The partnership between FCVic and Social Security Rights Victoria (SSRV), the Integrated Services Project (ISP), aims to improve client outcomes through financial counsellors and social security lawyers working together more effectively.
We hope to attend meetings of all regional networks in the state during the first quarter to highlight the services available. Do please contact Graeme Parsons directly ([email protected]), or through Georgia Robenstone ([email protected]) at FCVic.
The support available from both Services Australia & other agencies has not always been clear. Here is a current link concerning the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, effective 18 January 2022. Eligibility includes provision for those caring for children, aged 16 years & under, and both RAT & PCR testing are sufficient under the new rules. It has been announced in the media that the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment rate will reduce to $450 for those who lose 8-19 hours of work, and $0 for those who lose less than 8 hours. The ABC has consulted SSRV for a recent piece on accessing the benefit.
Restarting Centrelink Debt Activities
After a pause for the COVID-19 pandemic, the raising of debts has resumed from 10 January 2022 – Happy New Year. Debt recovery activities will also restart, beginning in July. Until July, people who owe a debt to Centrelink do not need to repay anything. If any clients are asked to pay Centrelink they can ask for the COVID-19 debt recovery pause to be applied. Details here.
The SSRV AGM was held on 17 November 2021 and the Annual Report was published. The Annual Report is still available on our website.
Keep in touch
SSRV is now producing a regular newsletter. If you aren’t receiving it already, you can subscribe by sending us a request with your name and preferred email address to [email protected].
If you have any requests for CPD sessions, you can contact us on [email protected].
Financial counsellors are invited to call the SSRV Worker Help Line on 03 9481 0655 (0429 450 346 during remote servicing) for information and support in assisting clients with Centrelink matters and to make referrals to SSRV. The Worker Help Line operates 9am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday. We also accept referrals by email to [email protected].
Individuals can be referred to the SSRV Legal Assistance Line on 03 9481 0355 (0419 793 652 during remote servicing), which operates 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Thursday.