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Social security/welfare rights

Community Legal Centres Queensland believes in the human right of all people in need to an adequate level of income support, protected by law and notes that the right to social security is enshrined in five human rights treaties to which Australia is a signatory.

These Covenants and Conventions include: Article 9 of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Articles 11 and 14 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability.

Community Legal Centres Queensland supports Article 11(1) of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Community Legal Centres Queensland advocates

  • sufficiency of social security payments to provide a decent standard of living above the poverty line, and in accordance with standards generally held as reasonable in Australia;
  • provision of clear and simple information about social security rights and entitlements, obligations and responsibilities; treatment of all social security recipients with respect and dignity, remaining receptive to their individual needs and circumstances;
  • prompt and appropriate service and social security payments without unreasonable delay;
  • participation requirements that are realistic and focussed on increasing suitable employment outcomes for the individual;
  • a free, independent, informal, efficient and fair appeal system, as well as an independent complaints mechanism; and
  • Easy access to free and independent advice, advocacy and representation on social security matters.

Listed below are a range of research papers, submissions, news articles and items of interest that provide additional information on this subject area.

Related webinars

Social security debt recovery: Recent developments (Part 2)

Friday, April 13, 2018
In the second webinar in this two-part series on social security overpayments, Peter Sutherland, co-author of ‘Social Security and > more

Changes to welfare fraud prosecution

Monday, June 18, 2018
In recent times, there has been a sharp decline in the welfare fraud prosecution rate by the Department of Human Services (DHS), which may come as good news to community legal centre workers a > more

How can Australia's social security system improve the support it provides to people experiencing family and domestic violence?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Income support can mean the difference between staying in an abusive relationship or leaving to rebuild a productive life, but how well does the social security system take into account family > more

Run-away Robodebt Train Derailed

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
In November 2019, the Federal Court ruling invalidating the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) data matching scheme. > more

What next for Robodebts?

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
In May 2020, the Federal Government announced that it would refund $721mil in debts recovered though its 'robodebt' online compliance system following the Federal Court ruling that debts raise > more