A 'correspondence nominee' is appointed by the Secretary to receive mail from Centrelink on behalf of the individual and is nominated to assist the individual in their dealings with Centrelink, including fulfilling reporting obligations.
Full consideration should be given to the individual circumstances of the individual to ensure that a nominee arrangement is the correct arrangement for the individual.
To appoint a nominee the relevant form for appointing a nominee should be completed. The nominee is required to indicate their acceptance of appointment and their obligations under social security law via written consent. Letters of the appointment are to be sent to both the individual and the nominee.
Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 219TD Provisions relating to appointments
Policy reference: FA Guide 22.214.171.124 Responsibilities of Nominees
Whenever there is any question of the individual'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 individual 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 an individual 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 individual with attention to supporting evidence and where the delegate is fully satisfied that the nominee is required and will act in the individual's best interests. The decision made by the delegate to appoint a nominee in these circumstances must be fully documented.
Where an individual 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 an individual 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 individual.
When responding to a third party requesting information regarding the individual'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 a 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 individual to find out the individual'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 Information 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: 12 August 2013