Tuesday, 05 March 2019 19:20

Centrelink adopts real-time payments for urgent welfare cases

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Centrelink adopts real-time payments for urgent welfare cases Pixabay

Vulnerable people and those suffering extreme hardship can get immediate access to emergency welfare payments through Centrelink, after the agency moved to the new payments platform developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The platform allows money to be instantly transferred to an individual's account once a claim is processed.

A statement from the Department of Human Services said it had been testing the system for six months, including during the Townsville floods where $2.2 million was paid as part of the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan said: "“The Coalition is committed to ensuring our welfare system is properly equipped to support those experiencing severe hardship and this new platform will ensure help is always at hand, even outside normal banking hours or on public holidays.

“Previously, if you needed help late in the day or over the weekend, factors beyond my department’s control could see several days pass before payments were processed by an individual’s bank. That is no longer the case.

“This is also particularly good news for people in my home state of Western Australia where some banking services require transaction processing to be completed by 3:30pm AEST.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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