Sunday, 21 April 2024

    Govt repays $700 million

    Almost $700 million in wrongly-reclaimed government ‘robo-debt’ payments has been returned to hundreds of thousands of people, including the estates of thousands of dead Australians, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

    In May, Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert announced the government would repay $721 million to Australians who received debt notices for alleged overpayments of their welfare based on flawed calculations.

    To October 26, the government has repaid $697.1 million, Ms Lees said, which made up 94 per cent of all refunds.

    The remaining 6 per cent, or 38,000 people, includes a group of customers who were yet to make contact with the agency, she said.

    That group also included people who may have died, people in prison, or other cases which required extra work from the department.

    Ms Lees said the department has tried reaching them through letters, MyGov, and text messages in “three or four rounds”.

    When asked by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert how many of the debts had been returned to deceased estates, Ms Lees could not immediately say.

    “We’re in the middle of working with the either the executor of estates, or administrators of the for deceased persons, and so we are still working through that process,” she said.

    About 3300 people who have died were eligible for a refund, she said.

    Ms Lees said the agency would give those 38,000 people who had not been in contact another nudge before Christmas.


    Almost $700 million in robo-debt claims repaid by federal government (Sydney Morning Herald)


    Robodebt scandal: more than 3,000 deceased estates owed refunds by Australian government (The Guardian)