Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Debt - Update
Written on the 24 November 2021
Executive Officer, Kate Fox, recently met with DHS, SA Health and Shared Services regarding Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees where the following frequently asked questions on the SA Health website were highlighted
What payment plans are available?
You will have 30 days to pay the invoice. In that time you can arrange a payment plan of three to six months, with weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.
What if I can’t afford to pay?
If a payment plan is still not affordable, you may apply for a financial hardship agreement. Once the quarantine fee invoice has been received from the South Australian government, travellers can apply for a financial hardship agreement. You will need to provide evidence that it would cause financial hardship to repay the debt in full.
Appropriate documentation includes, but is not limited to, copies of you most recent:
You can get help from a financial counsellor by contacting the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential advice to help you manage your debts or negotiate with creditors. More information about applying for a payment plan or a financial hardship agreement is available online.
Through further discussion, Kate was informed that payment by instalment arrangements can be made for up to 24 months if six months is not enough (subject to approval) through SA Health/Shared Services and that hardship requests are now usually assessed/processed within five working days.
If hardship arrangements are not made through SA Health/Shared Services, repayment arrangements can still be made through the Fines Enforcement Recovery Unit (FERU), where payments can be negotiated to be paid over a longer term, if approved by FERU.
One of the significant difficulties for staff at SA Health/Shared Services/FERU is that debt write offs (or fee waivers) need to be considered through Treasurers Instruction 5, which makes it very difficult to write off or waive fees.
Kate has been informed that Treasurer’s Instruction 5 is being updated and there might be a “pause to debt” but no write off, which clarifies the current intention of the instruction.