BSWAT Payment Scheme Process

The Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payment Scheme (the scheme) is open for registration and application.

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.

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.

On 18 March 2016, the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme Amendment Act 2016 (the Amendment Act) received Royal Assent. The information on this webpage reflects the changes made by the Amendment Act.

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.

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; participants 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

You must register by 30 April 2017 to take part in the scheme.

Registering for the scheme does not guarantee that you will be eligible for the scheme or that you will be made an offer of payment under the scheme.

You can register for the BSWAT Payment Scheme:

If you are registering via email, please provide the applicant's name, address, phone number and Centrelink reference number.

Applying for a payment

If you would like to receive a payment from the scheme, you need to apply.

If you have registered

Once you have registered for the scheme, the Department will send you an application form.

You will need to complete the form and lodge it with the Department by 30 November 2017.

If you have not yet registered

You can register and apply for payment at the same time by completing the application form. The form must be received by the Department by 30 April 2017.

You can choose one of three ways to apply:

  1. You can apply online using the smart form (By 30 April 2017)
  2. You can email the form (by 30 April 2017) to bswatpayments@dss.gov.au
  3. You can post the form (no later than 21 April 2017, to ensure it reaches the Department in time) to:

    Department of Social Services
    BSWAT Payment Scheme
    GPO Box 9820
    HOBART TAS 7001
     
  4. You can 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 your 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 complete the Nominee Application form, which is on the BSWAT Payment Scheme Resources webpage. You can also appoint a nominee online by completing a nominee application smart form.

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 may be required to get financial counselling to help you decide whether to accept the offer. Everyone who receives an offer of payment can get optional legal advice and/or financial counselling even if they are not required to do so.

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

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 you will need to complete an acceptance form and send it back to the Department by the due date.

If you don’t seek legal advice or financial counselling, and are not required to do so, you will also need to send the Department copies of certificates included in your offer of payment 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.

For more information

  • You can visit the BSWAT Payment Scheme Resources page for resources that may assist you when registering and applying for the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) Payment Scheme.
  • Supported employees, families and carers can call the BSWAT Payment Scheme information line on 1800 799 515.
  • You can also visit the BSWAT Payment Scheme list page.

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