FCA Weekly Digest 12 March 2021

Written on the 15 March 2021 by SAFCA

Financial Counselling Agency Authorisation Form: Old Form Being Retired

The new Financial Counselling Agency Authorisation Form has been in use for almost a year now and has been working well. The previous version of the authority form will be removed from the Toolkit and retired. You should now be using the new version of the form. This has been accepted by creditors for ongoing use. Creditors tell us it makes their processes easier if everyone uses the same authority. They have asked financial counsellors to adopt the new FCA form, which can be tailored by adding your agency's logo.


We also took the opportunity to fix a typo in the title of the form. It should be called the "Financial Counselling Agency Authorisation Form" (not the Financial Counsellor Authority Form the authority is at an agency level). This typo had been confusing some creditors who expected a financial counsellor to sign it, when that is not necessary.


Even if you are already using the new form, please replace it with the latest version to avoid problems with signatures and confusion over the title. The Toolkit contains instructions about how to add your agency's logo to the form. Go to the Financial Counselling Agency Authorisation page (under Casework Administration). If you need help to add your agency's logo, please email your logo to rita.battaglin@financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au and she will add it for you.

Indexation Increase to Social Security Payments

More than five million Australians will receive an increase to their social security payments from 20 March 2021, when indexation takes effect.

The rates for 2.6 million Age Pensioners, as well as 750,000 people on the Disability Support Pension and 295,000 Carer Payment recipients will increase by $8.40 a fortnight to $952.70 for singles, and $12.60 a fortnight to $1,436.20 for couples combined.

Many other payment rates will also increase due to indexation. Please see the media release for more information about these changes. Click here to access full details of the new rates and thresholds.

Online Role Play Opportunity: For Steps Simulated Financial Counselling Agency

We'd like to invite you to volunteer to play a client in an online role play with a student.

The role play is part of the student's placement with the Steps simulated placement programme, developed by FCA.

Participating in role plays offers:

  • Great opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with new students
  • A chance to support and network with student financial counsellors
  • Good fun!

You don't need any acting experience and we welcome people of all ages, genders and backgrounds to join in. We'll provide you with a guide and all the information you need to carry out the role play.

We're looking for people who are available for a two hour period in late March and early April. To find out more about this exciting volunteer opportunity and how to apply, please contact info@stepsagency.org.au or refer to the Role Play Information Pack.

Telstra's Indigenous Call Centre

Telstra has established its first Indigenous call centre, as the telco continues to make reparations with remote First Nations customers it admitted to exploiting.

The First Nations Connect centre, which opened in Darwin on Wednesday, will connect remote customers with Indigenous call centre operators who can have culturally aware discussions, in some cases in Indigenous languages.

The centre opening comes months after Telstra admitted to unconscionable conduct in its dealings with more than 100 Indigenous customers, who signed contracts they did not understand and could not afford.

See the full article for more information.

EAP Newsletter: Keeping Pace with Change

As part of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) package for the sector, we receive wellbeing resources that are available for your use.

This newsletter focusses on managing through change. It considers ways to positively support growth and balance the needs of individuals, teams and organisations.

The personal tool highlights the importance of a "life audit" and offers practical tips to identify if we're working towards those goals.

The leader tool explores strategies to help people achieve their goals, while recognising the need to keep pace with change.

Click the link to access the tools and read the full newsletter: https://bit.ly/3v8KpC0



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