Single mother with cash was chased three times a day and told that she would lose her house after Centrelink had overpaid her in a fault that was entirely THEIR fault
- Single mother threatened by collection agencies after she had overpaid benefits
- They said she would lose her wages and her house if she didn't pay Centrelink
- Tribunal found that Centrelink was completely in default after entering the wrong date
- A gap in the rules means that they will have to pay, while others on social assistance do not
A single mother was chased by debt collection agencies who told her that she could lose her house unless she repaid Centrelink after making a mistake with her benefits.
Emma Delahunty, from Alice Springs, was instructed to repay $ 3700 after she had overpaid parental leave.
In April 2018, two months after the birth of her son, the official applied for paid parental leave to cover her until her return in July
But she is now being aggressively pursued for reimbursement after the agency accidentally overpaid her after entering the wrong date.
Emma Delahunty (photo) from Alice Springs early April 2018, two months after the birth of her son, paid for parental leave to cover her until her return in July
& # 39; I have very little extra money, & # 39; she said The Guardian.
& # 39; It only rained twice here in Alice Springs. Once was yesterday, but the last time it rained, in May, my toilet blocked and it took me two months to pay a plumber to come and fix it. & # 39;
Last month, the administrative appeal found that the agency had fully failed, but ruled that the debt would continue to exist because it was not a & # 39; serious & # 39; cause financial suffering.
While other welfare debts can be reduced or canceled if Centrelink is to blame, the & # 39; loophole in the rules for parental leave payment means that the mother-of-one is forced to pay the bill.
& # 39; Although I have done everything right, I am forced to pay for the many errors of Centrelink & # 39 ;, she wrote on Facebook.
Initially, Mrs. Delahunty tried in vain to solve the problem with Centrelink.
When the calls started in February 2018, the first mother took care of a 13-month old and she was back to work
Although the tribunal said she had followed all procedures accordingly, she was aggressively hunted by private collection agencies.
When the calls started in February 2018, the first mother took care of a 13-month old and she was back to work.
& # 39; Then the phone calls started … They are pretty aggressive. Three times a day. They are fairly hardline.
& # 39; You know, they can collect your wages. "Your passport can be confiscated" (they said). "You can deposit your mortgage as standard and lose your house if you have not entered a payment plan," she told The Guardian.
While other welfare debts can be reduced or canceled if Centrelink is to blame, the & # 39; loophole for parental leave payment means that the mother-of-one is forced to pay the bill she wrote on Facebook (photo)
Mrs. Delahunty wrote to the social security minister, Anne Ruston, and asked her to waive the debt because she could not afford to pay Centrelink's mistake with her limited budget.
Her letter also stated that she did not claim the total claim to which she was entitled and that Centrelink had failed to date her or reduce her debt by the $ 1,200 she owed.
A Department of Human Services spokesperson said: “We apologize for the difficulties that Mrs. Delahunty has encountered.
Mrs. Delahunty (photo) wrote to the social security minister, Anne Ruston, requesting to waive the debt because she could not afford to pay Centrelink's error with her limited budget
& # 39; When a social welfare debt arises, the department is legally obliged to reclaim the debt, except in very limited circumstances. We have a dedicated team that can work with people on flexible repayment options that take into account their individual circumstances. & # 39;
Earlier this month, a class action was announced against Centrelink & robo's debt recovery scheme after it turned out that 20 percent of the debts issued were incorrect.
In August, a grieving mother demanded an overhaul of the system after her 22-year-old son, Jason Madgwick, had taken his life three months earlier after receiving a $ 2000 debt.
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