Frequently Asked QuestionsIf you have any questions that are not on this page just go to the contact form and submit them. Click on the question to view/hide the answer.
Is the information in the document secret?
Is this information secret?No. It is important to understand that the information for sale in the 'Changing Your Situation' document is not secret and is not covered by the "Official Secrets Act". In fact the information can easily be found by anyone who has both the time and inclination to study the relevant legislation (such as a lawyer). However this may take you hours, days or weeks. If you do not want to pay for the documents then you are more than welcome to do this.
Those that do not want to spend all of this time/money hunting for this information can easily purchase my document. I have extracted and summarised the relevant information from the vast amount of legislation that is used to assess, pay and recover Rent Assistance payments into one single easy to understand document.
Why was I not told about it?Most probably the biggest reason is money. If everyone knew this information then Centrelink may be forced to pay between $80 and $100 million more annually (which may annoy the tax payers and cost votes).
The other possibility is that many Centrelink staff granting payments have only a general knowledge of all of the Centrelink legislation to base their decisions upon. Make no mistake, they do their best to pass along whatever information they can, (and in most cases pass the tough clients to those with more specific knowledge to make the correct decisions). Other staff, who are fully aware of the legislation, choose to not actually pass on this knowledge. I know of at least one Rent Assistance Compliance Team manager has told her staff not to release this information to "Protect Centrelink". Since the information is not even secret or covered by the "Official Secrets Act", the only possible reason for doing this was that it would have adversely affected the debt recovery statistics, or the total Rent Assistance payment figures that these sections (and in turn the managers) are assessed on. Either way, many clients are left ill-informed, confused and paid incorrectly (without knowing it).
You have to remember that most clients rely on and trust Centrelink to tell them exactly what they are entitled to receive (after all they know the legislation). They believe everything they are told at face value, and are unaware if and when errors are made until well after they happen (and they are prosecuted or have a debt raised against them). Those that do not are the ones that actively appeal decisions they think are incorrect and actually take the time to read and understand any applicable legislation.
How much does the document cost?
How much do the documents cost?Previously these document cost $20 for the Changing Your Situation document and $10 for the Under 25 and Living At Home document. However I have now decided to change this to a donation system. If using the "Changing Your Situation" document gets you an increase in your Centrelink payments then just donate half of that first fortnights increase (if it increases by $20 per fortnight then donate $10)..
Each document may be able to be used by any others in the property receiving Rent Assistance. This means that each person affected may also be able to increase in their Rent Assistance. This would mean that the cost of the document could be shared by all affected.
Donations can be made by clicking on the "Donate" button to the left.
The document will explain exactly what to do (step by step) to be reassessed as a non-sharer. If I make any updates to these documents I will send a copy to anyone who has previously purchased it. If you want to leave a comment about the web-site or the document, then you can go to the Guestbook.
How much more Rent Assistance will I get?
How much more Rent Assistance will I get?If you currently receive Rent Assistance payments from Centrelink and are currently assessed as a Sharer then the Changing Your Situation document shows you how to easily and legally change your rental situation so that Centrelink is forced to assess you as a Non-Sharer. Once you have been re-assessed by Centrelink as a Non-Sharer you may* be entitled to an increase in your Rent Assistance payments up to the full non-sharers rate (click here for the Centrelink Rent Assistance Rates Guide).
The reason that I cannot say exactly what your increase will be, is that I do not know what you get now or what you will get after you are reassessed (this depends on how or if you use the information). The best I can say is that if you receive the maximum sharers rate of Rent Assistance before you are re-assessed and receive the maximum non-sharers rate after then you would get a net increase of about $35 pf (or about $900 annually). If your net increase is more or less then you should expect to receive more or less. You may be able to find out more information in the FAQ page.
* There will probably be rare cases where even after people are reassessed as a non-sharer their Rent Assistance remains exactly the same. If your case turns out to be like this fee free to sell the document to recover your costs. Unless of course if others in your property used the information and increased their payments (if this happens then you should just recover your costs from them).