A recipient who wants their payments, including advance payments, to go to another person on an ongoing basis can request the appointment of a 'payment nominee'. Full consideration should be given to the individual circumstances of the recipient and other avenues of payments to a third party to ensure that a payment nominee arrangement is the correct arrangement for the recipient.
In practice, a person who is eligible for FTB is unlikely to be in a situation where payment should be directed to a nominee for instalment payments. If a nominee is needed, it is likely that the person is unable to provide enough care for a child to meet the FTB child eligibility requirements.
To appoint a nominee the relevant form should be completed. The nominee is required to indicate their acceptance of appointment and their obligations under FA law. Letters of the nominee appointment are to be sent to both the recipient and the nominee.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 219TD Provisions relating to appointments
Policy reference: FA Guide 220.127.116.11 Responsibilities of Nominees
Whenever there is any question of the recipient's capability to consent to the appointment of a nominee or any concerns as to an existing arrangement, the delegate must investigate the situation further. Where the recipient is deemed incapable of providing consent the delegate must obtain documentary evidence to support any decision to appoint a nominee.
There may be times where a recipient is not capable, for example due to an intellectual/physical constraint, of consenting to the appointment of a nominee. In these cases, a delegate may appoint a nominee on behalf of the recipient with attention to supporting evidence and where the delegate is fully satisfied that the nominee is required and will act in the recipient's best interests. The decision made by the delegate to appoint a nominee in these circumstances must be fully documented.
Where a recipient has a psychiatric disability, a nominee can be appointed in these instances where there is a court-appointed arrangement such as a Guardianship Order provided by the Mental Health Tribunal.
To decide whether a recipient is incapable of consenting to the appointment of a nominee, a delegate must have sufficient evidence.
Examples of what may contribute to evidence may be:
There are some instances where the appointment of a nominee may not be the most appropriate option to meet the best interests of the recipient.
When responding to a third party requesting information regarding the recipient's payments, it may be more appropriate to consider the release of information under implied consent arrangements rather than by appointing a nominee.
Example: A person has an expected short term incapability and someone needs to make contact to obtain information on their behalf, such as a hospital social worker rings up the local Centrelink social worker on behalf of a comatose recipient to find out the recipient's payment details.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 168(1) Disclosure of information by Secretary
Privacy Act 1988 section 14 Information Privacy Principles: Principle 11 Limits on disclosure of personal information
Policy reference: Office of the Privacy Commissioner Guidelines see Guidelines to Information Privacy Principles 8-11 - Guideline 16 Must consent be express - or is implied consent sufficient?, Guideline 17 Who must consent, and who must obtain that consent?
Last reviewed: 1 December 2008