Stolen Wages Settlement
Update 4, 3 April 2020
Welcome to our fourth Stolen Wages Settlement email update to claimants (workers under the Stolen Wages practices) and registered representatives (for deceased claimants).
Meet Malia from the Stolen Wages Information Centre
Malia is a direct descendant of the Wakaid tribe of Badu island. She has family ties to Hammond island (Kirriri), Thursday island and also the Philippines and Tuvalu. She loves heading back to the Torres Strait for family and holiday time whenever she can. Malia enjoys sport and has travelled around Australia and America representing Queensland in women’s basketball.
“I’ve learnt so much by being part of the Stolen Wages team and am really looking forward to the community visits later this year.”
Stolen Wages and Centrelink payments
The Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS) manages social security payments, including family payments, student payments and income support payments for working age people, seniors and disabled people and their carers. DSS has confirmed that payments from the Queensland Stolen Wages Class Action will not be counted as income for social security payments. This means that any lump sum amount will not have any effect on the social security payments you receive.
You will still need to report these payments to Services Australia (Centrelink). You can contact the Services Australia Indigenous Call Centre, or your regular payment line, to advise of the payments. Please find contact details for the Indigenous Call Centre below:
Services Australia Indigenous Call Centre: 1800 136 380 (Monday - Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm).
While the initial lump sum payment will not affect social security payments, any on-going income generated by the lump sum is counted under the income test, and any assessable asset produced from the lump sum is counted under the social security assets test.
More information is available on the Stolen Wages website, www.stolenwages.com.au.
If you have specific questions about your social security payment please contact the Services Australia Indigenous Call Centre as the Stolen Wages Information Centre is unable to answer questions about government payments.
Have you provided your bank account details?
All Stolen Wages claimants and registered representatives of deceased claimants must provide their bank account details to the Stolen Wages Information Centre. This is because payments will only be made to a bank account. No payments will be made by cheque or cash.
To prevent fraud and to protect the privacy of claimants and registered representatives, the Stolen Wages Information Centre will not take or change bank account details over the phone or in an email.
If a claimant or registered representative did not provide their bank account details when they registered for the Stolen Wages Settlement or if they wish to change their registered bank account, they must complete a bank account details form, sign it and return it to the Stolen Wages Information Centre.
The bank account details form can be downloaded from the DOCUMENTS tab of the Stolen Wages website.
At this stage, the timetable set by the Federal Court has not changed. Distribution statements will be issued by 6 September 2020 and payments will be made by 6 December 2020. Payments will not be made earlier due to the Coronavirus and any delays to payments will be notified via the website and email communication with claimants and registered representatives.
Due to the Coronavirus, our proposed office locations in Yarrabah, Townsville, and Brisbane, as well as community visits, have been postponed until further notice. We will provide updates via our website when we are able to re-open all of our offices and schedule the community visits.
The Stolen Wages Information Centre is however still operating within the restrictions imposed by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments. The Stolen Wages Information Centre can be contacted via telephone, email, post or fax.
If claimants or registered representatives are unable to provide their information or documents because of the Coronavirus restrictions, they should not be concerned as there is plenty of time to do so before the distribution statements are issued in September 2020. There is no need for claimants or registered representatives to put their health at risk or breach the government restrictions to submit their information and documents.
Don't forget to...
Claimants and registered representatives for claimants that have passed away, need to provide the Stolen Wages Information Centre with details to support their claim. This includes:
- The name of both the claimant and if applicable, the registered representative/s
- Date of birth of the claimant
- Whether the claimant is male or female
- The bank account details of the claimant or if applicable, the registered representative/s
- Ethnicity—whether the claimant is or was Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (cannot be both)
- Identification i.e. approved photo ID of the claimant or if applicable, the registered representative/s (see the website for what ID is acceptable).
If you haven’t already provided the above information and documents please contact the Stolen Wages Information Centre.
Our website - www.stolenwages.com.au - is the place to go to for accurate and up to date information.