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This newsletter has important information for stakeholders, advocates and Australian Disability Enterprises about the BSWAT Payment Scheme.
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Issue #1, 9 March 2017

Welcome to the first issue

Thousands of eligible people with intellectual impairment could be entitled to a one-off payment through the Australian Government’s BSWAT Payment Scheme.

This newsletter will keep you informed about the scheme, and provide you with content and resources you can share with your staff, clients, networks, associations, members and communities.
 
In this issue:

What is the scheme and who is it for?

The scheme is for supported employees of Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) who had their pro-rata wages or training wages worked out using the BSWAT and have an intellectual impairment, which includes an intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, dementia or impaired intellectual function as a consequence of an acquired brain injury. They must have worked at an ADE for at least one day between 1 January 2004 and 28 May 2014.

How to apply

People can register and apply for a payment at the same time by completing the application form. The form must be received by the Department by 30 April 2017.
 
People can choose one of four ways to apply:

  1. Apply online using the smart form (by 30 April 2017).
  2. Download and email the form (by 30 April 2017) to bswatpayments@dss.gov.au.
  3. Download and post the form, ensuring it reaches the Department in time to:
    Department of Social Services
    BSWAT Payment Scheme
    GPO Box 9820
    HOBART TAS 7001
  4. Call the hotline on 1800 799 515 to complete the form over the phone. The Department will send the completed form back to the employee to review, sign and send back.

For more information about completing the application form, visit the BSWAT Payment Scheme Resources webpage.

If a person is not ready to apply, they can register for the scheme by 30 April 2017. They then have until 30 November 2017 to apply for a payment. It's quick and easy to register for the scheme using this online form. Or, people can call 1800 799 515 or send an email.

Federal Court approves BSWAT class action settlement

On 16 December 2016, the Federal Court approved the settlement of the BSWAT class action started by a man named Tyson Duval-Comrie. The case is called Tyson Duval-Comrie v Commonwealth of Australia (VID 1367 of 2013).
 
The Judge ruled that the settlement terms were fair and in the interests of class action members.
 
Now that the class action has been settled, the BSWAT Payment Scheme is the only way for class action members to receive a payment. Also, class action members can’t take part in any other legal case about the BSWAT in future.
 
A person may be eligible for the BSWAT Payment Scheme if they have intellectual impairment, were working in an ADE on or before 22 October 2013, and had their wages worked out using the BSWAT.

Read the Easy Read fact sheet for more information

Find out more about the class action on our website.

Easy Read webpage is now available

We have published an Easy Read version of the BSWAT Payment Scheme website.

The Easy Read webpage contains important information about the BSWAT Payment Scheme, in simple English and an easy-to-read format.

The Easy Read BSWAT Payment Scheme webpage can be found here.

Watch and share the scheme's first video

We have released a short video about the BSWAT Payment Scheme that explains why it is important that eligible people register for the scheme by 30 April 2017.

The video is the first of a series of accessible videos we are making to explain important details about the scheme to people who think they may be eligible, and their supporters.

All videos feature, and have been tested with, supported employees with intellectual impairment.

All videos are captioned, have an audio description, and were developed in consultation with an accessibility and Easy Read expert.

We will release more videos soon.

BSWAT Payment Scheme: Video 1

We recently wrote to people who could be eligible

We recently wrote to around 15,000 people who our records indicate may be eligible for a payment. We included a payment application form and reply-paid envelope. We also advised people of the Federal Court’s ruling approving the settlement of the BSWAT class action.
 
Employees who may be eligible can complete the application form, put it in the reply-paid envelope, and post it as soon as possible so we receive their form by 30 April 2017. By completing the form, the Department will automatically register them for the scheme as well as process their application for a payment.
 
If an employee needs more time to make a decision, they can register for the scheme by 30 April 2017. They then have until 30 November 2017 to apply for a payment.
 
Employees can ask someone they trust to help them to register and apply. This could be a family member, advocate, nominee or someone in your ADE.

We will be calling supported employees

From 13 March 2017, we will be calling supported employees who might be eligible for the BSWAT Payment Scheme. Trained call centre staff will ask supported employees (and/or their nominees) whether they have registered for the BSWAT Payment Scheme, and will help them to register for the Scheme. If you have any concerns about someone being contacted, please contact the BSWAT Payment Scheme team.

What's on our website?

On the BSWAT Payment Scheme website, you will find:

  • Information about the scheme, including the payment process and eligibility
  • Online registration form (instant registration)
  • Payment application form
  • Easy Read webpage
  • Easy Read Handbook
  • Resources for supporters: families, nominees, advocates, ADEs, GPs, financial counsellors and legal advisors
  • Shareable resources like videos, Facebook posts and content.

We will soon have new and refreshed information and materials, and we’ll let you know about them via this newsletter.

Help spread the word!

Over the coming weeks, new materials for ADEs and advocates will be available, information and resources will be sent to ADEs, and we will release a series of videos about the scheme.
 
You can help us to spread the word to families and your networks about the scheme. Here are some ideas:

  1. Download and share the Facebook posts with your Facebook community (click here for text descriptions; view and download post 1; view and download post 2; view and download post 3.)
  2. Publish this content on your website or include it in your newsletter.
  3. Forward this newsletter to your networks, members and/or associations.
  4. Share the scheme's first video.
  5. Publish a link to the scheme website on your own website.
Remember: People must register for the scheme by 30 April 2017. If they don’t register they cannot apply for a payment, even if they may be eligible.
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BSWAT Payment Scheme · GPO Box 9820 · Hobart, Tas 7001 · Australia

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