Thursday, 21 November 2019

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Major Changes to the Administration of Conveyance Allowance

Student Transport Assistance Policy Update

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) completed its review at the end of 2018 of the administrative arrangements of Conveyance Allowance within its Operations Policy Manual covering the Student Transport Assistance Policy framework. Effective from the start of the 2019 school year the following major changes have been implemented:

  • Where claims for Conveyance Allowance excess $1000.00 per term, parents will have to submit a student school attendance record obtained from the school as part of the claim. This rule applies to new and existing claimants.
    (The creation of this rule allows the PTA to have greater scrutiny to ensure the correct amount of entitlement for claims in excess of $4000 per annum is paid to recipients).
  • Introduction of a cap of 50 kms for the approved distance per leg when travelling from residence to school, or vice versa, by motor vehicle. This rule only applies for new applicants from the start of the 2019 school year.
    (This rule was introduced to mirror similar maximum travelling time constraints for contracted ‘orange’ school buses on students. For safety reasons and noting that the Government’s policy framework is designed to provide a reasonable level of transport assistance, the limiting of kms avoids burdening families with excessive travelling times.)
  • Claims for payment of conveyance will not be reimbursed for periods in excess of two school terms in arrears.This rule applies to new and existing claimants.
  • Where families have been approved transport assistance via the payment of Conveyance Allowance for the eldest sibling of the family, siblings of the child can be carried without separate approval. However, if the eldest sibling exits the education system, parents must re-apply for transport assistance eligibility for the other siblings to ensure entitlement exists as continuation of the original approval will be void. This rule applies to new and existing claimants.

    Removal of Ambiguity With Regard to Using a Private Motor Vehicle

    The policy framework, with respect to payment of a conveyance allowance, has always been to individual families to assist them to defray some of the costs of driving the family car to and from school. As such there is no scope for families to pool their conveyance allowance to pay for a charter service arranged by the school, or to purchase other types of transport. While this has always been implied, the rules have amended to clearly articulate this fact.

    Points to Remember When Claiming for Conveyance Allowance

    The PTA routinely audit Conveyance Allowance claims by checking distances between the student’s residence and school or approved drop-off/pick-up point.  Parents/carers should be aware that if they knowingly submit false information or fail to provide relevant information in relation to an application for Transport Assistance or make a fraudulent claim in respect of a Conveyance Allowance, their child’s entitlement to Transport Assistance may be suspended or withdrawn. Fraudulent claims in respect of a Conveyance Allowance will be treated most seriously and SBS will seek reimbursement of any overpaid monies.  Dependent on the circumstances of the fraudulent claim SBS reserves the right to report any fraudulent activity to the Western Australian Police Service for further action. 

    In order to avoid making mistakes with your claim for conveyance the following tips are offered:
  • Check that the total km distance approved for each leg is still accurate.
  • Check that the frequency of travel is still correct. For example, if you are approved  four legs ie an AM trip to school and a PM trip to school but you in fact only do two legs i.e.drop the children to school and proceed to work and then collect the children at school from work, please let the PTA know as soon as possible.
  • If you received a conveyance allowance in lieu of access to an ‘orange’ school bus you cannot claim the payment of a conveyance allowance if during the school term you are granted access to a school bus. You can claim up to the day access to the school bus was granted. In addition, you can still received payment to a conveyance allowance if part of the journey the family has to meet the bus on route from their residence.
  • If you are unsure why you are getting paid a conveyance allowance, or any of the information is either out of date or wrong, do not hesitate to contract the School Bus Services Branch at the PTA.
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