Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

SSAT Advice - Have hearing soon

The Social Security Adminsitrative Tribunal hearing

Hi. I am new to this site. 
I am interested to know where to locate the Administrative Justice Principles.
Have been busy preparing for SSAT hearing.
Can you tell me what the experience is like, and how the hearing runs?
Is SSAT fair and impartial to both sides?
Is there any preconceptions?
Is there anything I should be aware of?
I have applied for FOI, but only received some of what I requested.  I will have to appeal this decision, but the hearing will be before this.
I have worked through the case, referring to the Guide and Legislation to question decisions made.
What happens if I am wrong in my interpretation :(

I think I have used evidence based facts and not the emotional stuff.
Any advice appreciated.
justice said
I am interested to know where to locate the Administrative Justice Principles.
I assume you are talking about the administrative principals or the legislative foundation or rules that guides the SSAT. If so have you called their office 1800 011 140 to get additional legislative instruments on what the founding principals are? The Tribunal is set up specifically to deal with
independent reviews of child support decisions made by the CSA. It looks at decisions based on any new evidence presented and on the legislative nature of the ruling made.. i.e. did it comply with the guidelines in the first place. It is completely independent from the CSA. (See the Child Support forums here)

justice said
Have been busy preparing for SSAT hearing. Can you tell me what the experience is like, and how the hearing runs?
We have little first hand experience. The SPCA has indicated they would like a representative to sit on the SSAT. There are some posts and comments about stats in the Child support forums here on this site

justice said
Is SSAT fair and impartial to both sides?
From information we have received so far this appears to be so. there has been no information supplied that it is other than reviewing cases in a proper and legislated manner.

justice said
Is there any preconceptions? Is there anything I should be aware of?
Nothing that has been brought to our attention but it is very early days here.

justice said
I have applied for FOI, but only received some of what I requested.  I will have to appeal this decision, but the hearing will be before this.
The FOI should be responded to fully. If you are not prepared you should request an adjournment. It would be foolish to move forward with only partial evidence and the FOI must be fully responded to. The FOI officer (and in CSA there are many of them dealing with larges volumes of FOI's) are generally cooperative I have found that they will endeavour to assist you to get all the material you are asking for under the FOI. You can apply to have the Federal Magistrates issue an FOI to add additional weight to a personally prepared FOI. Call the Federal Magistrates or Family Court got line for details. They are usually pretty good.

justice said
I have worked through the case, referring to the Guide and Legislation to question decisions made. What happens if I am wrong in my interpretation
If you are wrong in your interpretation then the tribunal will rule clearly against your application and indicate in their response as to their reasons. This is standard practice in the tribunal process.
justice said
I think I have used evidence based facts and not the emotional stuff. Any advice appreciated.
I am surprised you would ask such a question without any factual case information available here. THis is a public forum so I would not expect you to post personal information here. Without knowing all the initial assessment detail and the determination from CSA and reasons why, which would have been advised in their response, it is impossible to answer your question. The CSA case officers would be far better placed to answer this and again we have found the case officers to be generally helpful. It is fairly rare these days to find officers who are not there offering advice in an impartial way. There are procedures where this is not the case. My own experience with CSA has been relatively reasonable and adpoting an attitude that the child's needs have to be accomodated by both parents is a starting point.


You  should be keeping an eye on the many new changes coming through the Agency as the new legislation rolls out. This site will be deploying a complete Child support section in teh very near future and is already taking many queries which are being sent on to FaCSIA and the CSA for formal responses. 

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 

SSAT advice

Thank you for your repsonse.

Regarding FOI, I have received some of the information I asked for, and now have to appeal that decision to get further information.  However, FOI has been very helpful and explained why the decision was made.

Regarding the 'emotional stuff' what I was meaning was does the SSAT take into account statements made by parties that include false allegations and slander.  I have already been through these issues in the Family Law Court and these allegations were proven to be false.

I understand you cannot make a judgement without knowing my case, but what I am trying determine is will I have address these issues again with SSAT?

I have submitted my case based on new factual evidence, without questioning the parental abilities and character of the other party.

I have no issue supporting my children, but I am wanting a fair and equitable outcome.

justice said
Regarding FOI, I have received some of the information I asked for, and now have to appeal that decision to get further information. However, FOI has been very helpful and explained why the decision was made.
I am not sure who you are appealing to. You can go to the Federal Magistrates court with a subpoena for their weekly subpoena hearings and subpoena the material you want. The regulations around FOI are clear. You need to post the reasons why you were turned down if you want more assistance in that area.
justice said
Regarding the 'emotional stuff' what I was meaning was does the SSAT take into account statements made by parties that include false allegations and slander.I have already been through these issues in the Family Law Court and these allegations were proven to be false.
If the same allegations have been made and proved false in court then you will have a court document supporting that and should provide evidence to SSAT. If you want to see what documents you have on your court file go to the "Web Guide" on this site and key your file number etc and see what documents are held on file.

284 views (23 KB)
/court/index.php?page=search&;keep_forum_root=10

justice said
I understand you cannot make a judgement without knowing my case, but what I am trying determine is will I have address these issues again with SSAT?

I have submitted my case based on new factual evidence, without questioning the parental abilities and character of the other party.

I have no issue supporting my children, but I am wanting a fair and equitable outcome.
We have not had many posts about the SSAT yet and we are awaiting any interesting news about this process. It is the last avenue of appeal in the process. Obviously you had a determination of assesment from the CSA that you were not happy with, you then OBJECTED to that and went through an objection hearing and obviously were not sucessful with that and now you are at SSAT.We will be interested to hear of your experiences. :)

Last edit: by OneRingRules


Site Director
Thank you, you have been very helpful.  When I received the FOI, I called the FOI officer, and the person instructed me to send another letter to the appeals tribunal.  I requested all assessment applications and repsonses, all decisions made and reasons for those decisions, all phone calls made and received, all CSA communications windows, and all advice offered to both parties.  I am entitled to all information involving me, however any information mentioning the other party required their permission of course.  So in the end I received only communications windows inolving myself.  I just really wanted the whole file so I could cross-check what I had on my file at home, and to see whether there were any anomolies or anything of interest.  Now it is just a matter of writing that letter and requesting the additional information!

Thank you for time in helping me with information and advice.  I am indeed having trouble finding information about SSAT proceedures, but I am sure over time information will be easier to find with more hearings.

It is hopeful that SSAT appear to be making decisions based on whether CSA decisions complied with the guidelines and as well as having the opportunity to present new evidence.  I hope my interpretations of the legislation are correct!

Once again, thanks.





I will contact the department in the morning and get some additional information on SSAT procedures. I agree with OneRing that the subpoena process may be an avenue to be explored if the FOI is not forthcoming. They are relatively quick and easy to get :)

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 

Information on SSAT and AAT

Take a look at the new section in the Family Law Web Guide

Site Director
We have had the site admins update the SSAT and AAT sections of the Web Guide area under the Child Support link. If you have any additional information please post so we can continue to report on SSAT Process and Procedures for the members.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 

Had SSAT Hearing

Had SSAT hearing last week. It went for six hours. The outcome is due soon. I will post some feedback regarding the process when the decision is made.
That seems to be a lengthy period of time for a hearing.

You must have had a large number of issues to cover. I will be interested to see what happened. You can start a whisper and a personal topic with me if you like.  This will be completely private. I will be at FaCSIA the policy advisory group and would like to give them some first hand feedback if you have any. Thanks :thumbs:

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 

Reporting on SSAT hearing

Hi, this is the short version of the story so far.  I would like to post a more detailed reply on the process I went throughwith SSAT and CSA later.

The result of the hearing in the short version is that the SSAT lowered my income, but not to an amount that is true and accurate.  They used my capacity to earn as a basis for setting my income, and the subsquent child support amount.  It is an amount that I cannot afford, but more on that later.

The other half of the story is that the CSA is now taking legal action to recover the debt.  I have offered an amount under the debt amount in an attempt to negotiate, because even though my income has been reduced and thus my debt, it is still beyond my means.

This offer was subject to sale of my car.  As the offer was not accepted, the only other means of CSA recovering the debt, is to sell my house.  The house is in mine and my partner's name.  We had to sign a cavaet over the house.

Unfortunately, while I was going through this process, I made the mistake of supporting my children outside the CSA, and now that has come back to haunt me, as the payee is now denying that I made any contributions, even though there are receipts.  The SSAT made the decision that these purchases were 'discretionary.'  Mind you, most of that was food, clothing and school items.  So, by going outside the agency, this has also meant that the debt has accumulated.  However, the SSAT left the option open to negotiate these purchases with the CSA….but they accept the payee's opinion.

I am asking if anybody has been through this experience and also how does the CSA, through the Australian Government solicitors go about selling the house?  Am I involved in the selling, or am I totally out the picture?  I have admitted defeat!

I have also left my run too late to appeal the SSAT decisions.

Not sure if this is the appropriate place for this post.
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets