Additional Assistance Payment Scheme - Historical and Background Information
Overview of scheme
For translated information on the Additional Assistance Payment Scheme click here.
The AAPS opened on 2 July 2018 and closed on Monday 1 October 2018*.
You must have submitted an application in the approved form during the application period and provided information and supporting documentation as identified in the application. The application must have included all required information. All documents and evidence provided in support of an application must be certified in accordance with the guidelines published by Transport for NSW.
The Panel will consider all applications and identify those that demonstrate the need for an additional assistance payment. The Panel will then make recommendations to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure who will make the final decision about payments.
To apply for an additional assistance payment a person must have been involved in or connected to the taxi or hire car industry as at 28 June 2016 (this is when the new point to point transport law was assented). To be eligible a person must also be able to demonstrate that they have been detrimentally affected by the changes made to the regulation of the taxi and hire vehicle industries.
Applications that were submitted late, were incomplete or included information and evidence that is not correctly certified may not be considered for an additional assistance payment.
A person must ensure that they provide correct and accurate information in their application. If a person provides 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.
It is important to note that an additional assistance payment is intended to provide financial assistance and not compensation for any reduction in taxi licence values.
The application process requires applicants to provide a significant amount of personal and financial information with evidence to support their claims. This is necessary to ensure an accurate assessment can be made on an individual’s financial position before and after the legislative reforms and if the reforms have directly detrimentally impacted the individual and resulted in financial hardship.
It is strongly recommended all persons considering making an application read the relevant supporting material, review the application portal or form, and identify and gather all the information and documents required to complete their application prior to attempting to submit an application. The better prepared you are the easier it will be to complete the application.
Applicants should seek their own financial and taxation advice to determine the potential treatment of an additional assistance payment and any impact on current entitlements.
As part of the initial assessment of applications, it was identified that some applicants needed to provide further evidence / documentation. If you were one of these applicants, you will have received a letter or email asking to provide further information in two circumstances:
- You submitted an incomplete application that provided some, but not all, of the necessary information and as such it was not possible to conduct the initial assessment of your application. In this instance, you were requested to provide further information so the initial assessment of your application could be completed. Applicants were given two weeks to provide this information.
- Your application was initially assessed and the information provided in your application needed to be further verified for final assessment. In this instance, you were requested to provide more information to verify the information you included in your application. Applicants were given three weeks to provide this information.
If you submitted a complete online application, the Online Portal was re-opened to allow you to provide the additional information was required to verify your application.
If you submitted a manual application (i.e. via email or post), you were required to provide the additional information that was required to verify your application by using one of the forms below:
You were required to continue using the same method of application for the remainder of the application process.
Who was eligible to apply?
To apply for the Additional Assistance Payment Scheme (AAPS), a person must:
- be involved in or connected with the taxi or passenger hire vehicle industry; or
- have been involved in or connected with the taxi or passenger hire vehicle industry as at 28 June 2016 (this is when parts of the new point to point transport law started); and
- be able to demonstrate that they have been detrimentally affected by the changes made to the regulation of the taxi and hire vehicle industries.
Persons who left the industry prior to 28 June 2016 are not eligible to apply for an additional assistance payment.
The Taxi and Hire Vehicle Industries Assistance Panel (the Panel) has identified particular industry segments that have potentially been most detrimentally impacted by the point to point transport reforms and that may be most vulnerable to financial hardship.
These groups include:
- taxi licence holders who hold a high level of debt directly associated with their licence, possibly secured by a mortgage on their property and who may not be able to service their debt from income from their licence or other income sources, or
- taxi licence owners who are dependent on their taxi licence income to meet their everyday costs of living.
The Panel’s view has been informed by the Point to Point Transport Taskforce recommendation (and the Minister’s reaffirmation when introducing the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 into Parliament) that the fund of up to $142 million should be targeted at “taxi licensees facing hardship as a result of the changes”, and “those who are especially adversely affected, such as those at or near retirement with few other assets or sources of income”.
The Panel has also noted that it is widely recognised that individuals and households who have income and net assets below the eligible thresholds for the part age pension (as set by the Commonwealth Department of Human Services) or similar could be the most vulnerable to financial hardship as a result of the reforms.
The Panel recommends that, when determining whether a person is suffering financial hardship the income and assets test for eligibility for the aged pension (as set by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services) should be used as a guide – this is persons with a total annual family gross income of no more than $79,050 (or no more 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 $768,250 (where the applicant does not own their own home). These thresholds are recommended as a guide only, with additional assistance payments prioritised for those eligible applicants with the lowest incomes and the lowest net value assets who have been detrimentally impacted by the changes. See table below. For more information on the age pension thresholds click here.
Guide to Part Pension Thresholds
While the AAPS will be targeted at those persons and corporations that demonstrate the greatest financial hardship, each application will be considered on its merits as each individuals and corporations circumstances and how they have been impacted by the reforms will be different. The applicant will need to demonstrate in their application how they or their corporation have been detrimentally impacted by the changes. All applications will be considered in accordance with the criteria set by the Panel.
It is recommended that somebody considering making an application check their gross income and net value of their assets (net wealth) against the Panel’s eligibility thresholds prior to commencing their application. If an applicant is well outside the thresholds the Panel is unlikely to recommend they receive an additional assistance payment unless they can demonstrate exceptional circumstances. The NSW Government will be prioritising assistance for those eligible applicants most impacted by the point to point transport reforms – and who are in most need of financial assistance.
Role of the Taxi and Hire Vehicle Industries Assistance Panel
The Taxi and Hire Vehicle Industries Panel (the Panel) has oversight over the Additional Assistance Payment Scheme. The Panel includes representatives from Transport for NSW, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Treasury and the NSW Taxi Council. The Panel has many functions, including making recommendations to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure on payment criteria for additional assistance funds.
Information on the age pension thresholds
The Taxi and Hire Vehicle Industries Assistance Panel (the Panel) has noted that it is widely recognised that individuals and households who have income and net assets below the eligible thresholds for the part age pension or similar would be likely to be the most vulnerable to financial hardship as a result of the reforms.
As such the Panel has recommended the initial determination of whether a person is suffering financial hardship be guided by the income and assets test for eligibility for the aged pension (as set by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services).
The Panel will initially target persons, for determination of an assistance payment, who have:
- a total annual family gross income of no more than $79,050 (or no more than $52,000 for an individual) and
- with net assets of less than $561,250 (where the individual applicant owns their own home) or net assets of $768,250 (where the individual applicant does not own their own home). The respective threshold limits for a couple are $844,000 where the couple own their home and $1,051,000 where the couple do not own their own home.
Each application will be considered on its merits as each individual’s circumstances and how they have been impacted by the reforms will be different. The applicant will need to demonstrate in their application how they have been detrimentally impacted by the changes. All applications will be considered in accordance with the criteria set by the Panel.
For further information on the age pension thresholds visit the Department of Human Services website.
Additional Assistance Payments – The Panel’s initial Eligibility Assessment Criteria and Thresholds
Calculating net wealth
Determining your net wealth is similar to taking a financial snapshot and is fairly straightforward. List and add up all your assets, then separately list and add up all your liabilities. See the example below on how to calculate your net wealth.
Your assets can be defined as any property or item of value that you (and if applicable your spouse or partner) own or have an interest in, including assets held outside Australia. A few general examples of assets are:
- Your home (principal residence)
- Other real estate such as land, commercial and retail properties, flats, town houses, units, etc.
- Vehicles, caravans, boats
- Savings and investment accounts
- Notable items of value you own, such as artwork, furniture, fine jewellery, or collectibles.
If you do not know the value of an asset, estimate its market value, that is, how much you would expect to sell it for if you offered it for sale.
Further information about assets can be found at www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/assets.
Liabilities are obligations you have to pay. Your total liabilities are not determined by monthly payments owed, but by the entire debt you owe.
Examples of liabilities include:
- Credit card debts
- Other loans such as personal loans, vehicle loans, family loans, student loans
- Back taxes
- Liens and judgments against you
See the example below for calculating your net wealth or visit the ASIC Moneysmart website and use its net worth calculator.
Principal Residence Mortgage
Mortgage on rental property
Credit Card Debt
Back taxes due
(Minus Principal Residence)
(Minus Principal Residence Mortgage)
Net Wealth Assets
Net Wealth Liabilities
(Net Wealth Assets
Minus Net Wealth Liabilities)
In this example, the net wealth is estimated at $735,000.
Note: When calculating your net wealth you do not include the value of your principal residence or the amount of mortgage or loan owing on your principal residence. See example above.
Useful references and links
Resources to assist with an application:
- Business Connect
- Financial Counsellors Association of NSW
- Schedule 3 of the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) Act 2016 and Schedule 1 of the Point to Point Transport (Taxis and Hire Vehicles) (Industry Adjustment) Regulation 2016 set out the legislative framework underpinning the assistance schemes. For example, the Act sets out who is eligible to be considered by the Minister for an additional assistance payment, and the consequences if a person is found to have provided false and misleading information in their application. The Regulation sets out certain application requirements for persons applying for an assistance payment and things that Transport for NSW may or must do in relation to applications. You may wish to review the legislation in combination with the policies, guidelines and information published on the Transport for NSW website.
Supporting material for the Additional Assistance Payment Scheme
- Department of Social Services Ruling for Additional Assistance Hire Vehicles Payment (Social Security (Exempt Lump Sum – New South Wales Additional Assistance Hire Vehicle Payment) Determination 2017.)
- Department of Social Services Ruling for Transitional Assistance Payments (Social Security Exempt Lump Sum – Taxi Reform Transitional Assistance Payment Determination 2016.)
- Government Response
- Point to Point Transport Task Force Report
You can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you have financial worries and need emotional support. Lifeline can also provide you with information about helpful services in your area.
Or if you need assistance with your finances you can approach the Financial Counsellors Association of NSW on 1300 914 408 or visit their website at www.fcan.com.au/directory. Financial Counselling services are free, independent, confidential and multilingual assistance can be arranged.