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General discussion of AAT decisions.

This topic is for discussion, in general (i.e. not specific cases [please raise a topic to discuss specific cases]).

I have just received my AAT appeal decision and they have set aside the previous SSAT decision and have instructed the C$A what my care percentage should be, obviously in my favour.

I have had a double win as the AAT also determined that my care percentage calculation should include day time care or reflect all care, or actual care time, and thus supported working out my care percentage by counting total hours of care for the year, like Centrelink allows for calculating care percentages for Family Tax Benefit purposes.

C$A's blind methodology of using a night count to determine care percentages has now been blown out of the water!

I hope the C$A officers reading this post are worried at the potential flood of COA's and objections they might have to process due to this decision.

Last edit: by HappyDaze

HappyDaze, I'd be very interested to know how daytime care has been calculated as a percentage of care, being that 1 night equates to 1/365th .

e.g. say 4 hours in a day could be 4/24ths of 1/365th.

Perhaps we will have to see every hour accounted for.

Do you know when and if this result will be published (should be)?

P.S. Well done.
Mike - I just got the news over the phone so it will be interesting to see how they justified their decision. Thanks
HappyDaze That is some really good news,  I too would be very interested in how the calculation were done and what fuzzy math there are using

MikeT- The question I have for you is - Have you started building your new Child support calculator yet;), let me know if you need help with the new code and testing.
            I have (assuming you mean the one that would allow for adjustments) and the front end which allows inclusion of any number of adjustments is very much complete. Making the adjustments within the calculations hasn't been done yet. I've been unable, for the past month or so to do much on this due to current circumstances.

It'd be great if you could help newguy. In two major ways, we'd have another who would be very conversant with how CS is calculated and therefore perhaps with other aspects (getting involved in writing the calculator has very much been behind what I now know about CS) and that perhaps better techniques could be incorporated.

When I started this I'd barely scratched the surface of PHP programming and HTML, my programming experience being in Rexx and assembler on MVS (ooops ZOS  or whatever they call it now [gave up giving a damn when it when to OS390]) mainframes. The calculator uses PHP for the calculation core, using some OOP (not something I've delved into before, being the dinosaur that I am :) ), Javascript, AJAX (I don't really call that another language, just a section of JS) and CSS, all these being new. What I'm saying is that I would envisage the code to be a nightmare as I use the IDIMW programming standards and concepts methodology (I Do It My Way :) ). Oh and there's also the additional work of getting it into OCPortal, which adds a little further complication, although I think I just about have that sussed (well again in the IDIMY way).

The other problem again very much based on IDIMW, I sort of have my own language (I hate all the stupid long word terminology that come with OOP and believe it or not I've never had any formal training in programming I've always just dabbled, produced something and said hey how about this).

Anyway if you're up for the punishment whisper me and I'll get the code to you.

Oh the new version (not that it's at all exciting just another little area where you can add the adjustments) can be seen at
New version - under development. This has debugging turned on, so you get quite a bit of what would likely appear to be garbage thrown out. Certainly any comments on this (not the garbage thrown out :)) would be greatly appreciated.


No worries I will do all I can to help.  I do not want to hijack this posting so I will post a response  in the Site Development Moderators and Editors forum.

AAT Reason

I now have the hard copy reason guys. When I get some spare time I will put it online. Not sure when the AAT will publish it on the web.

I think a lot of people will read it with much interest and I believe if left unchallenged could change the way C$A calculate care percentages in the future for the 10% of child support cases that have shared care.

It specifically addresses the issue of day time care  and nights care for care percentage calculation, the relevance the FTB care percentage calculation, and also re-clarifies the SSAT's use of the Drake case to justify applying C$A policy.

Both the C$A and the SSAT did not fare well in this reason on all accounts.

And here it is:


Last edit: by HappyDaze

Very interesting Decision

I think this decision is likely to result in a rewording of the Guide and a shift in policy within the CSA relation to the calculation of the percentage of care.

I am aware that in the past CSA have accepted a Family Assistance Office calculation as evidence to calculate Percentage of Care for Child Support purposes.

Unfortunately, I have also found that the decision to use FAO figure depends on the Level within CSA tasked with considering the calculation.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
I hope what you are saying comes true. I believe the belief of C$A officers that they are advocating for the payee is the biggest cause of problems for payers. If they treated both payers and payees equally there would be less problems.

This was all very simple in the end. The payee did not dispute the care percentage for FTB, so by default both the payer and payee had an agreement which under the C$A legislation could be used for working out care percentages.

This case shows how the SSAT was just being a rubber stamp for the C$A. They got caught out as well as C$A's unfair bias :)
You have taken the C$A to a new awareness.
Their challenge is to afford equal rights to all.

On reading your judgement it is reasonable for you to assert that SSAT is irrelevant. That ha been somewhat evident in other postings on the site.

Will this judgement be placed in an accessible site like Austlii wherein others can draw upon your contribution in defining a more pertinent interpretation of the legislation.

If others were to draw upon your arguments would then other appeals cement these changes in interpretation.

Are you anticipating an appeal by SSAT, C$A or any other entity?
Are these case renamed as are Family Court matters?

It could be in your interest to support other appeals so that further consolidation of your case as a precedent can be cemented. That would give weight to arguments to retain the legislation as is, rather than it being reworded by Parliament to give effect to the wants of C$A personnel.

I'd imagine you are in a Daze and quite Happy

May peace be with you

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
my interpretation is that the CSA must take into consideration any day time as to do otherwise would result in an unjust decision. I believe that anybody who would have a greater level of care if the level of actual care is greater when hours rather than over-nights is considered should apply to have the more accurate level of care applied. I'm sure that we'd be interested in being aware if any do attempt to get their level of care changed.

I think this may also have greater implications in that in paragraph 21 it states "At Folio 4  of the Subsection 95(3)The Child Support Agency will work out a parent's level of care according to the time that the parent is responsible for providing care for that child". What if this is applied to situations where a child is in the care, say of a school that the child is boarding at? What if a child is placed into child care? Should the times be discounted?

I also believe that this decision also clearly allows the day time care to have the same value as night time care by night introducing that factor. Perhaps Secretary SPCA might like to ocmment on this aspect as I believe some work has been put into this facet.

HappyDaze, again very well done in doing this and thanks for showing us the decision.

I wonder if this will result in a backlash of orders being sought that don't specify hours, just terms like overnight.
Thanks to Mike and others.

I am very happy about the decision.

I'm glad I have been able to make a contribution that might help others sort out their C$A troubles. I think people who have just below 52 nights care might benefit from this decision as there were no special circumstances in my case.

You might find the reason on the AAT web site in the near future. If not, I am happy to provide it to those that might benefit from it, and help others with their C$A woes in general.

I would like C$A to appeal as I believe it would not be successful, and then we would have something more water tight.  :)
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