Centrelink ‘couples rule’ putting domestic violence survivor at risk

Centrelink is using evidence of domestic violence as proof women are in legitimate relationships, linking their access to welfare to their abusers’ wealth.

A report by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has found Centrelink struggles to distinguish between genuine relationships and cases of abuse, and uses inappropriate information (including police and hospital records) to determine whether or not survivors are part of a couple.

Under legislation, people in couples are assessed on not only their income and assets, but those of their partner too.

Dr Sleep called for the Social Security Act 1991 to be amended to explicitly include domestic violence as a consideration when determining whether or not to apply the couples rule.

Source: Centrelink ‘couples rule’ putting domestic violence survivor at risk

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