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Can you opt out of RA?

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Lovetoread42

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Hi Ladies, recently on a girls night out we had a discussion re if rental assistance is mandatory. we came to that topic when one of the girls said that she is moving soon to a new place and would like to refuse the RA...her reason was that she had some dramas in the past with CL and is just ''over'' it. now we were split in opinions if you can ''opt'' out of that. half of us said...no you have to take it the other half said no its not mandatory....She said that she calculated her budget and could make it without. can any of you ladies shed some light who is right, as we placed a little bet rolleyes.gif lol....

#2 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

I think she's a tad crazy for even wanting to...

#3 Overtherainbow

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

I'd say you could but not certain.  Why not collect it and out it in a high interest account.  If centrelink has messed up it's there to give back.

#4 elizabethany

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

If you are getting another payment that has the option of rental assisstance, I don't get why you would just opt out of that?  It doesn't create anymore drama than CL would normally give you.  IF you are ONLY getting RA (and I didn't even know that was possible), then you can opt out of all CL benefits whenever you wish.  As far as I know, CL is an "all or nothing" type organisation for each payment.

#5 Lovetoread42

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

that was another discussion altogether why you would want to opt out. She just said...that she just doesn't want to be ''depended'' forever to CL wants to provide for her kids with her own earned money. Well each to their own I say...lol. As far as I know the only benefit she is getting is Family benefit & RA.

#6 erindiv

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

If she doesn't want to depend on CL then why claim the family tax benefit?

#7 Julie3Girls

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Presumably, she could simply tell them she isn't renting?

She might want to check how it affects her payments. From what I've read, it might actually drop her FTB a bit as well as loosing the amount specified as rent assistance. Not sure on that though.

#8 Therese

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

I imagine it may impact her FTB too.  I think the only way she could find out is to ring them to ask them.

#9 HRH Countrymel

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

I know how she can avoid it... buy a house.

#10 FiveAus

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

You only get Centrelink payments if you claim them. None are "mandatory" and can be stopped at any time. If she wants to support her children on her own money, why is she claiming FTB? She is only getting RA as an add on to FTB, she can stop it whenever she likes, or request that any component be held over til the end of the financial year.

#11 Lovetoread42

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:07 PM

lol..thank you ladies heaps for the replies...I agree with your opinions totally cool.gif

#12 Mumsyto2

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 22/01/2013, 11:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think she's a tad crazy for even wanting to...

No, quite sane I imagine. We have only dealt with Centrelink for child related matters (child care rebate, once upon a time immunisation allowance, baby bonus and carers allowance) and seriously there has not been one thing that has not been cocked up in some way.

I will never forget having to spend 2 whole days sorting out a measley immunisation payment they gave me (unsolicited), then told me I was not entitled to, then said I had to fill out a form & gave me a form, then said I had the wrong form (they had given it to me), then said I did not need a form & had no idea why I had received a letter telling me I had received a letter stating I had inadvertently received a payment I was not entitled to etc etc etc going around in circles a hundred times. They outright refused to just take back the money which I thought was the prefferable option rather than cost me 2 days off work sorting it out, the cost of which far exceeded the pitiful payment I had received.

They have NEVER not lost a form we have given, claimed they have never sighted birth certificates etc when they have been taken in and a person has made a copy and stamped them - I am sure it is protocol to just bin all docs they receive. Seriously it has never ceased to amaze me that one service can be so utterly useless at what they do and that this is deemed to be acceptable. So I in no way think that woman is crazy .....

Edited by Mumsyto2, 22 January 2013 - 12:24 PM.

#13 FeralZombieMum

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE (~*Twilight~Zone*~ @ 22/01/2013, 12:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All she has to do is tell them she is no longer renting.

She will still get the same FTB but will not receive the rent assistance.

She could get a drop in her FTB as the FTB A is calculated at a different rate, depending on if you rent or not.

This isn't widely publicised, and can catch those families that go from renting to paying off a mortgage - there can be a bit of a shock when you've done your sums based on your current FTB and if you don't realise part of your FTB has a hidden "rent" benefit, then you might find yourself in some financial difficulty.

It's one thing that really needs to be changed!

#14 solongsuckers

Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE (~*Twilight~Zone*~ @ 22/01/2013, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've done the online estimator with and without rent and my FTB hasn't changed only difference was an additional rental assistance amount.  Is that what you mean ZombieMum?

Mine doesn't change either but that is only because I am already on max FTB

#15 Lees75

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:09 PM

The income limits are different for FTB Part A when you rent. You can definitely lose a chunk of FTB part A, as well as the RA. I lost $40 per fortnight, from memory.

#16 be_a_butterfly

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

I moved once and never gave CL a copy of my lease therefore I didnt get rent assistance for 5 years until I moved again and decided to show them my lease.

#17 EffiesMum172

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:21 PM


Edited by EffiesMum172, 22 January 2013 - 11:21 PM.

#18 Another one

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 22/01/2013, 12:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You only get Centrelink payments if you claim them. None are "mandatory" and can be stopped at any time. If she wants to support her children on her own money, why is she claiming FTB? She is only getting RA as an add on to FTB, she can stop it whenever she likes, or request that any component be held over til the end of the financial year.

This is the exact answer.  When she changes her address and they ask if she is paying rent say no.

BUT she may find her FTBA drops a little as well.  It can be hard to explain but when they work out your FTBA/RA and then advise it in a rate notice it's done as follows:

Max rate of FTBA including all add ons (RA, LFS etc)
less affecting income
equals total payment.

Then the apportion the FTBA and RA according to what percentage the RA is of the total maximum payment that was available.

EG if max FTBA was $70 and RA was $30 then max payment is $100 and the split is 70/30.
Let's say affecting income is $40 so actual FTBA plus RA is $60.

A rate notice would say FTBA is $42 (70%) and RA is $18 (30%).

Now lets say you don't rent so your max FTBA is $70 with no add on payments.  Affecting income is $40.
Now your FTBA is $30.

Does that make sense?

But as with other PPs if she is so het up about supprtong her children herself don't claim anything.  Noone can make you claim payments from Centrelink.

#19 heather124

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:28 PM

All she has to do is tell them she's moved and never supply them with a copy of the lease or a new rent certificate.  They'll stop it for her.

#20 FeralZombieMum

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

QUOTE (~*Twilight~Zone*~ @ 22/01/2013, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've done the online estimator with and without rent and my FTB hasn't changed only difference was an additional rental assistance amount.  Is that what you mean ZombieMum?

Yes - but I guess you might be receiving the full amount, therefore it wouldn't be affected?

I stumbled across it a few years ago when I was playing around with the online calculator. At first I thought I must have made a mistake, but then realised I hadn't. I've since seen a few posts online where families have budgeted based on their current FTB, and then find out after they've bought a new house and moved in that their FTB has also dropped.

I'm not sure why Centrelink do this - because it can put people in financial difficulty - it would be fairer for those receiving it if it was clearly defined and obvious.

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