Beneficiaries get first back-payments


The first beneficiaries who qualify to receive a reimbursement after missing past social welfare payments have been paid.

A number of current and former beneficiaries missed their payments due to a loophole in the law.

Earlier in the year the Government attempted to make moves to tweak the law, which has been in place for decades, to clarify when people start getting paid their benefit after a mandatory seven-day stand-down period.

 The reform began with a Facebook campaign which some thought was a scam, but now the group has more than 4,500 members.

"This is great news for everyone involved, it was really a leap of faith for these first claimants that they really were going to be paid, and it was worth lodging a review," benefit advocate Kay Berereton says.

She says she expects many others will try to claim the days they are owed.

"It has been a lot of hard work trying to get the word out to people about this claim, and I have found that many people didn’t believe Work and Income would pay even if it was the law."

Claims will need to be made by mid-December, so Ms Berereton thinks there will be a large number of people making last-minute claims.

She hopes people will be paid before Christmas, to give those who are struggling a boost for the holiday period.

"For people on a benefit, somewhere between $40 and a few hundred [dollars] they'll receive is going to make a brighter day."

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