Point to Point - Industry Assistance

Additional Assistance Payment Scheme Update

All 1258 applications for additional assistance have now been determined.

While many applicants have already been advised of their determination, if you have not received notification, you should receive it in the mail by  19 July 2019.

Point to Point - Industry Assistance

The NSW Government established an industry adjustment assistance package of up to $250 million. These funds have been made available across three streams:

  • Additional Assistance Hire Vehicles Payment Scheme,
  • Transitional Assistance Payment (Phase 1 and Phase 2); and
  • Additional Assistance Payment Scheme.

Additional Assistance Payment Scheme

Purpose of the scheme

The Additional Assistance Payment Scheme (AAPS) was created by the NSW Government to provide financial assistance to persons who were involved in or connected to the taxi and hire car industry and were detrimentally impacted directly by the Point to Point Transport reforms. Additional assistance payments are directed towards eligible applicants who are most likely to be vulnerable to financial hardship.

The AAPS was not intended as a compensation scheme.

How was financial hardship defined for the purpose of the AAPS?

For the purposes of the AAPS the income and assets test for eligibility for the aged pension (as set by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services) was used as a guide when considering a person’s circumstances, including whether a person was suffering financial hardship.

Under this test a person with a total annual family gross income of less than $79,050 (or less than $52,000 for an individual) with net assets of less than $561,250 (where the applicant owns their own home) or net assets of less than $768,250 (where the applicant does not own their own home) was considered to be most vulnerable to being in financial hardship.

These thresholds were used as a guide, with determinations of additional assistance made based on the individual circumstances of each applicant after a consideration of their circumstances including any provided information and other evidence. 

Possible indicators of financial hardship may also include where a person:

  • has qualified for financial hardship with a financial institution or utility provider;
  • is unable to raise $1000 in a week for something important;
  • could not afford to pay a gas, electricity or other utility bill on time;
  • could not pay car registration or insurance on time;
  • pawned or sold something to raise cash to pay bills; or
  • sought help from a welfare/community organisation.

These indicators were used to assist in identifying those applicants most likely to be in financial hardship and most likely to be suffering detriment.

AAPS applications process

AAPS applications opened in July 2018 and closed in December 2018. TfNSW also wrote to all eligible taxi licence holders in July 2018 and again in September 2018 to invite them to apply for the AAPS.

All applications received were reviewed to identify whether they were completed correctly and required information was included. In November 2018, TfNSW wrote to identified applicants requesting any missing information that should be provided to assist with determinations.

TfNSW wrote to all applicants again in December 2018 to advise that the AAPS was closing and to request they provide any missing documents or other relevant information. 

To assist applicants in completing their applications TfNSW established an Industry Assistance Contact Centre and also engaged Business Connect through the NSW Department of Industry to provide independent advisory and support services to applicants. To ensure an accurate determination could be made applicants were asked to provide as much of a complete picture of their financial circumstances as possible.

Frequently asked questions about the AAPS

How was financial hardship defined for the purpose of the AAPS?

Possible indicators of financial hardship may include where a person:

  • has qualified for financial hardship with a financial institution or utility provider;
  • is unable to raise $1000 in a week for something important;
  • could not afford to pay a gas, electricity or other utility bill on time;
  • could not pay car registration or insurance on time;
  • pawned or sold something to raise cash to pay bills; or
  • sought help from a welfare/community organisation.

These indicators were used to assist in identifying those applicants most likely to be in financial hardship and most likely to be suffering detriment.

For the purposes of the AAPS, the income and assets test for eligibility for the aged pension (as set by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS)) was used as a guide when considering a person’s circumstances, including whether a person was suffering financial hardship.

Why didn’t I receive a payment?

All applications were reviewed and a determination made after careful consideration of the information provided in the application, the particular circumstances of the applicant, and any other relevant evidence/information.

Examples of reasons why a person did not receive a payment may include:

1. The applicant did not submit a completed application form.

Each applicant received at least three and up to six requests to complete their application form.

For applicant’s lodging an electronic application in the AAPS portal email reminders were sent asking for any missing information or additional documentation to be provided.

If, after consideration of the evidence and information in the application the applicant’s financial circumstances were unable to be verified, an applicant’s claim of detriment resulting from the reforms could not be supported.

2. An application was missing key information that was necessary to verify an applicant’s financial circumstances.

In some instances completed application forms were received but were missing key information or evidence that meant that an assessment as to the financial circumstances of the applicant could not be made and therefore a determination could not be made.

For example some applicants declared that they owned or operated a business but did not provide further details about that business such as gross income or asset value. In this and other cases the financial circumstances of the applicant were unable to be verified.

3. Applicant didn’t receive a payment because, after consideration of the information provided in their application, their particular circumstances and taking into account the evidence regarding their gross income and net wealth their claim of detriment resulting from the reforms could not be supported.

The AAPS was established to provide financial assistance to persons who have been detrimentally impacted by the Point to Point transport reforms and who were considered most likely to be vulnerable to financial hardship as a direct result of the reforms.

Under the approved guidelines the income and assets test for eligibility for the aged pension (as set by DSS) was used as a guide when considering a person’s circumstances, including whether a person was suffering financial hardship.

The following thresholds apply for a person to be eligible for the aged pension:

Category of personGross IncomeNet Assets
Couple (combined) who is a homeowner$79,737$848,000
Couple (combined) who is a non-homeowner$79,737$1,055,000
Individual who is a homeowner$52,120$564,000
Individual who is a non-homeowner$52,120$771,000

Note: Figures published by DSS as at 1 July 2018 were used for the AAPS

As part of the determination of applications, a person’s gross income was used when considering a person’s financial circumstances.  Gross income is likely to be higher than a person’s taxable income because it may include reportable fringe benefits, Government pensions or benefits, reportable superannuation contributions and total net investment losses (for example a net rental property loss).

Gross income is used by Centrelink to determine eligibility for many Government Pensions and Benefits. 

In some instances, applicants didn’t receive a payment because, after consideration of the information provided in their application, their particular circumstances and taking into account the evidence regarding their gross income and net wealth, their claim of detriment resulting from the reforms could not be supported.

What was the role of the Panel?

The Taxi and Hire Vehicle Industry Assistance Panel (the Panel) was comprised of a nominee of the Secretary of Transport, a nominee of the Secretary of Treasury and a nominee of the Secretary of Premier and Cabinet. A nominee of the CEO of the NSW Taxi Council was also included to ensure that the interests and concerns of the taxi industry were presented to the Panel

The Panel was established to provide independent, expert advice and recommendations to the NSW Minister for Transport in relation to payments of additional assistance.

The Panel was responsible for developing procedures for the assessment of applications as well as making recommendations for criteria for payments of assistance funds. The Panel made recommendations about the criteria for the assessment of AAPS applications. The Panel also made recommendations about payments for different categories of applicants.

How were amounts of payments determined?

Amounts of additional assistance payments were determined based on the individual circumstances of the applicant.

Factors that influenced the amount of a payment were:

  • The gross income, assets and debts of the applicant’s household (this included the income, assets and debts of the applicant’s partner);
  • The age of the applicant (whether the applicant was at or near the age of retirement); and
  • Whether the applicant had a high level of debt directly associated with the purchase of a taxi licence.
  • Whether the applicant had dependent children.

Where an application was complete and provided a full picture of the applicant’s circumstances an assessment was made. 

Why did it take so long to process my application?

Applications for additional assistance closed in late December 2018.

Each submitted application was checked to ensure that all the required information was provided and that documents had been certified correctly.

Applications took longer to assess and finalise than originally anticipated due to a large number of incomplete applications. However, this additional time was necessary in order to ensure that all applications were assessed in a fair and consistent manner.

When will I get my payment?

There are two options for receiving an additional assistance payment:

  • A single lump sum payment, or
  • Three equal instalments over three financial years.

When the applicant advises TfNSW of their preferred payment option, the payment process will be finalised and a cheque will be issued. The recipient should receive their payment cheque within three weeks from the date they provide TfNSW with their preferred payment method.

Can I switch between payment types i.e. instalments over three financial years or a single lump sum payment for this financial year?

Once you select your preferred payment type Transport for NSW (TfNSW) will be unable to change your preference.

TfNSW is advising recipients to seek independent legal or professional financial / taxation advice in relation to their additional assistance payment.

I received a payment notification letter. Did you receive my response indicating my preferred payment method?

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) will provide a written response to you once it has received your response providing your preferred payment method. Your response will be recorded and your payment will be finalised. A cheque should be issued within three weeks from the date TfNSW receives advice from you about your preferred payment method.

I requested a lump sum payment. How long will it take before I receive this amount?

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) will provide a written response to you once it has received your response providing your preferred payment method. Your response will be recorded and your payment will be finalised. A cheque should be issued within three weeks from the date TfNSW receives advice from you about your preferred payment method.

What if my cheque is ‘Returned to Sender’?  How long will it take to receive a payment?

If there is a change to your personal details please email industryassistance@transport.nsw.gov.au or contact the Additional Assistance information line on 1300 639 074. Arrangements will need to be made to re-issue the payment to you.

Will the additional assistance payment impact my eligibility for an Australian Government pension?

Applicants are encouraged to seek advice from an accountant, legal representative, or other such specialist to determine what impacts the payment of additional assistance may have for them.

Is the payment subject to tax?

The Australian Taxation Office has informed Transport for NSW that an additional assistance payment will be assessed as taxable income. This is set out in Taxation Ruling TR 2006/3.

Applicants are encouraged to seek advice from an accountant, legal representative, or other such specialist to determine what impacts the payment of additional assistance may have for them.