Centrelink collection agencies who are affected by cancer reveal him on the hunt for money in the hospital
& # 39; I am classified as a criminal & # 39 ;: the cancer-stricken grandfather sheds tears while revealing that Centrelink debtors have driven him to repay $ 2,300 while in HOSPITAL
- Raymond Murphy was hunted for a $ 2,300 debt from Centrelink at the hospital
- He is the victim of robo-debt, many claiming to have been guilty wrongly
- The grandfather was forced to sell his house to pay for his cancer treatment
- Australians have to prove that they have no debts to get rid of the scheme
- More than 4,000 victims participate in a class action against the government
A cancer-stricken grandfather broke into tears and revealed how Centrelink collections haunted him for repayments while being treated at the hospital.
Raymond Murphy is one of the thousands of Australians affected by the controversial robo-debt settlement, where Centrelink uses data from the tax office to determine whether a recipient of the welfare fund owes money.
Mr. Murphy told me An ongoing case he was the target while being treated for cancer, more than $ 2,300 collection agencies claimed he was overpaid by Centrelink years ago.
& # 39; They are serious, absolutely strict. They have no respect for me at all … For a measly $ 2,300 I'm being torn to pieces, & said Mr. Murphy.
Raymond Murphy was the target of Centrelink collection agencies about what he thought was an outstanding $ 2,300 debt while in hospital and receiving cancer treatment
Murphy said the debt forced him to sell his house and go to a shed to afford his cancer treatment.
Australians affected by robo debts must prove to the government that they do not owe money, forcing victims to search for all relevant documentation to clear their name.
& # 39; I am classified as a criminal, and I am guilty, and I have to prove my innocence. But they can't deliver the paperwork there to prove how they came to say I was in debt, & said Mr. Murphy.
Murphy was forced to sell his house and go to a workshop to pay for his cancer treatment after being hunted in the hospital by Centrelink debtors
This week Centrelink announced that it would no longer assess the debt through information from the tax authorities with their data, with the Department of Human Services instructing staff to conduct further investigations to determine if there is a debt.
& # 39; We never want people to feel that they are in a situation of helplessness & # 39 ;, said the Human Services Department General Manger Hank Jongen.
& # 39; We help people every day in difficult situations and we do our best to take special circumstances into account.
& # 39; Support and assistance is always available with us and a wide range of government and community services. & # 39;
It was recently unveiled in a senate committee that heard that the legacies of up to 200 people were being pursued in the robo-debt settlement.
Approximately one fifth of the initial letter of formal notice from Centrelink contained information that later turned out to be incorrect.
Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten said the government & # 39; had the emergency brakes & # 39; on the failed system.
& # 39; If the system is dodgy enough, it must be discarded, what will happen to all those people who are already victims of robo-debts? & # 39; he said.
& # 39; What happens to the money wrongly obtained by the Commonwealth? & # 39;
Centrelink announced that it will no longer take out debt by taking the average of the tax authorities' information with their data, with the Department of Human Services reportedly telling staff to conduct further investigations to determine if there is a debt
Statement from the Department of Human Services
The Department of Human Services makes changes to our administration of the online income compliance program.
The ministry will no longer raise a debt where the only information we rely on is our own average income data from the Australian tax office.
This is in line with our continuous dedication to continuously strengthen and improve our services.
We will review all previous online compliance debts to determine which debts have not used any other information.
As these cases are identified, the debts are frozen while we take a closer look. People don't have to do anything to make this happen. We will write to people to advise that we will stop the recovery activity if they are affected.
The normal activity for debt collection continues until and unless people are identified as affected.
It is very important to note that this type of income average does not occur in most compliance assessments and debt decisions.
It only applies to a relatively limited portion of the debts – debts arising from the online income compliance program where we have used only average income.
People not affected by this advice can still ask us to review decisions or provide new information at every stage of the process.
We remain committed to the integrity of our social security system and continue to ensure that people receive benefits only for which they are eligible.
We repeat that people affected by these changes do not have to do anything at this stage. If people have questions, they can call 1800 061 838 for help.
Government minister Stuart Roberts said that Australians affected by debts based on the average income will soon be contacted by his department, without victims being reimbursed or compensated.
More than 4,000 victims of the robo-debt settlement are taking part in a class action against the government, with Peter Gordon of law firm Gordon Legal saying that those affected by the settlement must be repaid.
& # 39; There are thousands of people who have lost housing, lost jobs, suffered mental health problems, & # 39; said Gordon.
Mr. Gordon believes that more than 220,000 debt securities may be incorrect, with the government owing $ 660 million to people who have been billed incorrectly.
The devastating impact of the robo-debt settlement
Kath Madgwick's son Jarrad died three hours after receiving a letter telling him to discuss a $ 2,000 Centrelink debt.
"Personally, I'm glad they do something, but I still think it's not enough. The use of the averaging system must be completely scrapped because people regard the initial letter as a letter of debt. I don't think this is good enough, & # 39; Madgwick told Daily Mail Australia.
"There have been reports of people who have dated their lives about this system, two and a half years old.
Jarrad Madgwick (photo with his mother), 22, took his own life after being told that he had a debt from Centrelink
"I am not opposed to the government organizing a payment plan to collect legitimate debts, but the average robodebt system must be scrapped and a more effective measure must be introduced. Since the means of income has undoubtedly proved a failure.
& # 39; Although I am happy that the government is doing something, I don't feel it is enough and vulnerable people will not be so worried that they will make a decision to take their own life. & # 39;
For confidential support, call the Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14 or Mensline 1300 789 978
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