Legislative changes introduced in May 1995 established new arrangements for child support agreements. These changes extended the comprehensive system of review and appeal to payers (1.1.P.72) who are affected by the decision that the payee (1.1.P.71) has not taken reasonable action to obtain maintenance (1.1.M.10) because the child support agreement is not satisfactory. From 1 July 2008, new arrangements for child support agreements were introduced.
As part of the Child Support Scheme Reforms parents are now able to apply to the SSAT for a review of most Child Support objection decisions made on/or after 1 January 2007. A parent can also apply to the SSAT for a review of a Child Support decision to refuse to grant an application for an extension of time to lodge an objection. However, decisions that disallow an objection to a Child Support decision to refuse to make a change to an assessment under Part 6A of the Assessment Act because the issues were too complex, cannot be reviewed by the SSAT.
It is not a breach of privacy to acknowledge that both parties have rights in this situation and staff may discuss the situation with both parties, even when one party is not an FA individual. However, such discussions should be in general terms and care should be taken not to breach the privacy and confidentiality of the FA individual.
An appeal against a decision made by a Centrelink officer should follow normal appeal procedures. Payment of more than the base rate of FTB should continue pending resolution.
Child support agreements made before 1 July 2008 have to be approved by Centrelink. Such decisions are subject to a review. The original decision maker should follow the established guidelines for reviewing a decision when an FTB individual, usually the payee, seeks a review.
It is not a breach of privacy for the original decision maker to acknowledge that the other party, usually the payer has rights in this situation.
Although the original decision maker is not to discuss any specific details of the case, and must consider privacy and confidentiality constraints when communicating with the other party, the original decision maker should discuss the situation in general with the other party to determine which decision the other party wishes to appeal.
If the other party is dissatisfied with a Centrelink decision, that is that the agreement does not meet the reasonable action requirements, the original decision maker should assist the payer to request a review by the ARO.
Policy reference: FA Guide 6.1 Centrelink Review & Appeal Process
Last reviewed: 12 August 2013