Submission to the Senate inquiry into the design, scope, cost-benefit analysis, contracts awarded and implementation associated with the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative

The submission highlights that Centrelink’s automated debt recovery process is complex and likely to cause undue distress for all customers, but particularly for those who are experiencing mental health issues. The submission points out that the distress and anxiety already caused could have been avoided if debt recovery processes and communication protocols were informed by genuine engagement with mental health consumers, carers and the sector. As there is currently no visible mechanism for mental health stakeholders to be included in the design of Centrelink service protocols, the Department of Human Services should immediately reinstate a consumer and carer advisory group to rectify this.

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centrelink, Social Welfare, Robodebt, debt recovery, psychosocial disability, mental health