When a person requests VIM, the delegate will verify whether the person is eligible.
At the initial interview, the delegate will explain the VIM Measure to the person and how income management works. The delegate will also discuss with the person the advantages and disadvantages of VIM, and discuss other available options such as Centrepay or payment nominee arrangements.
VIM is suitable for a person who wishes to access a 50% portion of their welfare payments in non-cash forms and to have a more structured approach to their finances. VIM also has the advantage of offering the VIM incentive payment (126.96.36.199).
Centrepay will generally be appropriate where a person only wants to cover a limited number of regular expenses.
Example: Barry has regular electricity bills and wants to ensure that he pays them. He asks to go onto VIM to make sure he meets his electricity bill payments on time. Centrelink advises Barry that because it is only one payment, Centrepay may be the more appropriate method for him to make regular deductions for this purpose. Barry chooses to make regular payments via Centrepay.
If the person chooses VIM, they will sign a VIM agreement.
In discussions with the person, the delegate will develop a plan for allocations expenditure based on the priority needs listed in the legislation (SS(Admin)Act section 123TH), and the person's situation. The delegate will involve the person in making decisions about how their payments should be allocated.
A person's start date for VIM will be the start date nominated in the agreement. This would normally be the date of the initial interview.
If the person does not attend the initial face-to-face interview, a VIM agreement cannot be signed and income management will not commence (see 11.7.3). If this occurs, no follow-up is required from the delegate and it will be up to the person to reschedule an initial interview.
Following the initial interview, the delegate will provide written details to the person, including a copy of the VIM agreement showing the commencement and end dates for income management and a list of agreed allocations.
The delegate will also offer a referral to financial management support services (11.1.2).
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 123TH Priority needs
There are no formal requirements for ongoing contact between Centrelink and a person on VIM. A person on VIM can contact Centrelink at any time to discuss income management allocations and how they are meeting their priority needs.
Last reviewed: 20 March 2012