Book – Social Security and Family Assistance Law, 4th edition
Authors: Peter Sutherland and Allan Anforth
Publisher: The Federation Press
Reviewer: Grace Devereaux
The latest edition of Social Security and Family Assistance Law is a useful guide for experienced and novice practitioners, alike. It is detailed, but not dense.
Perhaps, unsurprisingly for a book that outlines payments administered by Centrelink, it starts with an abbreviation and acronym index that is over four pages long. This alone is very helpful.
The real highlights of this text, however, are the annotations to the Social Security Act 1991, Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999, A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, and A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999.
The annotations include cases from the AAT, Federal Court and High Court. What is a “substantial” change in circumstances? What counts as a change in circumstances “beyond the person’s control”? The annotations are an invaluable resource for any practitioner having to advise on how a court or tribunal might interpret these phrases.
The authors also discuss topical areas of social security law. An obvious example is “robodebt” and the class action, Prygodicz v Commonwealth  FCA 634.
A less obvious example is the definition of “woman” for the purpose of qualification for the age pension. For historical reasons, the residence requirement for the age pension is more favourable for women whose partners have died.
Social Security and Family Assistance Law is a practical text to which practitioners will return, repeatedly.