At the start of the new CCS year on July 11th, some families started out the year with no entitlements.
The problem was that they may not have found this out until they got their first bill.
For services billing in arrears, they'd be able to see this issue before billing families and look to rectify this situation - which usually involves calling OWNA or the CCS Helpdesk.
For services billing in advance, it meant having to go back to families and charge them up to 2 weeks of full fees depending on how far in advance they bill.
So last week was a big one for us.
Lots of calls through with families blaming services, and services blaming the software or the department. Someone, somewhere had messed something up.
But in reality, it was unfortunately correct that some families had their CCS entitlements revoked.
Why Families Stopped Getting CCS Entitlements
Towards the end of the last financial year, the department reminded families on several occasions that they needed to confirm their 2020-21 income to continue to receive CCS entitlements for the 2022-23 financial year. This was part of balancing the accounts for 2020-21, and predicting entitlements for 2022-23. The deadline for this was 30th June 2022.
At OWNA, we also told services to remind parents of their responsibilities for reporting their annual income.
But we get it.
People are busy, and department emails aren't the most exciting thing to open in the middle of a hectic week.
Some families missed the notices and never declared their income for 2020-21. This meant that their entitlements were reduced to 0%.
FAQ: A Family Declared Their Income, But Still Don't Have CCS - Why?
Another reason could be that a family ended up making too much money in the 2020-21 financial year (who knew there was such a thing as too much money!).
If a family earns over $356,756 across the year, they will no longer be eligible for CCS.
Now, we don't want to be asking personal questions about what a family earned, but the information about thresholds for CCS entitlements can be shared using this link if you think it might be helpful.
How Families Can Fix This
Families who haven't declared their income for the 2020-21 financial year in time need to do so immediately.
This will ensure their CCS entitlements get restored.
We don't expect the department to pay back the CCS that they missed out, and they may have to pay full fees for the weeks where they lost CCS entitlements.
Families can declare their income by lodging a tax return for 2020-21, OR declaring their income directly with Services Australia (links below).
What Services Can Do
Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to make families confirm their income, but you can remind them of their responsibilities to do so.
I know conversations around money can be hard, and it's not nice having to charge a family full fees, but it's not your fault.
Here are some helpful links to share:
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