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4 days to check Centrelink details for $112m robodebt compensation

·2-min read
Centrelink, Medicare sign.
Were you affected by the robodebt scheme? (Source: Getty)

Centrelink recipients affected by the robodebt class action have until 10 December to check their details are correct before receiving a settlement payout.

Services Australia has sent physical letters and myGov notifications to people affected by the robodebt class action, as it prepares to issue settlement payments in the first six months of 2022.

About 380,000 people are estimated to be affected by the robodebt scandal, which saw the Government unlawfully raise $1.73 billion in debts based on a flawed income-averaging metric.

The scheme, dubbed punitive, illegal and poorly designed, ended in 2019.

Gordon Legal brought a class action against Services Australia in 2019.

Under the $1.2 billion settlement, victims will have $400 million in unlawful debts wiped, while another $720 million will be repaid. Additionally, the Government will pay out $112 million in compensation.

There are five categories of Centrelink recipients affected by the program. Only those who had a debt raised using the income-averaging scheme and who had made payments towards the debt, and those who had overpaid such a debt, will be eligible for settlement payments.

People who had a debt raised, but who hadn't paid any of the debt, or whose debts were completely wiped will not be eligible for compensation. 

Services Australia has told current and former Centrelink recipients affected by the scheme to check the letters and confirm their debts were in the right category, or ask for a review.

The letters also include information on how to ask for a review, and how to update payment details.

If a review is required, it must be requested by Friday, 10 December.

The reminder comes as the Federal Government is placed under increased pressure to share details of how the settlement will be distributed.

Labor and Greens senators have called on Services Australia to release the average share of the $1.2 billion settlement that Centrelink recipients will receive.

In its fact sheet, Services Australia said “most people would not receive large amounts of money as part of the settlement”. Most settlement payments range from $50 to $300. 

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