There were reports over the weekend that Nur Islam, the Rohingya asylum seeker accused of walking into a Springvale bank and setting himself alight on Friday, had experienced delays in receiving his Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) payment, although Centrelink has denied that this is the case. A tipster tells us that delays in receiving the payment are common:

“I have seen numerous residents recently fall into arrears because of lengthy delays in SRSS payments. This has happened more over the past couple months and the residents affected have been without their pay for weeks at a time. They struggle for food, transport etc and Centrelink’s already stretched system has them wait for hours to even get an explanation or update.”

The payments of $433 are provided to people who are deemed eligible by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, in what has been described as a “precarious existence”. The Department of Human Services has denied there are “significant delays or a backlog” in a statement to Crikey from a spokesperson. “Overall processing of Status Resolution Support Services payments is within the usual timeframes.”

The statement also says:

“Some people may experience a delay in receiving their payment for a number of reasons, such as where a new customer doesn’t have their required proof of identity available at their first interview, resulting in a delay in finalising the claim. Existing customers may experience a delay for reasons such as incorrect or incomplete information, not reporting their earnings on time or not advising of changes in their circumstances.

“The Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s contracted service providers provide financial support to people who are transitioning onto the SRSS payment.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey