Additional Assistance Payment Scheme

Assessments and payment status

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has received some 1250 applications under the Additional Assistance Payment Scheme (AAPS) since the scheme opened in July 2018 and closed in December 2018. TfNSW commenced offers to applicants in December 2018, in line with its commitment.

Applications under the AAPS require substantial supporting evidence. TfNSW is following up with a significant number of applicants to obtain information needed to ensure applications are assessed and finalised in a fair and consistent manner.  While this process is taking longer than anticipated, it is necessary to ensure that applicants receive what they may be entitled to.

TfNSW is committed to finalising the assessment of all AAPS applications, where adequate information has been provided, and making offers to applicants by no later than 15 May 2019, so that payments can be made by 30 June 2019. TfNSW has applied additional resources to accelerate the assessment and payment process.

TfNSW has written directly to all AAPS applicants to update them on the current status of the assessment and payment process. TfNSW would like to thank applicants for their assistance and patience as we complete the final stages of the AAPS process.

Assessment and payment process

An overview of the assessment and payment process is outlined below:

Through this process, TfNSW confirms as precisely as possible an applicant’s financial position to ensure an accurate assessment can be made of the extent to which the reforms have detrimentally impacted the applicant and resulted in financial hardship.

It is important that payments are only issued to applicants that meet the hardship criteria and the payment amount is appropriate given the circumstances of the applicant as a result of the reforms.

During the payment assessment process, applications are being identified where more information is needed to support a claim, or where the information declared needs to be clarified, such as where applicants:

    • Appear to have included the value of their principal residence when determining their net wealth. If not clarified, this error could result in an applicant receiving a lower additional assistance payment than they should or no payment at all.
    • Claim loans from friends and family members with no supporting documentation or evidence.
    • Have not provided supporting information or documentation to allow determination of their income or net wealth for a payment determination.

In these and similar instances, TfNSW is contacting applicants for additional information or documentation to ensure it has an accurate representation and understanding of an applicant’s particular circumstances before making a payment assessment.

If an application cannot be assessed because insufficient information has been provided or the information provided cannot be substantiated, or an applicant does not meet the hardship criteria, then an applicant may receive a nil payment.

Assessment and payment progress (at 10 May 2019)

AAPS Application Assessments Completed

    Note:

    • Payment notifications have been issued to 265 applicants.

    Further background on the process

    • Applicants were given the opportunity to provide information relating to their application up to 14 December 2018. The deadline of 14 December 2018 for providing additional information was provided by notice under the point to point legislation: see NSW Government Gazette (page 4).
    • The Taxi and Hire Vehicle Industries Assistance Panel (the Panel) is responsible for assessing applications and identifying those that demonstrate the need for an additional assistance payment.
    • The Panel makes recommendations to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, who makes the final determination in regards to all applications (including payment amounts).
    • Applicants are advised in writing of the outcome of their application once it has been determined, including (if applicable) the payment amount. Applicants receive correspondence that advises:
      • the Minister/Delegate has approved a payment and of the amount of payment
      • the payment is based on the guidelines for payments determined by the Panel and on the information and evidence provided in the application
      • the applicant to seek independent legal or professional financial / taxation advice in relation to the additional assistance payment scheme and their individual circumstances
      • of the options to either take the payment in a lump sum or in three equal instalments over 3 financial years
      • the applicant to notify TfNSW of their preferred option so the payment can be arranged.

    Important information about additional assistance payments

    • The Australian Taxation Office has informed Transport for NSW that an additional assistance payment will be assessed as taxable income. This is supported by Taxation Ruling TR 2006/3Further information on how the ATO treats industry assistance payments can be found on the ATO website.
    • The Department of Social Services has advised Transport for NSW that an additional assistance payment will not be considered as an exempt lump sum payment for the purposes of the social security income test. An additional assistance payment has the potential to impact your pension. For further information in this regard, contact DSS.
    • You are encouraged to seek independent legal or professional financial / taxation advice in relation to the additional assistance payment scheme and your individual circumstances.
    • If you are concerned and wish to withdraw your application you can do so at any time by emailing industryassistance@transport.nsw.gov.au or sending a letter to the Team Leader, Additional Assistance Payment Scheme, Locked Bag 17, Dubbo, NSW, 2830.

    Other important information to remember

    • Payments under the Additional Assistance Payment Scheme are ex gratia and are not intended to provide compensation for any reduction in taxi licence values.
    • If an applicant has provided false or deliberately misleading information in their application, they may be determined to be ineligible to receive an additional assistance payment and may be subject to prosecution by Transport for NSW. Information provided in applications may be subject to auditing.

    Historical information

    View historical information about the Additional Assistance Payment Scheme, including:

    • Eligibility
    • Former application process
    • Frequently Asked Questions.