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Thousands still owed $112 million in Centrelink class action

·2-min read
Centrelink sign
Centrelink is late to pay compensation payments to those affected by the robotdebt issues. (Source: Getty)

Thousands of Centrelink recipients are yet to get the additional compensation they are owed through Gordon Legal’s robodebt class action.

Under the scheme, Centrelink recipients were found to be automatically issued debt notices based on a flawed income-averaging metric.

The scheme was labelled “punitive” and “unfair”, with some victims reporting long-term mental health issues as a result.

A $1.2 billion settlement was reached, which saw $400 million in unlawful debts wiped and $720 million in debts repaid.

There was also another $112 million in compensation planned to account for interest that people could have earned on the debt repayments, which has not yet been paid.

The majority of settlement payments range between $50 and $300, with some eligible members only likely to get small sums less than $10.

Gordon Legal partner Andrew Grech said most of the refunds had been paid to eligible group members, but the $112 million additional compensatory payments were yet to be made.

Services Australia initially said this sum would be distributed by March 2022, which was then pushed back to June.

The funds still haven’t been paid.

A spokesperson from Services Australia said the department was “working hard” to speed up the process.

“There are a number of steps in the settlement-distribution-scheme process that need to be completed before we can start making payments,” the spokesperson said.

“We’re working hard to provide payments as soon as possible.”

The final deadline for the payments is September 17.

“Given its performance to date, Gordon Legal has no confidence that will be met,” Grech said.

If you are eligible for this payment, you will have received a letter in November 2021, notifying you of your debt category.

The settlement will be paid into the bank account you already receive Centrelink payments through, or the bank account you gave Centrelink for the refund portion.

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