At the conclusion of the conference Commissioners may decide that no action is necessary, reprimand the client, encourage the client to enter into an Family Responsibilities Agreement (FRA), direct the client to relevant community support services or place the client on a Conditional Income Management (CIM) order.
During the conferencing process Commissioners may decide to refer the client to support services such as:
A conference decision may include the issue of a notice to the Department of Human Services, Centrelink of a CIM order. Due consideration is given firstly to the individual circumstances of the client and whether it may be more appropriate to take alternative action. Primarily CIM orders are issued to stabilise a client’s circumstances, particularly where children or other vulnerable people are concerned. CIM orders are also made where a client fails to attend two scheduled conferences, is not complying with their agreement or order, or the Commission is continuing to receive additional notices in relation to their behaviour. CIM orders are issued for a defined period (normally 12 months) with the Commissioners determining whether 60, 75 or 90 percent of fortnightly welfare payments are managed.
Centrelink enacts the notice and meets with the client to discuss their priority needs and financial obligations such as rent and bills and allocates the remainder of funds to a BasicsCard for the purchase of food and other consumables. The client receives the remaining funds (40, 25 or 10 percent) as discretionary spending. CIM orders are reviewed at the six and ten month point of the order. Some clients request extensions of the CIM order or a decrease of the percentage managed to ensure stability of their finances is maintained. Clients may also enter into a Voluntary Income Management (VIM) agreement to assist them to manage their budget and meet the costs of everyday essentials.
For more information about income management visit the Department of Human Services website, Income Management.