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The wait continues at Centrelink and tips to navigate it

17 February 2017
The Age

Centrelink's phone lines are about to get better… no really, they're meant to, but you just have to wait a little longer for it to happen.
That's the line I'm getting from the Department of Human Services, which has copped a hammering in recent weeks over the government's controversial robo debt recovery scheme and its high error rates in clawing back overpaid welfare payments.

National Social Security Rights Network recommendations: Centrelink online compliance and debt system

13 January 2017
National Social Security Rights Network

The National Social Security Rights Network (NSSRN, formerly National Welfare Rights Network) and its member services are struggling to respond to the number of calls from people distressed about Centrelink’s new online compliance system and being informed they have debts they think are wrong.

How to fight a Centrelink robo-debt in 10 (not so easy) steps

27 January 2017
Green Left Weekly

I became aware that Centrelink were trying to pin a cooked-up “robo-debt” of $5558 on me through a text message from the aptly named Probe group debt collection agency.
There resources about how to dispute a Centrelink debt letter, including GetUp! which has a page that sends a bunch of letters to key places in one go.
But given the large and growing number affected by this $4.5 billion heist, I thought I would share my experience of disputing the debt in 10 not exactly easy steps.

National Social Security Rights Network calls for suspension of Centrelink online debt system and a new approach

16 January 2017
National Social Security Rights Network

As a result of our experience helping people respond to the new system so far, we support widespread calls to suspend its use unless and until concerns about it are addressed. We oppose any further roll-out of the system to other forms of data-matching at this time.
Our fundamental concern is that the new system creates an inherent and unacceptably high risk that a person may accept and repay an incorrectly raised debt. This risk is not adequately addressed by the present system. This is also leading to unacceptable levels of distress and worry among people affected and more can and should be done to reduce this.

[PDF: http://www.welfarerights.org.au/sites/default/files/news/NSSRN%20stateme...

Match making Using data - matching to find people missing out on government assistance

1 April 2014
The Australia Institute

The Australia Institute is an independent public policy think tank based in Canberra. It is funded by donations from philanthropic trusts and individuals, memberships and commissioned research. Since its launch in 1994, the Institute has carried out highly influential research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues.

* date released April 2012

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