Dependants can claim Centrelink payments while they are waiting for their entitlements to be determined.
Impact of lump sum payment
A lump sum payment for the death of a worker is an exempt payment under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth).
No Centrelink deductions are made from the payment.
Centrelink may regard a lump sum payment as an asset, which may reduce a dependant’s ongoing Centrelink entitlements.
The Agent should advise dependants to contact the Family Assistance Office (telephone 13 61 50), for advice on any potential Centrelink entitlement. Alternatively, to make an appointment with a Centrelink social worker social worker means a person accredited with the Australian Association of Social Work and registered with WorkSafe to provide social work services (other than as a student) within the Customer Service Centre - telephone 13 10 21.
Impact of weekly pension
Dependency pension payments are exempt under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth).
If a dependant is in receipt of a Centrelink payment, the dependant must advise Centrelink of the income received from weekly pension payments. Weekly pension payments are considered income rather than earnings and Centrelink will determine how the payments are treated. A debt incurred will result in recovery by Centrelink directly from the dependant.
There is no requirement to notify Centrelink or seek that Centrelink issue a Deed of Release or Recovery Notice A Recovery Notice is issued by Centrelink to WorkSafe/Agent once Centrelink have determined the amount recoverable. The recovery notice specifies the amount that Centrelink is seeking to recover and the period that the recoverable amount relates to. A recovery notice legally prohibits WorkSafe/Agent from making any payments to the worker unless they have paid to the Commonwealth the amount specified in the notice. about dependency pension payments either before or after the payments are made.
Should Centrelink issue a Preliminary Notice A preliminary notice is issued by Centrelink indicating that they have an interest in the worker referred to in the notice and may wish to recover an amount equal to all or part of the amount payable. This notice places an obligation on WorkSafe/Agent to notify Centrelink prior to releasing any weekly payments to the worker. WorkSafe/Agent is to advise Centrelink within seven calendar days of accepting liability for weekly compensation or receiving the notice if liability has been already been accepted, whichever is the later. for a dependant, the Agent should telephone Centrelink to discuss the matter and seek to have the notice withdrawn.
Note: Whilst there is no obligation to notify Centrelink about dependency pension payments, Agents are obliged to comply with Garnishee Notice A Garnishee Notice is issued to the WorkSafe/Agent where a worker has a debt to the Commonwealth (other than a debt arising directly from the worker’s compensation payments) and advises the amount of money to be remitted to Centrelink on behalf of a worker. issued about a dependant. Garnishee The holding back of a part of compensation from a worker who is indebted to the Commonwealth. Notices may be issued where a dependent has an existing Centrelink debt.
See: Garnishee notices
Centrelink may regard ongoing weekly pensions as income. This may reduce a dependant’s ongoing Centrelink eligibility for other entitlements or affect their partner’s entitlements.
The Agent should advise dependants to contact the Family Assistance Office, telephone 13 61 50, for advice on potential Centrelink entitlement. Alternatively, make an appointment with a Centrelink Social Worker within the Customer Service Centre, telephone 131 021.
Centrelink garnishee notice
Centrelink may issue a Garnishee Notice to a dependent partner, orphan or child.
The same rules apply to a Garnishee Notice issued for a dependant as per the rules set out under Garnishee Notices – direct payee.