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Millions in compensation payments delayed, ALA finds

By Naomi Neilson
  • September 03 2020
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Earn

Millions in compensation payments delayed, ALA finds

By Naomi Neilson
September 03 2020

Centrelink delays are preventing vulnerable families from accessing millions of dollars locked in insurers’ trust accounts, a national legal body has found.

Millions in compensation payments delayed

Millions in compensation payments delayed, ALA finds

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By Naomi Neilson
  • September 03 2020
  • Share

Centrelink delays are preventing vulnerable families from accessing millions of dollars locked in insurers’ trust accounts, a national legal body has found.

Millions in compensation payments delayed

Centrelink delays have blocked $100 million from being injected into the economy amid COVID-19 demand. The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) national president Graham Droppert said the delays were due to the global crisis but the government had “months to resolve these capacity issues [and] we have not seen any improvement”.

“These delays are causing significant hardship to people who are unable to work due to injury or illness and are waiting on Centrelink to clear their compensation payment,” Mr Droppert said. 

“We are gravely concerned about the mental health of the claimants who have suffered serious injury and finding the extended wait for the compensation to be re-traumatising and very stressful.”

Typically, most settlement terms allow 28 days for Centrelink to process the payments and a claimant to receive their money. However, some are waiting more than 60 days. 

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The ALA has outlined these concerns in a submission to the Australian National Audit Office as it reassesses whether Services Australia has effectively managed the risks related to the preparation for and delivery of COVID-19 economic response measures. 

“Many are relying on their compensation payment to feed their families or pay medical bills. Others need their compensation payment to purchase equipment or modify their homes so that they can manage their life with a disability,” said Mr Droppert. 

“Services Australia are being stretched beyond capacity by the welfare demands of the pandemic, and the minister must address this problem.”

Millions in compensation payments delayed, ALA finds
Millions in compensation payments delayed
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