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Timing it wrong: benefits, income tests, overpayments and debts

27 Feb 2017
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UEXPECTED bills can be a challenge for any household. But for people who rely on social security payments, unexpected news of a significant debt – sometimes dating back years – can be bewildering, to say the least. This is exactly what tens of thousands of Australians have experienced in recent months.

Since just before Christmas, Centrelink’s new automated data-matching system has resulted in a significant increase in the number of current and former welfare recipients assessed as having been overpaid and, thus, in debt to the government. The data-matching system seems to have identified people with earned income higher than the amount reported when their benefits were calculated…

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2017
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