How to apply for a BSWAT payment

If you registered for the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payment Scheme (the scheme) before 30 April 2017, you can now apply for a payment, if you have not already done so. Payment applications close 30 November 2017.

The scheme will provide a one-off payment of $100 or more to eligible supported employees of Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) who have been paid a pro-rata wage assessed using BSWAT.

The scheme is entirely voluntary.

An Easy Read handbook and web pages written in Easy Read are available, that explain the application process.

If you have questions or need help, call the BSWAT Payment Scheme information line on 1800 799 515.

Some participants may be required to seek independent financial counselling before they can accept an offer of payment. Optional financial counselling and legal advice, paid for by the Government (subject to limits), is available to everyone who receives an offer of payment to help them make an informed choice.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the scheme, a person must have, for at least one day in the period starting on 1 January 2004 and ending on 28 May 2014:

  • had an intellectual impairment, which includes an intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, dementia, or impaired intellectual function as a consequence of an acquired brain injury; and
  • been employed and provided with employment support by an ADE; and
  • received a wage based on a BSWAT assessment, or received a training wage while waiting for a BSWAT assessment.

Other eligibility conditions are that:

  • the person required daily support in the workplace to maintain employment in the ADE; and
  • the person has not accepted an amount of money in settlement of, or the court has not ordered payment of an amount of money to the person in connection with, a claim made relating to the use of the BSWAT to assess the person’s wage.

All eligibility criteria have to be met for individuals to access the scheme.

Important!

To receive a payment, you must have registered for the scheme by 30 April 2017. If you didn’t register, you cannot apply for a payment - even if you may have been eligible.

Deceased persons

A person can apply for the scheme on behalf of a deceased person who would otherwise have been eligible for the scheme. All the eligibility criteria that apply to non-deceased persons still apply to deceased persons.

You can find more information on the Deceased Persons webpage.

Calculating payment amounts

The amount of the payment will be worked out by:

  • deducting the amount of wages the employee was paid using BSWAT from
    • the amount of wages that the employee would have been paid if their wages had been assessed using only the productivity component of the BSWAT test; and
    • multiplying the result by 0.7; and
    • adding some money to take account of inflation since the employee was paid their wages; and
    • then adding some more money to compensate for any tax payable on the payment.

The process

There are five steps in the BSWAT Payment Scheme; you are required to follow each step.

  1. Register with the scheme;
  2. Apply for a payment;
  3. Receive an offer of payment;
  4. Get financial counselling (only required for some participants);
  5. Accept or decline the offer.

Register

To be able to apply for a payment, you must have registered with the BSWAT Payment Scheme by 30 April 2017.

If you didn’t register, you cannot apply for a payment - even if you may have been eligible.

Applying for a payment

To receive a payment from the scheme, you need to complete an application form.

Applications must be received by the Department by 30 November 2017.

There are three ways to apply:

  1. Apply online using the form
  2. Email the form to bswatpayments@dss.gov.au
  3. Post the form (to ensure it reaches the Department in time) to:

    Department of Social Services
    BSWAT Payment Scheme
    GPO Box 9820
    HOBART TAS 7001
     
  4. Call the hotline on 1800 799 515 to complete the form over the phone. The Department will send you the completed form for you to review, sign and send back.

You can find information on completing the application form on the BSWAT Payment Scheme Resources webpage.

Appointing a nominee

As part of the application, you can appoint a nominee to act on your behalf regarding the scheme.

If you applied without appointing a nominee, or if you want to appoint additional nominees, you can:

Response to application

The Department will assess all applications for the scheme to test eligibility for a payment under the scheme.

The Department will respond to all applications. In its response, the Department may:

  1. offer you a payment under the scheme (if you are eligible for the Scheme and entitled to a payment); or
  2. advise you that you are not entitled to a payment under the scheme (if you are not entitled to such payment); or
  3. advise you that you are not eligible for the scheme (if you are not eligible for the scheme).

If you receive an offer of payment, you can get optional legal advice and/or financial counselling, even if you are not required to do so.

You must get financial counselling before you can accept an offer if your offer of payment is at least $1,000.

If your payment offer is less than $1,000 or if you have a court-appointed financial decision-maker, administrator or guardian, you are not required to receive financial counselling.

The Department will pay for the legal advice and financial counselling (subject to limits). Those limits are a maximum of $850 for legal advice and $435 for financial counselling.

You can watch this video about getting financial counselling and legal advice.

Asking for a review

If you or your nominee is not happy with a decision that has been made about the scheme, you can ask for a review of the decision.

You can find more information on the Asking for an Internal and External Review webpage.

Accepting an offer

To accept the payment offer, you or your nominee will need to complete an acceptance form at Attachment D and send it back to the Department by the due date.

If you don’t seek legal advice or financial counselling, and you are not required to do so, you will also need to send the Department copies of certificates included in the Letter of Offer which say you chose not to seek legal advice or financial counselling.

You can find financial counsellors and legal advisors who have expressed their interest in providing services under the scheme on this public register.

If you accept an offer of payment under the scheme, you will not be able to take part in any current or future legal case or claim in relation to BSWAT.

Declining an offer

You don’t need to do anything to decline an offer of payment under the scheme.

Can I change my mind?

You can change your mind if you apply for a payment, but then decide you don’t want to apply for a payment.

You can change your mind if you decline a payment offer, but then decide you want to accept the offer.

You cannot change your mind after you accept an offer of payment.

You can only change your mind before the date that will be listed on your letter of offer. This is very important. Please contact the Department if you are unsure about the timeframes.

Last updated: