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Paid Parental Leave

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#1 B0612

Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

Hi There,

I'm wondering if there's anyone out there that have had issues with the paid parental leave claim process. I have been on the phone and into centrelink branches numerous times over the last 5 weeks due to my ppl claim. They state that I have not met the work history test and are now wanting documentation to back up leave taken, reasons for not being able to work (related to pregnancy and the nature of my job).  

I am hoping there are some wise EB members out there that may have experienced the same thing or have a better way of explaining ppl.


#2 MrsLexiK

Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:49 PM

Have you supplied them with a cert from your OB/Midwife?

#3 Futureself

Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

So, have you met the work/training test?
Is the issue that they say you haven't but you believe you have? Are your pay slips or a copy of your work contract enough to satisfy them that you have been employed the needed hours? It doesn't matter if you have taken sick leave or annual leave during this time, that's still employed.
I would ask them exactly what needs to be shown to prove your eligibility, and then speak to your HR department at work

Edited by futureself, 04 December 2012 - 03:54 PM.

#4 B0612

Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

I've just sent in documents from my gp who was looking after me during that stage of pregnancy and also my pt (which was what centrelink said they required). I started accessing my paid annual leave at 28 weeks though and on the eligibility criteria on the website it states working days can be considered as paid annual leave so am unsure as to why they are questioning the leave I have taken. Suffice it to say I end up more confused after discussing it with centrelink.

#5 Another one

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

From the humanservics.gov.au website:

Work test

To meet the Paid Parental Leave work test you must have:
• worked for at least 10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of your child, and
• worked for at least 330 hours in that 10-month period (just over one day a week), with no more than an eight-week gap between any two consecutive working days.

A 'working day' is a day you have worked for at least one hour. You can include periods of paid leave but periods of unpaid leave do not count.

If pregnancy complications and/or a premature birth have prevented you from meeting the work test, just let us know. There are some exceptions.

You don't need to be working full time in order to be eligible for Parental Leave Pay. You may meet the work test even if you:
•are a part-time, casual, or seasonal worker
•are a contractor or self-employed
•work in a family business (such as a farm)
•have multiple employers
•have recently changed jobs
•have worked overseas.

If you work for a family business (such as a farm), you can include your hours of work even if the business is not generating any income, providing that you are doing the work for financial gain or benefit.

The following activities also count as work:
•employment at an Australian Disability Enterprise
•operating a business while receiving assistance under the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme
•farm labour or operating a business while receiving an Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment
•jury service, and
•defence reservist work.

Periods of workers’ or accident compensation (or similar payments in respect of employment) can also meet the work test.

Periods of unpaid leave or voluntary work cannot be included as work. Also, any time you solely receive government-funded Parental Leave Pay does not count towards the work test, even if it is paid by your employer. If you were receiving a paid leave entitlement from your employer at the same time as government-funded Parental Leave Pay this does count.

Activities undertaken for Work for the Dole (including Community Development Employment Projects for new participants), Green Corps, Drought Force, the National Green Jobs Corps and other income support programs that include a work component do not count as work.

It doesn't detail what evidence you can use but I would think a letter/certificate from your GP confirming pregnancy related complications stopped you working.  Then something from your emplyer confirming you got paid/unpaid leave due to these complications.

#6 Futureself

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:07 PM

QUOTE (Bron1206 @ 04/12/2012, 03:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Suffice it to say I end up more confused after discussing it with centrelink.

That's not surprising! I would say that you need an appointment with someone to actually sit down and hand over the documents then and there. Not fun to do at 38 weeks that's for sure you porr thing.
Paid annual leave is definitely counted as 'work days' and then unpaid leave for medical reasons just needs a medical certificate/letter from care provider as far as I knew too - I had to take some unpaid leave from work and then start my Maternity leave at 32 weeks for health reasons but didn't have to give documentation in the end.  They really do make you earn the PPL with the bureaucracy  wink.gif

#7 Mousky

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:09 PM

You were in paid employment. I think someone (or many people) at centrelink have made a mistake. Ask to speak to a manager (if you are allowed to).  Maybe go in there (be there early).  Good luck.

#8 bikingbubs

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

I started annual leave at 29weeks with my first and I just needed to provide pay slips to prove I was still being paid by my employer.

I really confused them as it was when PPL had just come in biggrin.gif But I had checked that it was covered before starting my leave so early (I officially started maternity leave at 37 weeks)

#9 B0612

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:26 PM

Thanks all for the replies.

I went in a few weeks ago to a branch and sat down with them and handed them the relevant documentation they had requested at that time (a break down of leave taken- annual and sick leave which both stated they were paid forms of leave) and they then reopened the claim and began to process it.

Today I received a phone call stating they need to see evidence that I ceased work due to complications with pregnancy. I am on paid annual leave (have been since Oct and continue to be until early Feb as I have that much annual leave). I have faxed in the documentation and am awaiting for it to be reviewed however when I spoke to a rep this afternoon she stated that they are questioning the leave I am currently on even though it is paid annual leave, I did ask to speak to the person processing my claim or to someone above however was told that was not possible. I am ready to give up on the whole process.

The claim is set to be reviewed by next week so I intend to contact them then and see what is going on. I applied for the ppl when I was 31 weeks pregnant, thought it would be processed by now  rant.gif

#10 Futureself

Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

How absolutely frustrating, I can't think what else you can do. It clearly states that paid leave is counted but also states that ceasing work early due to medical complications from pregnancy is also counted so you are technically covered either way. Whoever is processing it is a dill. Don't give up, you are entitled to this payment. Can your work HR assist? Perhaps they've had this happen before to someone else and can suggest how to help. I'm also very sure that if you need to take something higher then you have every right to speak with a supervisor too, the fact they refused is odd to me.

#11 B0612

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

I might try calling my HR department next week depending on what centrelink is doing with the claim, my HR department were the ones to request that I stop work (I am a community support worker and they could not guarantee my safety and that of clients) and just allowed me to access paid sick leave for a few shifts and then I started my paid annual leave.

The woman I spoke to didn't seem to understand the process, she would put me on hold and then read the ppl eligibility requirements to me once returned and refused to let me speak to the claim processing department.

Is there a service you can go to if not happy with an outcome given by centrelink which can investigate if claims have been processed fairly and accurately?  

#12 whatnamenow

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

there is the centrelink complaints line.  Fantastic people there.  i cant find the number while i am breastfeeding and one handed typing but its there on their website

#13 B0612

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:07 PM

Thanks Charlottesmum04.

I like to think I have been extremely patient and helpful with providing documents etc but feel I am starting to get extremely frustrated and want all of the claim process out of the way before bubs gets here, if i'm not eligible at least I can then apply for the baby bonus. The annoying thing is we don't desperately need the money but it would be handy to stash away for a just incase scenario.

#14 Lees75

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:18 PM

You may already know this, but you can't receive PPL prior to having the baby. You can put the claim in, but the date for starting needs to be after baby is born.

#15 B0612

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

Lees75- Yep aware that I still need to register baby and that payments begin once this is completed after the birth and centrelink has relevant documentation regarding the baby being born. I just want to have the claim process finalised before the baby is here so I can just register bubs and have it completed. I am an organised person and started the process over 7 weeks ago.

#16 ingridhumanservice

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

Hi Bron1206, I'm Ingrid and I work with the Department of Human Services in a team that responds to questions about Centrelink payments and services on social media sites like this one. I'm sorry to hear about your recent experience with us.  If you still have concerns after next week please contact my boss Hank Jongen at Hank@humanservices.gov.au and he'll have your situation investigated (please include your name, contact no and postcode). All the best!

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