This topic describes verification for the following personal details:
A change of name should ONLY be implemented IF:
If there is doubt that a change of name should be implemented, further evidence of the intention to use the new name should be sought.
Example: Such evidence may include a change of name certificate issued by a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (previously performed by deed poll), newspaper advertisement or notification of the change to such agencies as a bank or building society, medical fund, employer or motor registry.
Explanation: Frequent name change notifications raise doubts about a person's intentions in using the new name.
There are some instances where further documentation regarding a name change is a requirement of another organisation. Such documentation could also be sighted by Centrelink.
Example: If an application for a passport or a change to an existing passport is lodged, evidence such as a change of name certificate issued by a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (previously performed by deed poll), or marriage certificate is required. The change of name is either noted on the old passport or a new passport issued.
Situations where a change of name commonly occurs without certification are:
Explanation: Normally, there would be no difficulty accepting that the change of name is genuine in these situations. The stated intention to use the new name would be sufficient.
With certain exceptions, a person may adopt any name they wish and not retain their birth name. Generally, a person gives effect to a change of name by using it in all circumstances. There is no requirement for a change of name to be registered with a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (previously performed by deed poll), however this would be one method of demonstrating the intention to adopt a new name.
Children aged under 18 years cannot change their name without the consent of both parents, however, one parent may obtain a court order in lieu of the other parent's consent. In the case of ex-nuptial children, if the child's surname is that of the mother, and the father is not recorded on the birth certificate, there is no restriction on the mother changing the child's name. If the child's surname is that of the father, then his written consent or a court order, is required for the surname change to take place.
A person's previously known names will appear on their record providing a history of name changes.
Gender is an important part of a person's identity and is a requirement for qualification for some social security payments.
An Australian birth certificate, current Australian passport or current foreign passport are acceptable documents to verify a person's gender. (For claimants unable to provide sufficient documentation other procedures should be considered.)
A person with an intersex condition is born with sex chromosomes, external genitalia, or an internal reproductive system that is not exclusively either male or female.
If a person with an intersex condition advises that the sex shown on their birth certificate or Australian passport is incorrect, evidence needs to be shown that the person has been diagnosed with an intersex condition and that their sex was incorrectly assigned at birth.
Verification should be in the form of a statutory declaration from a medical doctor registered with a medical registration board in an Australian state or territory.
The gender recorded on the person's birth certificate is not necessarily conclusive, and does not need to be changed to identify the sex for social security purposes.
If a person has undergone sex affirmation (sexual re-assignment) surgery, and the sex shown on their birth certificate or passport no longer corresponds to their affirmed sex, one of the following forms of evidence can be accepted as verification of their sex:
For the assessment of 'member of a couple' for transgender people - before and after sex reaffirmation surgery, refer to 188.8.131.52 Transgender.
For the purposes of receiving an Australian Government income support payment under social security law, sex affirmation surgery refers to completed surgery to alter the genitals of a person and other distinguishing features to bring about conformity between their anatomical and psychological sex.
Note: Where a transgender person has not completed their sexual reassignment but has had a formal change of name to match their 'preferred' sex, their social security record will be changed to their new name but their gender will not be changed.
The following records are considered acceptable for the purposes of verifying age:
Some people may not be able to verify their DOB.
Example: This can occur with indigenous people from remote locations, older people, refugees and other people born overseas.
In some situations refugees and other people born overseas cannot verify their DOB.
DIAC has a policy on assumed DOBs for people who are born overseas and whose DOB is unknown. This policy operates as follows:
Prior to 5 April 2004, FaHCSIA policy was that an assumed DOB of 1/1/yyyy, be recorded for all applicants who cannot verify their DOB, such as, some overseas born, indigenous people, older people and people from remote locations.
With effect from 5 April 2004, when a DIAC document is presented by an unaccompanied humanitarian minor (UHM) where an assumed DOB of 31/12/yyyy is handwritten by DIAC underneath the official DOB, the handwritten assumed DOB must be accepted by Centrelink for the purposes of income support payments. That is, Centrelink must also record that person's DOB as 31/12/yyyy.
This policy is not retrospective. Those applicants who have been given an assumed DOB of 1 January yyyy prior to 5 April 2004 should retain this DOB.
For all people, other than unaccompanied minors whether born in Australia or overseas whose DOB is unknown the policy will continue to be the same, i.e. will have an assumed DOB as 1/1/yyyy, when that person cannot provide any information about their DOB.
Policy reference: SS Guide 184.108.40.206 Persons Experiencing Difficulty with Identity Verification
A doctor or midwife's certificate completed at the time of the child's birth is normally sufficient POI. The applicant needs to provide a passport if the child was born overseas.
If children are claimed as dependants, the FTB record is to be checked and the details noted on the applicant's file. If there are discrepancies between details supplied by the applicant and those on record, these should be discussed with the applicant.
Explanation: An index check should be done to ensure that the applicant's partner is not already receiving FTB.
Last reviewed: 30 April 2012