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Monday, 29 August 1994
Page: 539

(Question No. 1371)

Senator Watson asked the Minister representing the Treasurer upon notice, on 4 May 1994:

  With reference to the Insurance and Superannuation Commission, what is the average processing time for an application for early release of benefits on the grounds of severe and financial hardship and do inquiries by applicants delay the processing of returns?

Senator Cook —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  The Insurance and Superannuation Commission processes early release of benefits applications in its Sydney and Melbourne offices. The Commission received 32,922 applications in the 1992/93 financial year. Approximately 80% of applications take up to 3 working days to process. Of the remaining 20% all but less than 1% of the cases are processed within ten days.

  Many applicants contact the Commission by telephone, although this does not produce significant delay to application processing.