Over the last month, there have been a number of changes to Centrelink entitlements as the Australian government responds to a significant number of job losses across the country.
One of the changes has been a temporary relaxation to the income test for JobSeeker claims, specifically increasing the amount your partner can earn before it impacts your eligibility.
If you have started to claim JobSeeker payments after being stood down but were also nominated for JobKeeper payments, it is important to declare any change of income to Centrelink.
At this time, it is particularly important to check the fine print and rules that apply to you and your situation.
Failing to comply with the rules of your entitlement could lead to criminal charges of Centrelink fraud. Such charges are found in the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) and include:
Examples of these offences include:
There are a number of factors that the court will take into account when dealing with these offences. Details of these factors and possible defences can be found here.
Offences of this nature are usually taken quite seriously by the courts, particularly if there is some element of dishonesty. It is important to seek legal advice and understand your options if you have been charged with any of these offences.
Photo by Oleg Magni