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After legal costs were deducted, the settlement fund available was $101 million. This has been divided up between more than 380,000 eligible Group Members with over 400,000 debts in total.

Each eligible Group Members’ settlement payment has been calculated considering:

  • When money was paid towards eligible debts.
  • How much was paid.
  • When this money was refunded.
  • The total number of eligible Group Members.

Group members who paid back more, and were without this money for longer, will get larger payments.

Group members can access their individual calculation by requesting a ‘settlement statement’. This can be done on MyGov or by calling the Income Compliance Line on 1800 171 846.

Not all Group Members will be entitled to a refund or a settlement payment under the settlement. Some Group Members will still have to pay back their debts.

Group Members have been allocated into different categories in the class action, depending on their individual circumstances, including the information used to calculate their debt and what happened to the debt after it was raised. This has been done to reflect the reality that not everybody’s experience of the Robodebt System was the same.

The table below provides a guide to the categories of Group Members and how the settlement applies to them:

Category Description Refund Settlement outcome
Category 1
  • Debt calculated wholly or partly on the basis of averaged ATO income information
  • No repayments made on debt
No
  • These Group Members’ debts will be ‘zeroed’ so that they do not have to be paid back in the future
  • These Group Members will receive the benefit of a declaration that the way that Centrelink raised their debt was invalid
  • These Group Members will not receive a settlement payment
Category 2
  • Debt calculated wholly or partly on the basis of averaged ATO income information
  • Some or all of debt was repaid
Yes
  • These Group Members’ debts will be ‘zeroed’ so that they do not have to be paid back in the future
  • These Group Members will receive the benefit of a declaration that the way that Centrelink raised their debt was invalid
  • These Group Members will receive an additional settlement payment
Eligible category 3
  • Debt calculated wholly or partly on the basis of averaged ATO income information
  • Debt subsequently recalculated by reference to fortnightly income information, such as payslips or bank statements
  • The amount of debt repaid prior to the recalculation was more than the amount of the recalculated debt
No
  • These Group Members’ debts will not be ‘zeroed’ and they must be repaid in the future, if there are outstanding amounts on the debt
  • These Group Members will receive an additional settlement payment to reflect the detriment they experienced as a result of paying back too much money before the debt was recalculated
Ineligible category 3
  • Debt calculated wholly or partly on the basis of averaged ATO income information
  • Debt subsequently recalculated by reference to fortnightly income information, such as payslips or bank statements
  • The amount of debt repaid prior to the recalculation was not more than the amount of the recalculated debt
No
  • These Group Members’ debts will not be ‘zeroed’ and they must be repaid in the future, if there are outstanding amounts on the debt
  • These Group Members will not receive a settlement payment

 

Category 4
  • Debt calculated wholly on the basis of actual fortnightly income information such as payslips or bank statements
  • No part of debt calculated by reference to ATO income averaging
No
  • These Group Members’ debts will not be ‘zeroed’ and they must be repaid in the future, if there are outstanding amounts on the debt
  • These Group Members will not receive a settlement payment

 

All Group Members were advised of their category in the letter sent by Centrelink in November 2021.

 

Yes.

We believe that the settlement represents a fair and reasonable outcome for Group Members.

It is important to understand that in approving the settlement, the Court decided that the settlement was fair and reasonable in light of the risks that the claim would not be successful at trial and the benefit that it provides to all categories of Group Members.

The Court arrived at this decision after consideration of the objections made by Group Members and the input of the Contradictor, a senior barrister who the Court appointed to specifically represent the interests of Group Members in the settlement process. The Court would not have approved the settlement if it did not think it represented a fair and reasonable outcome for the Representative Applicants and the Group Members.

While running the Robodebt Class Action, Gordon Legal and the Representative Applicants gave deep consideration to how the case could achieve the best possible result within the limitations of the legal system that we operate within, for all Group Members.

However, in such a large class of people, opinions about the settlement are naturally diverse – it is inevitable that not everyone will agree.

In our view, the Robodebt Class Action has secured an important result by ensuring that all Group Members who were deprived of money as a result of invalid Robodebts will be refunded amounts paid on their debts and receive additional compensation.

We understand that the settlement agreement will not provide financial redress for all Group Members and does not achieve all of the ambitions of every individual Group Member.

For those Group Members who do not receive refunds or settlement payments, they at least now have certainty that their debts were not calculated by the invalid Robodebt System.

As a civil legal claim, the Robodebt Class Action’s focus was on financially assisting Group Members and providing greater legal certainty for people who were affected by invalid Robodebts, not on forcing political outcomes.

We understand and support the calls for greater accountability and hope that the Parliament will continue to question how the Robodebt System was allowed to cause so much harm to so many people.

It is also important to understand that the Court did not have power in this proceeding to Order that the Government provide a further apology to Group Members.

If you are a current or former customer of Latitude Financial, you are eligible to register.

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Peter Gordons Story

Peter is one of Australia’s most prominent lawyers. He has an unrivalled record of fighting for justice for working people, and has conducted many history-making class action cases, as well as a large number of individual actions.He established Gordon Legal to provide an unprecedented legal service to those who need it most.

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