Benefit Overpayment, Welfare Fraud and Financial Hardship in Australia
Journal of Social Security Law, 17 2: 100-125, 2011
Posted: 19 Jun 2015
Date Written: 2011
This article examines the conflation of social security fraud and overpayment. While there may be a perception that overpayments are generally the result of fraud, the research reported on here suggests otherwise. By comparing administrative decisions relating to overpayment, and criminal court decisions relating to fraud, it is argued that many low level fraud cases might more appropriately be dealt with as overpayments. Most fraud cases prosecuted in the lower courts are committed in a general context of extreme disadvantage, misunderstanding and administrative error. Adequate advocacy assistance is required at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that unjust prosecutions are avoided.
JEL Classification: k00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation