbers for South Australia and ACT clients are included in the NSW numbers.

 

ATTACHMENT B

JUNE 2020 SI PARAGRAPH CONTENT

Example 1.

  • SERVICE PENSION

  • LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE – VARIATION (INCREASE)

  • ASSETS TESTED

  • JOINT ASSESSMENT

  • PAYMENT SUMMARIES ENCLOSED

  • GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET (GIS) ENCLOSED

GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001

 

                                                                                                        

Telephone: 1800 555 254

Facsimile: (07) 3223 8479

                                                                                                                                               

15 June 2020

123 456 789  044                                                     

JOHN SMITH                                          

MARY SMITH                                                                 

22 ACACIA AVE                                               

VILLAGETOWN  QLD   4000

                                                   YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX000000

Dear Mr and Mrs SMITH,

This is to advise you that your service pension has been increased.  This change will take effect from 1 July 2020.

Payment Information

Details of your fortnightly payments are provided in the Payment Information sheet attached to this letter.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

The Consumer Price Index has been applied to address recent increases in the cost of living. The following limits that are used to calculate your service pension have been adjusted:

  • Income Free Area – this is the amount of gross income you can have before your service pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Assets Value Limit – this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your service pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Deeming Thresholds – these are the amounts of financial assets you can have before the higher deemed interest rates are applied to the assessment of service pension.

For details on these changes, please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Issue of 2019/2020 Financial Year Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2019/2020 financial year, Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for JOHN SMITH is enclosed with this letter.

Payment Summary for MARY SMITH is enclosed with this letter.

If you are unsure as to whether you are required to lodge a tax return or if you have any questions about taxation matters you should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.  Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ staff are unable to assist with taxation enquiries.

Medicare Levy Exemption

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for a full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for a full or half Medicare levy exemption is shown on your Payment Summary.

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if you gain or dispose of any assets, or the value of your combined existing assets varies, or your combined gross income from all sources increases above $XXX.XX per fortnight.

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet ‘You and Your Pension’.  These obligations still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalisedThis normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this variation to your pension, you may apply to have it reviewed by a Review Officer at this office.  If you do decide to apply, you must do so within three months of being advised of this decision.  Such a request for review must be in writing, and must set out your reasons for seeking this review.  Your application for review may also be lodged online through MyAccount or the DVA website (www.dva.gov.au).

If you have any questions regarding this letter please contact the Department on the telephone number shown at the top of this letter. If you prefer to communicate with us by mail, e-mail or in person, please view our website at www.dva.gov.au for contact details.

Yours sincerely,

 

JANICE SILBY

Assistant Secretary

as Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment

  • Payment Summary/s

  • General Information Sheet

PAYMENT INFORMATION ATTACHMENT

The Department calculates your payments on a daily basis.  This means that your fortnightly payment is made up of 14 days of entitlement.  Therefore, when there is a change to your circumstances on any particular day in the fortnight - your payment will be adjusted from that day.  For that reason your payment may be different for one or two paydays after a reassessment.

Payment for 16 JULY 2020VeteranPartner
TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx
This is made up of:  
 - xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx
 - xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx
Payment for 30 JULY 2020VeteranPartner
TOTAL FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTxxx.xxxxx.xx
This is made up of:  
 - xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxx.xx
 - xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx    x.xx    x.xx

Please Note: If you have an overpayment or lump sum advance which is currently being recovered (by deductions from your fortnightly pension), the amount paid into your account may be less than the total fortnightly payment shown above.

Example of the General Information Sheet (GIS) for Service Pensioners (non-transitional).

There are separate GIS for transitional, income support supplement and age pension recipients.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON SERVICE PENSION RATES AND LIMITS

(Information current as at 1 July 2020)

MAXIMUM RATES OF SERVICE PENSION (including supplements)

Singles Rate                                                                                        $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Couples Rate (each)                                                                            $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

PENSION INCOME LIMIT (per fortnight)            Income Free Area            Cut Off

Singles Limit                                                               $XXX.XX                     $X,XXX.XX

Couples Limit (combined)                                          $XXX.XX                     $X,XXX.XX

INCOME TEST : Pension rate is reduced by 50 cents for each dollar of income above the income free area.

PENSION ASSETS LIMIT                                     Assets Free Area             Cut Off

Home Owner

Singles Limit                                                              $XXX,XXX                       $XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)                                         $XXX,XXX                   $X,XXX,XXX

Non Home Owner

Singles Limit                                                              $XXX,XXX                       $XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)                                         $XXX,XXX                   $X,XXX,XXX

ASSETS TEST : Pension rate is reduced by 75 cents for every $250 of assets above the assets free area.

NOTE:

  • Income and assets limits do not apply to blinded service pensioners.

  • Higher income and assets cut off limits may apply if rent assistance is payable.

  • Both income and assets tests are applied to work out a pension rate.The rate of pension paid is the lower of the two.

GOLD CARD INFORMATION

The eligibility of some Gold Card holders is linked to income and assets.

The Gold Card income and assets limits shown in the next section apply if:

  • You receive an Australian disability pension below 50% of the general rate and you also receive an amount of service pension; or
  • You are an Australian veteran or mariner whose eligibility for the Gold Card is dependent solely on your service pension payment.

NOTE:

  • If you are not in the groups listed above, the Gold Card cut off limits below do not apply to you.Your income support pension is still subject to the means-test, unless you are exempt because you are a blind pensioner.

GOLD CARD INCOME CUT OFF LIMITS

Singles Limit                                          $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

Couples Limit (combined)                     $XXX.XX (per fortnight)

 

GOLD CARD ASSETS CUT OFF LIMITS

Home Owner             Non Home Owner

Singles Limit                                                   $XXX,XXX               $XXX,XXX

Couples Limit (combined)                              $XXX,XXX               $XXX,XXX

DEEMING

Deeming assumes that any money you have invested in financial assets is earning a particular amount of income regardless of the actual amount earned.  The deeming rates are:

Singles          Low Rate:- 0.25% interest up to the threshold of $XX,XXX

                     High Rate:- 2.25% interest for the remaining balance

Couples        Low Rate:- 0.25% interest up to the threshold of $XX,XXX

                     High Rate:- 2.25% interest for the remaining balance

ILLNESS SEPARATED COUPLES

Couples separated due to ill health are paid the single rate of service pension but have their income and assets assessed as a couple.

RENT ASSISTANCE

You may be eligible for rent assistance if you pay rent to a non-government body or landlord.  Rent assistance is not payable if you reside in a government funded (approved) nursing home, or in government funded housing.

The amount of rent assistance you received depends on the amount of rent you pay and your family circumstances.  Rent assistance is paid at the rate of 75 cents in the dollar for every dollar you pay over the set rent limits.

Maximum Amount of Rent Assistance Payable (per fortnight)

Singles Rate                           $XXX.XX              

Couples Rate(combined)        $XXX.XX               

Rent Limit (per fortnight)

Singles Limit                          $XXX.XX              

Couples Limit (combined)     $XXX.XX               

GIFTING

A gift is an asset which is given away or disposed of without receiving the market value of that gift in return.  A gift may be either a cash amount or non cash assets such as a car or other property.

You must notify us if you give away a total of $10,000 or more in a tax year or $30,000 over a rolling five-year period.

The amount above either limit will continue to be counted as if it were still your asset for a period of 5 years and may therefore continue to affect your pension.  We will also deem income on the value of any gift above either limit for 5 years.

 

Example 2.

  • AGE PENSION PLUS DFISA

  • LESS THAN MAXIMUM RATE – VARIATION (INCREASE)

  • SINGLE ASSESSMENT

  • TAXABLE

  • PAYMENT SUMMARY ENCLOSED

  • GIS ENCLOSED

GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001

 

                                                                                                        

Telephone: 1800 555 254

Facsimile: (07) 3223 8479

                                                                                                                                               

16 June 2020

123 456 789  044                                                     

MR ROBERT VETERAN

22 ACACIA AVE

VILLAGETOWN  QLD  4000

                                                   YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX000000

Dear Mr VETERAN,

This is to advise you that your:

  • age pension has been increased.
  • Defence Force Income Support Allowance (DFISA) has varied.

This change will take affect from 1 July 2020.

Payment Information

Details of your fortnightly payments are provided in the Payment Information sheet attached to this letter.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

The Consumer Price Index has been applied to address recent increases in the cost of living. The following limits that are used to calculate your age pension have been adjusted:

  • Income Free Area - this is the amount of gross income you can have before your age pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Assets Value Limit - this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your age pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Deeming Thresholds – these are the amounts of financial assets you can have before the higher deemed interest rates are applied to the assessment of age pension.

For details on these changes, please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Issue of 2019/2020 Financial Year Payment Summaries

As it is the end of the 2019/2020 financial year, Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for ROBERT VETERAN is enclosed with this letter.

If you are unsure as to whether you are required to lodge a tax return or if you have any questions about taxation matters you should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61. Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ staff are unable to assist with taxation enquiries.

Medicare Levy Exemption

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for a full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for a full or half Medicare levy exemption is shown on your Payment Summary.

If you were previously being paid by Centrelink, they will issue a Payment Summary to you separately.

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas) if your total gross income from all sources is more than $XXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your total assets is more than $XXX,XXX.XX.

Other Obligations

Your obligations as outlined in previous letters to you and in the Booklet ‘You and Your Pension’ still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalisedThis normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

Your Right of Review

If you do not agree with this decision, you can contact your nearest Veterans' Affairs office and discuss the reasons for the decision.  If you remain dissatisfied, you may apply to have the decision reviewed by an Authorised Review Officer, with no prior involvement in the case.  If you decide to apply for a review more than 13 weeks from the day this notice is given to you, you can only be paid an adjustment from the date we receive your application.  Requests for review may be made in person, by telephone or in writing.  Your application for review may also be lodged online through MyAccount or the DVA website (www.dva.gov.au).

The rate of DFISA paid to you is derived from your age pension assessment.  You may seek to have your age pension assessment reviewed if you are dissatisfied with your DFISA rate.

If you have any questions regarding this letter please contact the Department on the telephone number shown at the top of this letter.  If you prefer to communicate with us by mail, e-mail or in person, please view our website at www.dva.gov.au for contact details.

Yours sincerely,

 

JANICE SILBY

Assistant Secretary as Delegate of the Secretary

 

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Information Attachment

  • Payment Summary

  • General Information Sheet

 

Example 3.

  • INVALIDITY SERVICE PENSION

  • MAXIMUM RATE

  • PAYMENT SUMMARY ENCLOSED

  • GIS ENCLOSED

GPO Box 9998, Brisbane QLD 4001

 

                                                                                                        

Telephone: 1800 555 254

Facsimile: (07) 3223 8479

                                                                                                                                               

15 June 2020                                             

MR BILL BROWN

123 SERVICE STREET

VILLAGETOWN QLD  4000

                                                   YOUR FILE NUMBER IS QX000000

Dear Mr BROWN,

I am writing to you about your service pension payment from Veterans’ Affairs. You currently receive the maximum rate of service pension and this amount remains unchanged.

Cost of living changes to the Income and Assets Test

The Consumer Price Index has been applied to address recent increases in the cost of living. The following limits that are used to calculate your service pension have been adjusted:

  • Income Free Area – this is the amount of gross income you can have before your service pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Assets Value Limit – this is the amount of assets you can have (other than your family home) before your service pension is reduced below the maximum rate payable;

  • Deeming Thresholds – these are the amounts of financial assets you can have before the higher deemed interest rates are applied to the assessment of service pension.

For details on these changes please refer to the General Information Sheet which is attached to this letter.

Issue of 2019/2020 Financial Year Payment Summaries 

As it is the end of the 2019/2020 financial year, Payment Summaries are being issued.  You will need this information if you are required to lodge a tax return.

Payment Summary for MR BILL BROWN is enclosed with this letter.

If you are unsure as to whether you are required to lodge a tax return or if you have any questions about taxation matters you should contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61. Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ staff are unable to assist with taxation enquiries.

Medicare Levy Exemption                          

If you have been eligible for full treatment at departmental expense during the past financial year, you are eligible for a full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare levy for that period.  The number of days you are eligible for a full or half Medicare levy exemption is shown on your Payment Summary.

Financial Obligations

You need to tell us within 14 days (28 days if you are living overseas or receive remote area allowance) if your total income from all sources is more than $XXX.XX per fortnight or the value of your total assets is more than $XXX,XXX.XX. 

Other Obligations

We have explained your obligations to you in previous letters and the booklet ‘You and Your Pension’.  These obligations still apply.

Changes You Have Already Told Us About

If you have told us recently about a change to your income and assets or your domestic situation, it may not have been processed before this letter was sent.  If this is the case, we will send you another letter providing details of your new pension assessment when that change has been finalisedThis normally takes no more than 4 weeks.

If you have any questions regarding this letter please contact the Department on the telephone number shown at the top of this letter. If you prefer to communicate with us by mail, e-mail or in person, please view our website at www.dva.gov.au for contact details.

Yours sincerely,

 

JANICE SILBY

Assistant Secretary 

as Delegate of the Secretary and Repatriation Commission

 

ATTACHMENTS

  • Payment Summary

  • General Information Sheet

 

ATTACHMENT C

 

GPO Box 9998 in your Capital City

 

 

XXXX  SMITH

XXXXXXXX STREET

SUBURB  STATE  POSTCODE

 

 

PAYG PAYMENT SUMMARY

INDIVIDUAL NON BUSINESS

Payment Summary for the year ending 30 June 2020

 

Payee Details

XXXX SMITH

XXXXXXX STREET

SUBURB STATE POSTCODE

 

DVA file number

QX000000

Payee’s tax file number

123 456 789

Total tax withheld

$XXX.XX

Gross taxable payments

$XXXX.XX

Total tax exempt payments

$XXXXX.XX

        - Tax-free pensions and benefits

$XXXX.XX

        - Other tax exempt payments

 

$XXXX.XX

 

Medicare levy full or half exemption days

XXX

Remote area allowance

$XXX.XX

Payer Details

Payer’s ABN or withholding number:    2396 4290 824

Payer’s name:    Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Signature of authorised person:    JANICE SILBY

Date:    15/06/20

See notes on reverse.

Notes:

Total tax withheld: The amount Veterans’ Affairs has deducted from your payments for tax.  If you have an amount in total tax withheld, you should lodge a tax return to ensure that you receive any refund of withheld tax you may be entitled to.  If no tax was withheld, you may still have to lodge a tax return.

Gross taxable payments: The amount you should include as income under ‘Australian Government pensions and allowances’ in the Income section if you are completing a tax return.

Total tax exempt payments: The total of the tax exempt payments you were paid for the tax year, including Tax-free pensions and benefits and Other tax exempt payments.

Tax-free pensions and benefits: Tax exempt payments that you should include on your tax return under ‘Tax-free Government Pensions or Benefits’.  This amount may also need to be declared on your spouse’s tax return as ‘spouse’s tax exempt pension income’.

Other tax exempt payments: Tax exempt payments that you do not need to show on your tax return.

Medicare levy exemption: A holder of a Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card for medical treatment is eligible for a full or half exemption from paying the Medicare Levy.  If you are eligible for an exemption, your number of Medicare Levy exemption days is shown on this payment summary.  The number of days shown should be included in the Medicare levy section of your tax return.

Remote area allowance: You will need to include your Remote area allowance separately on your tax return if you are claiming a zone tax offset. 

Further assistance: If you have any taxation enquiries, including whether you need to lodge a tax return or whether you qualify for a full or half Medicare Levy exemption, read the Individual tax return instructions for the relevant financial year, call the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm Monday to Friday, or visit www.ato.gov.au.  Enquiries about your payments should be directed to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The Australian Taxation Office checks information shown in tax returns against information provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

 

ATTACHMENT D

 

SAMPLE OF MEDICARE LEVY EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE

 

GPO Box 9998

            In Your Capital City

 

 

            Client name

            Client address

            Client address

 

 

 

Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate

Dear Beneficiary

This is your Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate showing the number of days you were eligible for full or half exemption from payment of the Medicare Levy.  This exemption applies because you were eligible for full treatment at the expense of the Department of Veterans' Affairs during those days.

Your File Number is: XXXXXXXX

The number of days you are eligible for a full or half Medicare Levy Exemption during 2019/2020 is: XXX

Please note: If you lodge an income tax return YOU DO NOT NEED TO ATTACH this Certificate to your tax return.  However, you should retain this Certificate for your records. 

If you need to lodge a tax return, the number of days you were eligible for full or half exemption will need to be stated against the relevant question on your tax return.

If you have any enquiries about the number of days, please contact your nearest DVA office.

If you have any enquiries about whether you are fully or half exempt from the payment of Medicare levy, read Individual tax return instructions 2018 or contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61.

Yours faithfully

Deputy Commissioner