Debts Arising from False Identity


The social security legislation prohibits false statements and makes provision for offences and penalties, see SS(Admin)Act Part 6, Divisions 2 and 3 (sections 212-219). SSAct section 1223 specifies that a debt to the Commonwealth is incurred when a payment 'was made as a result of a contravention of the social security law, a false statement or a misrepresentation'.

However, there may be cases where a person's entitlement to a payment is not affected by provision of a false statement of identity. It is necessary to consider whether the payment was made as a result of a false statement or a misrepresentation, i.e. whether the person was entitled to the social security payment regardless of the provision of such a false statement (see also

The general rule is that where a person has provided false information that has no effect on their qualification for the payment, or payability, their entitlement to the payment is not affected.

Act reference: SSAct section 1223 Debts arising from lack of qualification, overpayment etc.

SS(Admin)Act Part 6 Division 2 Offences, Part 6 Division 3 Penalties

Last reviewed: 8 May 2017