8.1 This chapter considers mechanisms that are built into social security law and practice to assist victims of family violence, and others, including:

  • special or supplementary payments;
  • the way in which a person receives their regular social security payment, such as weekly or urgent payments; and
  • nominee arrangements.

8.2 The chapter discusses ways in which these payments and payment arrangements may be able to better protect the safety of victims of family violence. Finally, the chapter considers reforms to provisions in social security legislation that recognise debt waiver in ‘special circumstances’, which can act to assist victims of family violence who have been subject to economic abuse or duress.

8.3 In particular, the ALRC considers a number of barriers for victims of family violence in accessing Crisis Payment, weekly and urgent payments and makes proposals to overcome these barriers. The ALRC also considers ways to ensure that family violence can be taken into consideration in decisions to waive the repayment of a social security debt—for example, where the debt was incurred due to economic abuse or duress.