Nominee roles and obligations
When one of our customers appoints an organisation as a nominee, the organisation must always act in the customer’s best interests when dealing with us.
A customer may choose someone to be both a correspondence and payment nominee or could have a different person for each nominee arrangement. A customer can only have one nominee for each type of nominee arrangement—for example, one correspondence nominee and one payment nominee, or one combined nominee (a combined correspondence and payment nominee).
The legislation allows the customer and nominee not to be held liable for any act or omission where they acted in good faith. However, both the correspondence and payment nominee should be aware of their obligations to the customer, and should notify us of any change in circumstances within the notification provisions.
A correspondence nominee will receive a copy of the customer’s mail and has the authority to enquire, sign forms and statements and make changes to the customer’s record on their behalf. Organisations can have mail delivered electronically via online mail. Correspondence nominees must tell us of any matter that affects their ability to act as a nominee.
Actions of a correspondence nominee on behalf of our customers
Correspondence nominees can do most things we expect of our customers. They are even able to accompany a customer to an interview, if the customer wishes.
The correspondence nominee is able to:
- lodge a claim on our customer’s behalf
- provide information on the customer’s change of circumstances
- make enquiries on behalf of the customer
- complete and sign Centrelink forms and statements
- provide relevant documents relating to the customer’s circumstances
- lodge applications for an Advance Payment
- attend appointments with or on behalf of a customer if the customer wishes. (At the customer’s request, the nominee may also attend medical examinations with them, but the nominee must respect any requirements or limitations set by the treating health professional.)
Nominees should be aware that action taken or not taken on our customer’s behalf that results in the customer’s receiving more money than he or she is entitled to will leave the customer with an overpayment that may have to be recovered.
A correspondence nominee can request a change in our customer’s payment destination, provided it is to an account that the customer has access to and the customer does not have a payment nominee.
Sending notices to correspondence nominees
Any letter or advice issued to one of our customers is also sent to his or her correspondence nominee, with the exception of concession cards. Concession cards are only sent to the customer, not to the correspondence nominee. Magazines are only sent to the correspondence nominee, not to the customer.
Failure to respond to a notice from us needing action or a response within a certain time frame may result in the customer’s payments being suspended.
A payment nominee will receive our customer’s payments on his or her behalf. A payment nominee must act in the best interest of the customer, ensuring that these payments are used exclusively for the customer’s benefit.
It is mandatory that the payment nominee keep records of all monies spent. A payment nominee must advise us of any matter that affects their ability to act as a nominee or any changes (such as changes to bank account details) that may impact on our ability to deliver payments.
Statement from the payment nominee regarding disposal of money
The Authorising a person or organisation to enquire or act on your behalf form advises both the customer and the payment nominee of the need to maintain records of payments received and monies spent on the customer’s behalf.
This advice is also in the appointment notice sent to the payment nominee. We may review the arrangement from time to time. We may give payment nominees a notice asking them to provide a written statement giving particulars of how they spent our customer’s payments. Financial penalties may apply if the information is not provided.
Payments to be sent to a bank account
Any Centrelink payments paid to a payment nominee on behalf of a customer must be delivered to a bank account nominated and maintained by the nominee.