Benefit Overpayment, Welfare Fraud and Financial Hardship in Australia

Journal of Social Security Law, 17 2: 100-125, 2011

Posted: 19 Jun 2015

See all articles by Tamara Walsh

Tamara Walsh

University of Queensland

Greg Marston

Queensland University of Technology

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

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

Walsh, Tamara and Marston, Greg, Benefit Overpayment, Welfare Fraud and Financial Hardship in Australia (2011). Journal of Social Security Law, 17 2: 100-125, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2620067

Tamara Walsh (Contact Author)

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Greg Marston

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

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