Several media outlets have incorrectly reported that the Department of Human Services is using the recent legalisation of same sex marriage in Australia to recover welfare overpayments.
The Canberra Times published an article online (26 October) and in print (27 October) that misrepresents the evidence by Department of Human Services official Jason McNamara at Senate Estimates hearings.
The Australian Press Council upheld a complaint by the Department of Human Services about an article in The Canberra Times on March 30, 2017, headed “Another debt debacle” in print and “Centrelink hits 21,000 families with bogus FTB debts” online.
Recruitment in the Department of Human Services is a business as usual activity and is subject to our allocated Budget and average staffing level (ASL).
The Department of Human Services still offers paper claim forms for the Age Pension. People can download the form themselves from our website or staff can print it off in a service centre.
Fairfax Media has failed readers with sensationalist and selective reporting on the Department of Human Services’ delivery of Family Tax Benefit payments.
This reporting (29 and 30 March, 2017) displays utter ignorance of the system and misrepresents our submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative. We also note we were not approached for clarifying information or comment before this story was printed.
BuzzFeed’s article about collection agents recovering Centrelink debts (20 March, 2017) is misleading and requires correction.
News Corp today reported on Centrelink ‘spousal benefits’ that included unverified quotes from an article published 2010.
Dr Ellen Skladzien, Chief Executive Officer, Down Syndrome Australia