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A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to social security and veterans’ entitlements, and for related purposes
Administered by: Social Services
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 11 Sep 2019
Introduced HR 11 Sep 2019
Table of contents.

2019

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Payment Integrity) Bill 2019

 

No.      , 2019

 

(Social Services)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to social security and veterans’ entitlements, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Schedules............................................................................................ 3

Schedule 1—Enhanced residency requirements for pensioners               4

Part 1—Main amendments                                                                                         4

Social Security Act 1991                                                                                            4

Part 2—Contingent amendments                                                                            8

New Skilled Regional Visas (Consequential Amendments) Act 2019               8

Schedule 2—Stopping the payment of pension supplement after 6 weeks overseas         9

Social Security Act 1991                                                                                            9

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986                                                                            14

Schedule 3—Liquid assets test waiting period                                                    17

Social Security Act 1991                                                                                          17

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to social security and veterans’ entitlements, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Payment Integrity) Act 2019.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Schedule 1, Part 1

As follows:

(a) if this Act receives the Royal Assent on or before 1 December 2019—1 January 2020;

(b) if this Act receives the Royal Assent after 1 December 2019—the first 1 January or 1 July to occur after the end of the period of 1 month beginning on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

3.  Schedule 1, Part 2

The later of:

(a) immediately after the commencement of the provisions covered by table item 2; and

(b) immediately after the commencement of the New Skilled Regional Visas (Consequential Amendments) Act 2019.

However, the provisions do not commence at all if the event mentioned in paragraph (b) does not occur.

 

4.  Schedules 2 and 3

As follows:

(a) if this Act receives the Royal Assent on or before 1 December 2019—1 January 2020;

(b) if this Act receives the Royal Assent after 1 December 2019—the first 1 January or 1 July to occur after the end of the period of 1 month beginning on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Enhanced residency requirements for pensioners

Part 1Main amendments

Social Security Act 1991

1  Paragraph 43(1)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (a)  the person meets the qualifying residency requirements under section 43A;

2  Subsection 43(1) (note 1)

Repeal the note.

3  Subsection 43(1) (note 2)

Omit “Note 2”, substitute “Note”.

4  At the end of Subdivision A of Division 1 of Part 2.2

Add:

43A  Qualifying residency requirements

             (1)  A person meets the qualifying residency requirements under this section if the person has, at any time, been an Australian resident for a continuous period (the residency period) of at least:

                     (a)  if the person satisfies subsection (2) or (3)—10 years; and

                     (b)  otherwise—15 years.

             (2)  The person satisfies this subsection if at least 5 years of the residency period occurred:

                     (a)  while the person was at least 16; and

                     (b)  before the person reached pension age.

             (3)  The person satisfies this subsection if the following conditions are met for a period that exceeds, or for 2 or more periods that in the aggregate exceed, 5 years (whether or not the period or periods occur during the residency period):

                     (a)  the person was not receiving a payment of any of the following during the period or periods:

                              (i)  austudy payment or an AUSTUDY allowance;

                             (ii)  newstart allowance, a job search allowance under this Act as previously in force or the 1947 Act, or an unemployment benefit under the 1947 Act;

                            (iii)  youth allowance or a youth training allowance;

                            (iv)  special benefit under this Act or a special benefit under the 1947 Act;

                     (b)  the person was at least 16 during the period or periods;

                     (c)  the person was an Australian resident during the period or periods.

             (4)  A person is taken to have not been receiving a payment during a period for the purposes of paragraph (3)(a) if an assurance of support was in force for the person for the period.

Note:          For assurance of support, see subsection 23(1).

5  Paragraph 94(1)(e)

Omit “either”.

6  Subparagraph 94(1)(e)(ii)

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                             (ii)  meets the qualifying residency requirements under section 95A; or

                           (iia)  has a qualifying residence exemption for a disability support pension; or

7  Subsection 94(1) (note 1)

Omit “, qualifying Australian residence”.

8  Subparagraph 95(1)(c)(ii)

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                             (ii)  meets the qualifying residency requirements under section 95A; or

9  Subsection 95(1) (note)

Omit “and qualifying Australian residence”.

10  After section 95

Insert:

95A  Qualifying residency requirements

             (1)  A person meets the qualifying residency requirements under this section if the person has, at any time, been an Australian resident for a continuous period (the residency period) of at least:

                     (a)  if the person satisfies subsection (2) or (3)—10 years; and

                     (b)  otherwise—15 years.

             (2)  The person satisfies this subsection if at least 5 years of the residency period occurred:

                     (a)  while the person was at least 16; and

                     (b)  before the person reached pension age.

             (3)  The person satisfies this subsection if the following conditions are met for a period that exceeds, or for 2 or more periods that in the aggregate exceed, 5 years (whether or not the period or periods occur during the residency period):

                     (a)  the person was not receiving a payment of any of the following during the period or periods:

                              (i)  austudy payment or an AUSTUDY allowance;

                             (ii)  newstart allowance, a job search allowance under this Act as previously in force or the 1947 Act, or an unemployment benefit under the 1947 Act;

                            (iii)  youth allowance or a youth training allowance;

                            (iv)  special benefit under this Act or a special benefit under the 1947 Act;

                     (b)  the person was at least 16 during the period or periods;

                     (c)  the person was an Australian resident during the period or periods.

             (4)  A person is taken to have not been receiving a payment during a period for the purposes of paragraph (3)(a) if an assurance of support was in force for the person for the period.

Note:          For assurance of support, see subsection 23(1).

11  Application provisions

(1)       The amendments made by this Part apply (subject to subitem (2)) in relation to a claim made by a person for an age pension or a disability support pension if:

                     (a)  the claim is made on or after the commencement of this item; or

                     (b)  all of the following apply:

                              (i)  the claim is made before that commencement;

                             (ii)  the person does not qualify for the relevant pension at or after the time the claim is made but before that commencement;

                            (iii)  the Secretary determines the claim on or after that commencement.

(2)       The amendments made by this Part do not apply in relation to a claim made (whether before or after the commencement of this item) by a person for an age pension or a disability support pension if the person received a payment of the relevant pension at any time before that commencement.

Part 2Contingent amendments

New Skilled Regional Visas (Consequential Amendments) Act 2019

12  Paragraph 31(2)(d) of Schedule 1

After “paragraph 43(1A)(d)”, insert “, 43A(1)(a) or (b) or 95A(1)(a) or (b)”.

Schedule 2Stopping the payment of pension supplement after 6 weeks overseas

  

Social Security Act 1991

1  Subsection 23(1) (definition of pension supplement amount)

After “the amount”, insert “(if any)”.

2  Point 1064‑A1 (method statement, step 1A)

After “pension supplement”, insert “(if any)”.

3  Points 1064‑BA1 and 1064‑BA2

Repeal the points, substitute:

Pension supplement

1064‑BA1  A pension supplement amount is to be added to the person’s maximum basic rate if the person is residing in Australia and:

                     (a)  is in Australia; or

                     (b)  is temporarily absent from Australia and has been so for a continuous period not exceeding 6 weeks.

1064‑BA2  The person’s pension supplement amount is:

                     (a)  if an election by the person under subsection 1061VA(1) is in force—the amount worked out under point 1064‑BA4; and

                     (b)  otherwise—the amount worked out under point 1064‑BA3.

4  Point 1064‑BA3 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if no election in force

5  Point 1064‑BA4 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if election in force

6  Point 1064‑BA5

Repeal the point.

7  Point 1065‑A1 (method statement, step 2A)

After “pension supplement”, insert “(if any)”.

8  Points 1065‑BA1 and 1065‑BA2

Repeal the points, substitute:

Pension supplement

1065‑BA1  A pension supplement amount is to be added to the person’s maximum basic rate if the person is residing in Australia and:

                     (a)  is in Australia; or

                     (b)  is temporarily absent from Australia and has been so for a continuous period not exceeding 6 weeks.

1065‑BA2  The person’s pension supplement amount is:

                     (a)  if an election by the person under subsection 1061VA(1) is in force—the amount worked out under point 1065‑BA4; and

                     (b)  otherwise—the amount worked out under point 1065‑BA3.

9  Point 1065‑BA3 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if no election in force

10  Point 1065‑BA4 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if election in force

11  Point 1065‑BA5

Repeal the point.

12  Point 1066‑A1 (method statement, step 1A)

After “pension supplement”, insert “(if any)”.

13  Points 1066‑BA1 and 1066‑BA2

Repeal the points, substitute:

Pension supplement

1066‑BA1  A pension supplement amount is to be added to the person’s maximum basic rate if the person is residing in Australia and:

                     (a)  is in Australia; or

                     (b)  is temporarily absent from Australia and has been so for a continuous period not exceeding 6 weeks.

1066‑BA2  The person’s pension supplement amount is:

                     (a)  if an election by the person under subsection 1061VA(1) is in force—the amount worked out under point 1066‑BA4; and

                     (b)  otherwise—the amount worked out under point 1066‑BA3.

14  Point 1066‑BA3 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if no election in force

15  Point 1066‑BA4 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if election in force

16  Point 1066‑BA5

Repeal the point.

17  Point 1068A‑A1 (method statement, step 1A)

After “pension supplement”, insert “(if any)”.

18  Points 1068A‑BA1 and 1068A‑BA2

Repeal the points, substitute:

Pension supplement

1068A‑BA1                 A pension supplement amount is to be added to the person’s maximum basic rate if the person is residing in Australia and:

                     (a)  is in Australia; or

                     (b)  is temporarily absent from Australia and has been so for a continuous period not exceeding 6 weeks.

1068A‑BA2                 The person’s pension supplement amount is:

                     (a)  if the person has reached pension age:

                              (i)  if an election by the person under subsection 1061VA(1) is in force—the amount worked out under point 1068A‑BA4; and

                             (ii)  otherwise—the amount worked out under point 1068A‑BA3; and

                     (b)  if the person has not reached pension age—the amount worked out under point 1068A‑BA5.

19  Point 1068A‑BA3 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if person of pension age and no election in force

20  Point 1068A‑BA4 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if person of pension age and election in force

21  Point 1068A‑BA5 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if person has not reached pension age

22  Point 1068A‑BA5

Omit “If the person is not covered by point 1068A‑BA2, the”, substitute “The”.

23  After section 1216

Insert:

1216A  Rate of payment may be affected during absence from Australia

                   A reference in this Division to a person’s right to continue to be paid a payment not being affected merely by the person’s absence does not imply that the person’s rate of payment cannot be affected because of the absence.

Note:          A person’s rate of payment is worked out in accordance with the relevant Rate Calculator in Chapter 3.

24  Subclause 147(3) of Schedule 1A (method statement)

Repeal the method statement, substitute:

Method statement

              Work out the amount that would be the pension MBR (described using the abbreviation used in Part 3.16 for the amount) on 20 September 2009, if the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Pension Reform and Other 2009 Budget Measures) Act 2009 had not been enacted, for a person who is not a member of a couple:

               (a)     assuming that section 1195 did not apply on 20 September 2009; and

              (b)     taking account of indexation under Part 3.16 on that day.

25  Subclause 147(4) of Schedule 1A (method statement)

Repeal the method statement, substitute:

Method statement

              Work out the amount that would be the pension MBR (described using the abbreviation used in Part 3.16 for the amount) on 20 September 2009, if the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Pension Reform and Other 2009 Budget Measures) Act 2009 had not been enacted, for a person who is a member of a couple (but not a member of an illness separated couple or respite care couple and not partnered (partner in gaol)):

               (a)     assuming that section 1195 did not apply on 20 September 2009; and

              (b)     taking account of indexation under Part 3.16 on that day.

26  Application provision

The amendments of the Social Security Act 1991 made by this Schedule apply in relation to a temporary or permanent absence from Australia for a period that begins before, on or after the day this item commences.

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

27  Subsection 5Q(1) (definition of pension supplement amount)

After “the amount”, insert “(if any)”.

28  After subsection 58K(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  However, the reference in subsection (1) to a person’s right to continue to be paid a pension or supplement not being affected by the fact that the person leaves Australia does not imply that the person’s rate of payment cannot be affected because of the absence from Australia.

Note:          A person’s rate of payment is worked out in accordance with the Rate Calculator.

29  Subclause 31(3) of Schedule 5 (method statement)

Repeal the method statement, substitute:

Method statement

              Work out the amount that would have been the pension MBR (within the meaning of Division 18 of Part IIIB) on 20 September 2009, if the Veterans’ Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Pension Reform) Act 2009 had not been enacted, for a person who is not a member of a couple:

               (a)     assuming that section 59EA did not apply on 20 September 2009; and

              (b)     taking account of indexation under Division 18 of Part IIIB on that day.

30  Subclause 31(4) of Schedule 5 (method statement)

Repeal the method statement, substitute:

Method statement

              Work out the amount that would have been the pension MBR (within the meaning of Division 18 of Part IIIB) on 20 September 2009, if the Veterans’ Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Pension Reform) Act 2009 had not been enacted, for a member of a couple (other than an illness separated couple or a respite care couple):

               (a)     assuming that section 59EA did not apply on 20 September 2009; and

              (b)     taking account of indexation under Division 18 of Part IIIB on that day.

31  Subpoint SCH6‑A1(2) of Schedule 6 (method statement, step 1A)

After “pension supplement”, insert “(if any)”.

32  Subpoint SCH6‑A1(3) of Schedule 6 (method statement, step 2A)

After “pension supplement”, insert “(if any)”.

33  Subpoint SCH6‑A1(6) of Schedule 6 (method statement, step 1A)

After “pension supplement”, insert “(if any)”.

34  Points SCH6‑BA1 and SCH6‑BA2 of Schedule 6

Repeal the points, substitute:

Pension supplement

SCH6‑BA1 A pension supplement amount is to be added to the person’s maximum basic rate if the person is residing in Australia and:

                     (a)  is in Australia; or

                     (b)  is temporarily absent from Australia and has been so for a continuous period not exceeding 6 weeks.

SCH6‑BA2 The person’s pension supplement amount is:

                     (a)  if an election by the person under subsection 60A(1) is in force—the amount worked out under point SCH6‑BA4; and

                     (b)  otherwise—the amount worked out under point SCH6‑BA3.

35  Point SCH6‑BA3 of Schedule 6 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if no election in force

36  Point SCH6‑BA4 of Schedule 6 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

Amount if election in force

37  Point SCH6‑BA5 of Schedule 6

Repeal the point.

38  Application provision

The amendments of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 made by this Schedule apply in relation to a temporary or permanent absence from Australia for a period that begins before, on or after the day this item commences.

Schedule 3Liquid assets test waiting period

  

Social Security Act 1991

1  Paragraphs 549C(1)(a) and (b)

Omit “13” (wherever occurring), substitute “26”.

2  Paragraphs 575C(1)(a) and (b)

Omit “13” (wherever occurring), substitute “26”.

3  Subsection 598(2B)

Omit “13” (wherever occurring), substitute “26”.

4  Subsection 676(3B)

Omit “13” (wherever occurring), substitute “26”.

5  Application provision

The amendments made by this Schedule apply in relation to claims for a youth allowance, an austudy payment, a newstart allowance, a jobseeker payment or sickness allowance made on or after the commencement of this item.