Sample of Letter of Agreement for Instalment

Document Sample
Sample of Letter of Agreement for Instalment Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                               Memorandum -
                                                                               EMA 2011




Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) arrangements for 2011


1. EMA Information for 2011
  The EMA is indexed annually to the Melbourne Consumer Price Index (CPI) to ensure that the payments reflect the
  increase in the cost of living.

  For 2011 the CPI increase will take the allowance for primary students from $225 to $230. The increase for secondary
  students will take the allowance from $450 to $460.

  Parents will continue to have the option to receive the parent portion of the EMA payment directly into their nominated
  bank account via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or to receive their payment by cheque - as was the arrangement in
  2010.


  School-level EMA Policy:

  School councils are responsible for developing and approving a school -level EMA policy. This school-level policy needs to
  reflect the Department's policy and must be communicated at least annually to parents and guardians who are in receipt of
  EMA.

  The following must be included and/or addressed in a school -level EMA policy:

         Parents/guardians in receipt of the EMA must be made aware that they do not need to sign over thei r portion of
          the payment.

         Parents/guardians have the option of receiving their portion of EMA either by EFT directly into their bank account
          or as a cheque payment.

         The school’s portion (50%) of the EMA must be spent on the child’s essential educational items i.e. those items
          that the parent might otherwise have been asked to pay for or provide (e.g. stationery, text books and school
          uniforms where required).

         The school’s parent payments policy should define what are considered to be essential educationa l items.

         The school’s portion of the EMA cannot be used to offset voluntary financial contributions.

         Parents/guardians to be informed that they are entitled to know how the EMA is being used for their child’s
          education. Upon request, schools must advise parents and guardians of the itemised cost of student materials
          and services on which they propose to spend the EMA.

                                                          Page 1 of 8
          Schools should advise parents that, where relevant, they have the option of providing the essential educational
           items themselves or authorising the school to direct part of the school’s portion of the EMA towards particular
           essential educational items.

          Schools must ensure that parents/guardians applying for EMA are provided with a copy of the letter from the
           Minister for Education which provides all the relevant information in relation to the EMA.

          Any portion of the EMA not expended by the end of the year must be returned to the parent/guardian unles s there
           is agreement by the parent/guardian that this money can be carried over into the next year.

          Where appropriate, schools should utilise the translated EMA resources and translation services to communicate
           EMA requirements to non-English speaking parents and guardians.

          Schools have the responsibility for communicating the availability of the EMA to families. In particular schools
           must ensure that parents/guardians apply each year for the EMA. Communication materials to assist schools with
           advertising EMA are available from the EMA website.

          The EMA website contains further information for schools in relation to EMA policy and procedures.


  Veterans Affairs and Foster Parents Applications:

  It is a requirement that schools obtain a copy (for their records) of either the parent’s:

          pensioner card for Veterans Affairs (TPI) card holders or

          a letter from the Department of Human Services (DHS) or Court documentation outlining temporary care
           arrangements for foster parents with students in temporary care.


  Further information:

  The EMA website contains further information for schools in relation to EMA policy and procedures .

  Schools requiring additional EMA policy advice should contact the Family Payments                 Unit either via email
  ema@edumail.vic.gov.au or phone (03) 9637 3137.


2. Payment Methods
  The arrangements for 2011 continue to provide parents with 70% of their portion of the EMA for the first instalment and
  30% of the EMA for the second instalment. This arrangement recognises that families incur the highest educational costs
  at the start of the school year.

  EFT payments can only be made to the parent’s bank account - for parents’ choosing the EFT payment option.

  Cheques for parents (who choose this payment option) will be sent to the school for distribution. Incorrect or unclaimed
  cheques are to be returned to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Financial Services
  Division) promptly for amendment or cancellation. Schools must change the status of the application to ‘Cheque Returned’
  (in the Application screen of the EMA Web System).

  It is essential that all applications are entered by 11 March 2011 to meet the scheduled EFT and cheques runs. Schools
  are requested to ensure that EFT payments are made and cheques are only distributed to families that have students
  enrolled on Census Day (28 February 2011). If the student is not enrolled at the school on Census Day, cheque
  payments are to be returned to:

                     EMA Unit
                     Financial Services Division
                     Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
                     GPO Box 4367
                     MELBOURNE 3001




                                                             Page 2 of 8
3. EMA Eligibility
  To be eligible for receipt of the EMA, the claimant must:

           be a parent or guardian of a primary or secondary school student up to the age of sixteen; and

           be an eligible beneficiary of a Centrelink pension, allowance or benefit within the meaning of the State
            Concessions Act 2004 or be a Veterans Affairs (TPI) pensioner or be a foster parent; and

           submit their application to the school by the due date.

  The eligibility criteria must be met as at the first day of Term 1 (1 February 2011) for the first instalment and the first day
  of Term 3 (18 July 2011) for the second instalment.

  Any applications based on Centrelink payments that are not income tested are not eligible unless the claimant, in their own
  name, complies with the second dot point above.

  The EMA is payable up unitl the age of sixteen years. Once a student turns sixteen, they should apply for the Youth
  Allowance through Centrelink. For further information visit www.centrelink.gov.au.


4. Payment Amounts

    Instalment                        Portion                           Primary school*                   Secondary school*

    One                               Parent                            $ 80.50                           $ 161.00

                                      School                            $ 80.50                           $ 161.00

    Two                               Parent                            $ 34.50                           $ 69.00

                                      School                            $ 34.50                           $ 69.00

                                      Total                             $ 230.00                          $ 460.00

  *Student year level (or age for ungraded and special school students) will form the basis fo r calculating the amount payable to parents
  and schools.

  Students turning sixteen during the year will be paid on a pro rata basis up to and including the month in which they attain
  the age of sixteen.

                                                                        Total Parent           Total School
    Birth Month            Instalment One        Instalment Two                                                       Total Payment
                                                                        Portion                Portion

    January                $19.17                $0                     $19.17                 $19.17                 $38.34

    February               $38.33                $0                     $38.33                 $38.33                 $76.66

    March                  $57.50                $0                     $57.50                 $57.50                 $115.00

    April                  $76.67                $0                     $76.67                 $76.67                 $153.34

    May                    $95.83                $0                     $95.83                 $95.83                 $191.66

    June                   $115.00               $0                     $115.00                $115.00                $230.00

    July                   $115.00               $19.17                 $134.17                $134.17                $268.34

    August                 $115.00               $38.33                 $153.33                $153.33                $306.66

    September              $115.00               $57.50                 $172.50                $172.50                $345.00

    October                $115.00               $76.67                 $191.67                $191.67                $383.34

    November               $115.00               $95.83                 $210.83                $210.83                $421.66

    December               $115.00               $115.00                $230.00                $230.00                $460.00


                                                                Page 3 of 8
5. School portion of the EMA
  The school must spend their portion of the family’s EMA on essential educational items, i.e. those items that the parent
  might otherwise have been asked to pay for or provide. This does not include voluntary contributions.

  Examples of these essential educational items include:

         text books

         student stationery (e.g. pens, pencils, exercise books, workbooks)

         materials for electives where the student consumes or takes possession of the finished articles (e.g. home
          economics etc.) or the payment sought is the difference between the basic materials/services and the higher cost
          alternatives which may be preferred for optimum learning experience

         programs provided by outside specialists (eg. visiting artists speakers, performers)

         camps and excursions which are integral to the curriculum and which all students are expected to attend

         school identification cards

         school uniform (where applicable)

         official diary/handbook/work planner

         student computer printing beyond the needs of the eight key learning areas (e.g. personal use).

  Schools should advise parents that, where relevant, they have the option of providing the essential educational items
  themselves or authorising the school to direct part of the school’s portion of the families EMA towards particular essential
  educational items. Schools will also need to advise parents on request of the cost of the items on which they propose to
  spend the EMA.

  Schools are only custodians of the school portion of the EMA. If a student transfers to another school, the
  balance of the school’s portion must accompany the student to the new school.

  Any portion of the EMA which is not expended by the end of the year must be returned to the parent/guardia n.
  However, with agreement of the parent/guardian, this money could be carried over into the next year or other
  appropriate arrangements made to suit the needs of the student.

  The portion of the EMA held by schools cannot be used by schools to offset pare nt voluntary contributions.

  Further information is available in the Parent Payments in Victorian Government Schools guidelines which are available for
  download from www.education.vic.gov.au/aboutschool/lifeatschool/parentpayments.htm




6. Communications to Parents
  Schools have the primary responsibility for communicating the availability of the EMA to eligible families. In particular
  schools must ensure that parents/guardians apply each year for the EMA. To support schools publicising this information
  via school newsletters etc, a sample newsletter article can be found on the final page of this document.

  An electronic copy of a letter from the DEECD Secretary, Professor Peter Dawkins, to parents providing information about
  the school portion of the EMA, payment arrangements, eligibility criteria, application for the allowance and submission
  dates of applications is also attached. This letter is to be distributed to eligible parents/guardians when they submit
  their completed EMA application form.

  Translations   of    this   letter will    be     available    in   December             2010     for     download     from
  www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema/sampleletters.htm




                                                           Page 4 of 8
7. 2011 Key Dates

      Action                                                               Instalment 1               Instalment 2

      Application

      Parent eligibility date
      (Parent must be an eligible beneficiary of a Centrelink pension,     1 February 2011            18 July 2011
                                                          1
      Veterans Affairs pensioner or be a foster parent)

      Parent submissions close                                             28 February 2011           5 August 2011

      Census Day
                                               1
                                                                           28 February 2011           5 August 2011
      (Student must be enrolled on this day)

      School submissions close                                             11 March 2011              12 August 2011

      Late applications
                                                      2
      Final school date for late applications                              29 April 2011              23 September 2011

      Payments

      Initial payment date                                                 15 March 2011              15 August 2011

      Second payment date for re-submissions only                          21 March 2011              22 August 2011

      Third payment date for re-submissions only                           4 April 2011               5 September 2011

      Final payment date for re-submissions only                           9 May 2011                 10 October 2011

  ¹ For complete information see - EMA eligibility sec. 3 of Exec Memo
  2
      Late applications can only be considered up until the ‘final date’ outlined above and where there are exceptional circumstances. All
  late applications must be supported by a letter from the school Principal.




8. Application Process
  First instalment:

             Parents must submit their application to the school using the attached application form by 28 February 2011 and
              choose either the EFT or cheque payment option.

             Schools must enter ALL applications on to the EMA Web System by 11 March 2011. It is the school’s
              responsibility to establish whether the applicant is a Veterans Affairs (TPI) pensioner or a foster parent, for
              applications in these categories. Under the foster parent category, the parent/guardian exemption from holding a
              concession card applies to the foster child only.

              Please note: Schools must obtain a copy of either the parent’s pensioner card for Veterans Affairs (TPI) card
              holders or a letter stating temporary care arrangements from DHS or the courts for foster parents with students in
              temporary care.

             Payment can only be made to the main cardholder, as Centrelink cannot verify dependent details.

             Schools must only submit applications for parents/guardians of students who are enrolled and attending school on
              Census Day (28 February 2011).

             Government Schools only - Government schools will need to export student details from CASES21 to the EMA
              Web System. It is recommended that schools update their CASES21 enrolment details before exporting or
                                                                         Page 5 of 8
         commence entering applications on the EMA Web System.

        Schools will be able to perform online validation of applicants against Centrelink. This validation will return an
         immediate result of eligibility. If an applicant has failed validation, reasons for the failure will be given so the
         school can follow up promptly with parents.

        Applications that have failed Centrelink validation are not eligible and will not be paid the EMA, even though an
         applicant may still be in possession of a Centrelink card. The only exception occurs when the parent produces a
         Q053 confirmation letter from Centrelink that confirms he or she was eligible for a Centrelink pension, allowance
         or benefit and the holder of a valid Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card as at the eligibility date.

        Where an EFT payment to a parent is rejected at a bank, the school will need to determine the correct account
         details and update the application details and resubmit the application for EFT payment.

        Late applications – The closing date for instalment 1 EMA applications is 28 February 2011. Schools have
         discretion to accept late EMA applications from parents/guardians up until 29 April 2011 if the school is satisfied
         that exceptional circumstances exist. All late applications and special consideration applications must be
         supported by a letter from the school Principal and faxed to the EMA unit (fax 9637 2224) for consideratio n.


  Second instalment:

        Details about processing second instalment applications                is   available   on    the   EMA     website
         www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema.

        Please note: Parents who were paid the EMA at the school that their children are still attending, for the first
         instalment of 2011, are not required to complete a new application for the second instalment.


  For assistance with processing EMA applications:

        Contact the DEECD Service Desk by telephone 1800 641 943 (option 3 and then option 6) or via the Service
         Gateway at http://servicedesk.education.vic.gov.au.




9. Attachments
  Letter from the DEECD Secretary to EMA applicants:

        Schools must provide a copy of this letter from the DEECD Secretary to eligible parents/guardians when they
         submit their completed EMA application form. Translations of the letter into several other languages will be
         available for download from the link below in December, 2010.



          EMA_2011_Parents_
              Letter.pdf


         www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema/sampleletters.htm


  EMA Registered User Form: to obtain access to the EMA Web System

        EMA users who are already registered to use the EMA Web System do not need to complete this form. Please
         only complete the following form if you are not registered:



           EMA & SSB User
         Access Request Form.pdf


         www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema/documents.htm


                                                         Page 6 of 8
School Newsletter:

       Schools must also publicise as widely as possible via school newsletters etc., all relevant information regard ing
        the EMA and, in particular, the 2011 cut off dates and new arrangements.

       A sample newsletter article is attached. Translations of the sample newsletter are available for download from the
        link below.



             EMA 2011
        Newsletter Information


        www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema/documents.htm


Parent Application Form:

       The Parent Application form is attached below in Adobe PDF format. This application form must be completed in
        full and signed by the applicant. It is recommended that schools sight a copy of the Centrelink card to verify the
        details and spelling of the applicant’s name.

       Schools must not, under any circumstances, modify the Parent Application form.            Translations of the Parent
        Application form are available for download from the link below.



        EMA_2011_Parent_A
         pplication_Form.pdf


        www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema/documents.htm


Advice to parents regarding Centrelink validation failure:

       Attached is a one-page pro-forma letter that schools should use to advise parents that their application has failed
        validation with Centrelink. Parents are requested to take this pro-forma letter to Centrelink. If Centrelink
        determines that the parent is actually eligible, Centrelink must provide the parent with a ‘Q053 Confirmation
        Letter’ which the parent must bring back to the school. The school must fax this ‘Q053 Confirma tion Letter’ to the
        Department for processing on fax (03) 9637 2224.

       Translations of the Centrelink Validation Failure letter are available for download from the link below.



        EMA_2011_Parent_C
        entrelink_Error_Proforma.pdf


        www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema/documents.htm


Further information on EMA is available at:

       www.education.vic.gov.au/management/financial/ema/default.htm


For assistance with processing EMA applications:

       Contact the DEECD Service Desk by telephone 1800 641 943 (option 3 and then option 6) or via the Service


                                                         Page 7 of 8
        Gateway at http://servicedesk.education.vic.gov.au




Postal address:

       EMA Unit
        Financial Services Division
        Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
        GPO Box 4367
        MELBOURNE VIC 3001


Fax number:

       (03) 9637 2224



Thank you for your continued assistance with this process.




Claire Britchford
Chief Finance Officer
Financial Services Division




                                                       Page 8 of 8

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:91
posted:8/4/2011
language:English
pages:8
Description: Sample of Letter of Agreement for Instalment document sample