The trial aims to address passive dependence on welfare and commit people in the trial communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge to resume primary responsibility for the wellbeing of their family and their community. The key aim of the trial is to ensure that kids are safe, fed and educated.
The Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC) will on occasions direct all or part of a person's income support payments to be managed by Centrelink to pay for the priority needs of their family.
The FRC will advise Centrelink how much of a person's payments will be income managed. It is likely to be 60 or 75 percent of regular fortnightly payments and all of any advances and lump sum payments. However, deductions such as Child Support Payments and government debt repayments will be taken out first.
Income management could be for a period of three to twelve months. The rest of a person's fortnightly entitlement will be paid in the usual way.
Income management will not reduce the total amount of a person's payments from Centrelink. Income management will only change the way they receive their payments.
The money managed by Centrelink will be used to pay for basic essentials, such as food, clothes, rent, electricity, medicine and basic household goods. The money cannot be spent on alcohol, tobacco, pornography or gambling. Centrelink will talk to customers to work out the things that will be paid for out of their income managed money.
The payments that can be income managed are:
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance
- Austudy payment
- Bereavement Allowance
- Disability Support Pension
- Mature Age Allowance
- Mature Age Partner Allowance
- Newstart Allowance
- Parenting Payment Partnered
- Parenting Payment Single
- Partner Allowance
- Sickness Allowance
- Special Benefit ABSTUDY payment
- Widow Allowance
- Widow B Pension
- Wife Pension
- Youth Allowance
- Baby Bonus
- Bereavement Payment
- Carer Allowance
- Child Disability Assistance
- Double Orphan Pension
- Family Tax Benefit
- Maternity Immunisation Allowance
- Mobility Allowance
- Pensioner Education Supplement
- Pharmaceutical Allowance
- Rent Assistance
- Remote Area Allowance
- Telephone Allowance
- Utilities Allowance
Most advance and lump sum payments will be 100 per cent income managed, including the Baby Bonus payment. The Baby Bonus payment will be paid in 13 fortnightly instalments, rather than as a lump sum.
Wages are not included in income management, but earnings need to be reported to Centrelink as they may affect Centrelink payments. Only payments from Centrelink are included in income management. If a Centrelink customer is not happy with the recommendation from the Family Responsibilities Commission to income manage their money, they need to contact the FRC direct.
If they are not happy with a decision on how their income management payments have been arranged, they can ask a Centrelink Authorised Review Officer (ARO) for a review.
For more information on Centrelink reviews and appeals processes, please refer to Centrelink - the Basics.
Income management can also be used as a way to assist people in managing their money. People living in the communities participating in Cape York Welfare Reform can voluntarily apply to the Family Responsibilities Commission to have their payments income managed.
For more information about income management, call the Centrelink Income Management line on 13 2594 or the Indigenous Call Centre on 13 6380.