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We have a social security problem, but not the one you think

23 December 2016
Dan Nicholson, Legal Aid Vic.

from the article:

It’s inconceivable that the tax office would ever use such a flawed system to levy tax debts to corporations, so it’s hard to understand why it’s acceptable for Centrelink to do so. I agree with ACOSS that the system should be suspended until concerns are addressed.
Anyone alleged to have a Centrelink debt because of this new system (or indeed for any reason) should consider challenging that decision.


As reported by the Guardian, last year just 0.018% of those receiving Centrelink payments were investigated for fraud.

By contrast, when Centrelink decisions to deny or cancel access to payments are challenged, they are very often found to be wrong.

In 2014/15, for example:

  • 33.9% of primary decisions made by Centrelink were set aside on internal review;
  • 24.7% of decisions appealed to the first stage of tribunal merits review were set aside; and
  • 20.7% of decisions appealed to the second stage of merits review were set aside.

Put simply, if you think Centrelink got it wrong in your case and challenge the decision, there’s a good chance you’ll win.