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No. This will not be considered by the Independent Assessment Panel. However, this payment might affect any government payment you receive, and you should consider seeking individual advice about this.
This is not workers’ compensation and it is not intended to compensate you for lost wages. It is only to recognise and support former Police officers who were medically retired due to a work-related illness or injury under Section 8 of the Act. Accepting payment under this scheme does not mean you cannot launch legal action later.
This is not a workers’ compensation process. It is a recognition and apology for the indignity of the Section 8 process.
All applications will be assessed individually and against all other applications to ensure a fair distribution of the total amount.
WA Police has sought information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ascertain the potential income tax implications of receiving a payment under the Scheme.
The ATO has advised that a lump sum payment from the WA medically retired Police Redress Scheme is not considered assessable income and that you are not required to include it in your income tax return.
The advice provided by the ATO states:
We refer to your application for a private ruling dated 2 November 2018, lodged on behalf of the State of Western Australia and the Western Australia Police in relation to the tax implications of the proposed Medically Retired Police Officers Support Scheme (the Scheme).
On the basis of the information you have provided, we have determined a lump sum payment received under the Scheme by an eligible applicant will not be assessable to them as either ordinary or statutory income and as such, the amount is not required to be included anywhere in the recipient’s tax return.
Please note that as the payments under the Scheme are not assessable income, there is no PAYG withholding obligation for the payer.
The reference for this information is 1051470273587 if your tax agent or accountant needs it.
It is the view of WA Police that a recipient of a payment under the Scheme is entitled to rely on the advice provided by the ATO in this regard. The advice is however of a general nature only. Individuals should apply the statements made above to their own circumstances. WA Police will not accept any responsibility for any liability or loss which may occur as a result of a person accepting a payment under the Scheme.
If you are receiving a Centrelink payment you must let Centrelink know within 14 days of receiving a WA medically retired Police Redress Scheme payment. You can do this by calling Centrelink on 13 23 00. Advise that your payment is from the WA medically retired Police Redress Scheme and they will be able to find the relevant information in their internal reference material. Alternatively, although there is no set form for this purpose, you could use the Income and Assets form MOD IA to let Centrelink know you have received a WA medically retired Police Redress Scheme payment.
The advice from the Department of Social Services is that the receipt of a lump sum payment is not counted as income for the social security income test that applies to payments such as the Age Pension.
However any on-going income generated by the lump sum is counted under the income test, and any assessable asset produced from the lump sum is counted under the social security assets test.
If the lump sum amount is invested or used to purchase goods or services, the usual income and assets rules will apply. For example:
- if the lump sum amount is used to buy a car, the car would be an asset under the assets test
- if the lump sum amount is placed in a financial investment (such as a bank account or shares) the funds have then become a financial asset that would be assessable as an asset and subject to the income test deeming rules.
However if the lump sum amount is spent on a holiday, or on bills, or to pay off a home mortgage there would generally be no ongoing income or asset to be assessed.
The actual effect on your social security payments will depend on the lump sum amount, what you do with it, and what other assessable income and assets you hold. There may be no effect on your social security payment because of the income and assets test free areas, which allow you to have income and assets up to certain thresholds before social security payments are affected.
Eligibility to social security payments and concessions that are income tested based on adjusted taxable income, such as Family Tax Benefits and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, will not be affected as the lump sum payments are not included as taxable income.
It is the view of WA Police that a recipient of a payment under the WA medically retired Police Redress Scheme is entitled to rely on the advice provided by the Department of Social Services in this regard. The advice is however of a general nature only. Individuals should apply the statements made above to their own circumstances. WA Police will not accept any responsibility for any liability or loss which may occur as a result of a person accepting a payment under the Scheme.
If you apply for any other form of compensation, you should include a reference to any payment you may receive under the WA medically retired Police Redress Scheme, if it is relevant. For example, the Criminal Injuries assessor may consider Police Redress relevant to any future award of compensation under that legislation.
If you have already received criminal injuries compensation or motor vehicle injury compensation, there is no need to do anything. We do not anticipate any issues arising in relation to any Police Redress payment you may receive.
There is a total of $16.1 million to be shared equitably between all eligible applicants.
The review team, which assists the Assessment Panel will need to look at your police and medical records to verify your claims. It will not do this without your consent.
Any files it creates during the course of the redress process will be stored in accordance with the State Records Act 2000.
Yes. If you would like to see what records have been recovered in support of your application, you are welcome to call or email the project team. The team will refer your request to Health and Welfare and you will be able to come to the office to read your file. You are also able to see the application summary the Independent Assessment Panel used to assess your application.
The Privacy Act 1988 sets out how your information is protected. Where you provide us with personal information (that is, information about you or another person where you or that other person is identifiable) or where you have authorised another person to provide us with personal information, this information will be collected, used stored and protected under the Privacy Act 1988. There are strict rules about how the information in your application can be used. There are severe penalties for people who use or share your information inappropriately and they can be jailed.
The information collected by the WA medically retired Police Redress scheme will be used to consider what redress to offer you. It will be seen by the review team, who will prepare a de-identified summary for the Independent Assessment Panel. The information you provide will be protected from unauthorised disclosure, and will not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Any personal information we collect will be used and stored in line with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the State Records Act 2000.
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The scheme is to recognise and support former Police Officers and Aboriginal Police Liaison Officers who were medically retired as a result of a work-related illness or injury under Section 8 of the Police Act 1892.
It is not compensation and will not consider lost wages.
The Police Minister announced the opening of applications on 13 December 2018. Applications closed at 12 noon AWST on Monday 8 April 2019.
To be eligible you must:
- be a former member of the WA Police as defined in Section 33(K) of the Police Act.
- be living at the time of making the application
- have suffered a work-related illness or injury that caused or was a significant contributing factor to having being removed from your office
- have been removed from your office under:
- Section 8 of the Act;
- Section 38B(4)) for Aboriginal Police Liaison Officers; or
- Section 505A of the Police Force Regulations 1979 for probationary constables
- not have been convicted of a serious offence, for which the statutory penalty is or includes imprisonment for five years or more.
Letters advising of eligibility status and expected to be distributed late August 2019.
There may be some flexibility within the eligibility criteria.
If you had been started on the Section 8 medical retirement process, but decided to leave the WA Police Force before the process finished, you may apply explaining your circumstances. The Assessment Panel will determine whether you are eligible for the scheme.
If you are awaiting trial for a serious offence and are subsequently acquitted, you may write to the Police Commissioner, c/- Legal Services, Western Australia Police Force, 3rd floor, 2 Adelaide Terrace, EAST PERTH WA 6004.
Neither. It is a ministerial initiative.
It is completely separate from the Former Police Officer’s Medical Benefits Scheme (FPOMBS) that is run by the Government’s insurer, RiskCover. However, if you have not made a claim with FPOMBS for medical expenses incurred after 2007, you should look into this.
If you were retired under Section 8, but for Loss of Confidence, rather than medical, you will not be eligible. This is for those medically retired under Section 8 only.
Applicants who were medically retired under Section 8, subject to an integrity check, will be invited to accept a Certificate of Honourable Discharge [medical]. The ceremonies are being planned for December. We expect that invitations will be sent out during September.
You may ask for a review if you don't agree with the Panel's decision on your eligibility for the Scheme, but appeals should only be made if the administrative processes seems incorrect. The merit of the decision is not a ground for review.
Once you receive a letter with the Panel's decision on your eligibility, you have two weeks - from the date of the letter - to request a review (the deadline has been extended until 4.00 pm on Friday, 27 September 2019).
A review might be successful if, for example:
You can check the information used to make a decision about your eligibility. We can arrange for you to see your Health and Welfare file and your Redress file. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 6229 5868 to organise this.
If you are determined as ineligible for this Scheme, it does not otherwise alter any legal rights which you may have.
Those who are eligible will receive a letter of offer later in the year. There will be more information about the review opportunities for the offer letters at that time.
Review requests, including the reason you are requesting the review, must be submitted to email@example.com. The deadline is two weeks from the date of your letter (the deadline for review requests has been extended until 4.00 pm on Friday, 27 September 2019).
You can check the information used to make the decision about your eligibility. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 6229 5868 and we can arrange for you to see your Health and Welfare file as well as your Redress file.
To reiterate, eligible applicants:
- must have been a sworn WA Police officer or Aboriginal Police Liaison Officer
- must have been medically retired under Section 8 of the Police Act 1892 for a work-related illness or injury
- must not have been convicted of a serious offence punishable by five years or more incarceration
- must still be living.
The only exception to those requirements have been for officers who left WA Police for another reason - such as retirement or resignation etc - but who were part way through the process of being medically retired under Section 8.
The project team is happy to answer any questions you have on the application process but cannot give any information or advice on any likely outcome of your application. Please phone 6229 5856 or email email@example.com.
The Assessment Panel intends to have all applications assessed by August 2019. We expect letters advising eligibility status to go out late August 2019.
Once these letters have gone out, applicants who were assessed as ineligible may request a review.
Once you receive an offer letter, you will have two weeks - from the date of the letter - to seek a review of the process by which the Panel made that decision.
The payment amount is not a ground for review. Unless there was an error or omission made in the process to arrive at this offer, it will stand. You may refuse the offer, but there will not be another offer.
You can check the information used to make the decision about your eligibility. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 6229 5868 and we can arrange for you to see your Health and Welfare file as well as the application summaries which the Independent Assessment Panel used to assess your eligibility.
Yes. The only people who will see your application have been security and integrity vetted: the project team. We will not open your medical or service records unless you authorise this. Once the scheme is finalised, all information will be securely stored as required under the State Records Act 2000.
The Independent Assessment Panel will see only a de-identified summary, and it is unlikely the Minister will see any application information.
If you would like to look at your own file, you will be able to come into the Health and Welfare office to read it. Please call or email the project team to ask on 08 6229 5868 or email email@example.com.
The Independent Assessment Panel assesses all applications. The panel members will decide whether you are eligible for a payment and formulate an offer of payment.
The project team will send you a letter / email advising on eligibility. This is expected to be in late August 2019.
If you received a letter advising that you are eligible for the scheme you will receive a second letter with an offer. The offer letters are expected to be sent out between mid-October and mid-November 2019.
You will have four weeks to respond to the offer.
The system we are using to accept applications will send you a confirmation email with a copy of your application. You should save this.
The scheme covers only a payment to eligible applicants.
If the application process causes you discomfort, and you are already speaking to a mental health professional, please consider discussing it with them.
As a former officer, you may be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable medical expenses – including for psychological services – through the Former Officers Medical Benefits Scheme administrated by RiskCover.
Provided you comply with the conditions of the Former Officers Medical Benefits Scheme, you are still entitled to receive benefits. The WA medically retired Police Redress scheme will have no impact on your claim with the Former Officers Medical Benefits Scheme.
Accepting an offer from the WA medically retired Police Redress process will not change whatever grounds you may have to take legal action against the Western Australia Police Force or the Western Australian Government.