Robodebt payout details revealed

The government agreed to pay back the money last year. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
The government agreed to pay back the money last year. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

Legal firm Gordon Legal is set to get $16 million of the $112 million government payout to victims of Centrelink's robodebt program, as more details have been revealed about how the money will be divided among victims.

The government agreed to pay the $112 million in compensation on top of the $721 million it will pay in unlawfully raised debts as part of as settlement agreement with Gordon Legal, which is representing the victims.

A letter sent to members of the group represented in the class action details just who may be paid some of that $112 million, but the settlement still needs to be approved by the court at a hearing in May.

The members of the group have been divided into four categories, with only two types of victims to receive part of the $112 million.

People who had a debt raised partly or wholly based on income averaging and paid back some or all of the money to Centrelink will be eligible for the settlement payment.

Some of those who had a debt that was initially based on income averaging and was then recalculated using payslips or bank statements, and then paid it back in part or in full, will also be eligible for settlement payments.

Those who had a debt raised against them using income averaging, but had not paid any of it back, will not be eligible for the payment. Those who had a debt raised that wasn't based on income averaging won't be eligible for a settlement payment.

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The amount each individual victim gets will be determined based on how much money they had paid to the government and how long they were without the money.

There are more than 400,000 people in the group who repaid a welfare debt in the period, but it is unclear how many of them will be eligible for the extra payment, on top of their refunded debt.

While Gordon Legal has applied for $16 million of that funding as its fee, this amount needs to be approved by the court.

This story How will the robodebt payout be divided? first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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