Department of Human Services cracks down on fraudulent claims

Crackdown on fraudulent emergency funding claims

The Department of Human Services is cracking down on people who claim emergency funding when they're not entitled to do so.

"We have specialist teams and sophisticated fraud detection programs operating in real time to prevent fraudulent claims," said the department's general manager, Hank Jongen.

His comments come after a Laurieton resident raised concerns of a family in the area who had allegedly claimed emergency funding for bushfire impact, when they were not directly affected by a blaze.

Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP) begins when individuals and families are impacted by a disaster and are in need of Australian Government assistance.

DRP is a one-off payment of $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children who have been directly affected by a major disaster either in Australia or overseas.

Mr Jongen said the vast majority of people who claim disaster assistance are honest in their dealings with the department and are in urgent need of help.

People may need to provide evidence to show they're eligible for disaster assistance payments, including confirming their identity.

"We know documents can be damaged or lost completely due to the fires, so to ensure people in need can get assistance immediately, if documents are needed these can be provided up to 28 days after claiming," Mr Jongen said.

Mr Jongen urges residents to report people who they suspect might have committed fraud.

"We take all allegations of fraud seriously and assess all allegations we receive," he said.

If people suspect someone they know is committing fraud, they can report it through the website www.humanservices.gov.au/fraud

For more information on disaster assistance payments, please visit www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster

People can claim disaster assistance payments is by calling 180 22 66.