Stolen Wages Settlement
Update 7, 15 May 2020
Welcome to our seventh Stolen Wages Settlement email update to claimants (workers under the Stolen Wages practices) and registered representatives (for deceased claimants).
Meet Shavi from the Stolen Wages team
Shavi has been the manager of the Stolen Wages Information Centre since January 2020. Prior to this Shavi worked in the banking sector in regional NSW and QLD for nearly 20 years and over that time has developed an interest in assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses, individuals and organisations to develop their potential as the future leaders and influencers of Australia’s economy.
“It is a real privilege to have a role with the Stolen Wages Information Centre and play a small part in acknowledging the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland”.
Claim statements - have you received yours?
Claim statements have now been sent to all registered claimants and registered representatives. If you know of someone that registered for the Stolen Wages Settlement before 21 November 2019 and they have not received a claim statement, they may not be eligible or have not provided the Stolen Wages Information Centre with an address or their current address. Please advise them to contact the Stolen Wages Information Centre.
Thank you to everyone that has returned their claim statement if there was missing or incorrect information on their claim statement. Remember, you only have to return the claim statement if your details on the claim statement are incomplete, incorrect or you need to provide your bank account details or identity verification (photo ID).
We still have a large number of claimants and registered representatives that have missing information or have not provided their bank details and photo ID. If this applies to you, it will be set out on your claim statement. Payments cannot be made to anyone that has not provided all of the required information and documents (see below).
A reminder that the claim statement is to confirm the registered details of claimants and registered representatives and does not mean you will receive a payment. Once the details of all claimants are confirmed, the eligibility of all claims will be checked to see who is eligible to receive a payment.
Date of births & dates of death
Payments under the Stolen Wages Settlement Distribution Scheme (SDS) are determined by a number of factors, including the date of birth of claimants and, if applicable, their date of death. The dates must be provided to the Stolen Wages Information Centre to enable a claim to be fully assessed.
However, the Stolen Wages Information Centre does not generally require copies of birth or death certificates to be provided. Only the dates are required and in most cases, claimants, and for deceased claimants, spouses or children of the deceased claimant (registered representatives), will know the relevant dates of birth and death. If a claimant did not have a recorded date of birth or date of death, or a spouse or child do not know the relevant dates, they may need to find the information from other sources.
Under the SDS, the administrators have the power to request additional information to verify the eligibility of a person if we believe a claim is not legitimate or the information provided is incomplete. Additional information requested may include a birth certificate or death certificate but this will be rare. Birth certificates can also be provided to verify the identity of a claimant or registered representative if they do not have any form of photo ID, but it does not need to be provided to prove a date of birth.
The Stolen Wages Information Centre is working with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to verify the details of all claimants.
If a claimant’s date of birth or death is unknown, the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages may be able to assist if the birth or death was previously registered. In such cases, the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages may be able to confirm a year of birth or death if a full date cannot be released.
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages however can only release information to eligible people. Spouses, grandchildren and distant relations may not eligible to receive this information.
Further information is available here and the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages can be contacted by telephone on 13 74 68.
Why are payments not being made until later in the year?
The timetable for payments under the Stolen Wages Settlement Distribution Scheme has been set by the Federal Court. Distribution statements setting out how much each eligible claimant and registered representative for deceased claimants will receive are to be issued by 6 September 2020 and payment made 6 December 2020, unless varied by the court or the administrators.
In setting the timetable, the Federal Court made sure that all claimants and registered representatives would have sufficient time to provide the information and documents required to prove their eligibility to receive a payment. Many claimants are elderly and do not use emails or have access to the internet and need extra time. The Federal Court also took into account that there are approximately 15,000 claimants located all over Australia and the administrators have to contact each of them to confirm their details and eligibility.
The Stolen Wages Settlement is the fifth largest class action settlement in Australian history and it is a big job to make the payments to so many people and ensure the right people receive the money. Many other settlements take much longer than nine months to make payments. We know that people have been waiting many decades to receive the money they are entitled to and the wait until December can seem like a long time. However, we appreciate your patience and can assure you that we are committed to working as quickly as possible to assess all claims and make the payments to eligible people.
We also confirm once again that COVID-19 has not altered the timetable and at this stage payments will not be made earlier or delayed due to the virus. Any changes to the timetable, if any, will be published on the website, here.
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.