Debunking hoaxes and exposing scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo

Jump To: Example    Detailed Analysis   Comments   References

Refugee Monthly Allowance From Australian Government Hoax


Outline

Protest emails claim that refugees receive a substantially higher monthly payment from the Australian government than do Australian pensioners.

Brief Analysis

The claims in these emails are totally false. Refugees in Australia do not receive higher government payments than pensioners or other Australian citizens. In fact, there is no separate rate of benefit payments for refugees.

Example

Subject: Fw: Australian Pensions

Are you aware of the following?


The Australian Federal Government provides the following financial assistance:-

BENEFIT

AUSTRALIAN AGED PENSIONER

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS/REFUGEES LIVING IN AUSTRALIA

Weekly allowance

$253.00

$472.50

Weekly Spouse allowance

$56.00

$472.50

Additional weekly hardship allowance

$0.00

$145.00

 

 

 

TOTAL YEARLY BENEFIT

$16,068.00

$56,680.00


If I were a refugee, why would I look for work? Please forward to all your contacts so that we can lobby for an increase in the aged pension, and to put the welfare of Australian pensioners first, and then the welfare of refugees. After all, the average pensioner has paid taxes and contributed to the growth of this country for the last 40 to 60 years.............Kevin Rudd The Dud -- Pay Heed!!!!!!!!...The elections are this year. The people who put you in power can also remove you from power as easily. THE HONEYMOON IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!. Time for a reality check is here now!!!

Example:(Submitted, May 2008)
Subject: This is no joke... & only in Australia (the lucky country)!

This is interesting:

It is interesting that the federal government provides a single refugee with a monthly allowance of $1,890.00 And each can also get an additional $580.00 in social assistance for a total of $2,470.00.

A single pensioner who, after contributing to the growth and development of Australia for 40 to 50 years, receives only a monthly maximum of $1,012.00 in old age pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Maybe our pensioners should apply as refugees!

Let's send this to all Australians so we can all be ticked off and maybe we can get the refugees cut back to $1,012.00 and the pensioners up to $2,470.00 and enjoy some of the money we were forced to submit to the Government over the last 40 or 50 years.

Please forward to every Australian to expose what our elected politicians are doing - to the over-taxed Australian.

Detailed Analysis

According to these widely circulated protest emails, a refugee who arrives in Australia receives a considerably higher monthly benefit payment from the Australian government than do aged pensioners who have lived and worked in the country for years before retirement. The message has caused a great deal of anger and resentment among recipients and has been discussed at length on various talk-back radio shows and in letters to the editor in newspapers across the country.

However, the information in the message is total nonsense and in no way reflects the real level of entitlements for refugees or pensioners.

A September 2007 media release from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) notes:
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has refuted false claims circulating on the internet that refugees settling in Australia receive more in benefit payments than Australian pensioners.

'The figures quoted in the email bear no resemblance to income-support payments to pensioners, or to payments to refugees settling in Australia,' DIAC spokesman Sandi Logan said today.

'The text and figures in the email appear to have originated in Canadian emails, websites and internet chatrooms. We suspect that the email circulating here has been cut and pasted from these sources.

'In Australia, refugees granted permanent visas may gain access to benefits on the same basis and at the same rates as other Australian permanent residents.

'Refugees with temporary visas do not have access to the full range of benefits - they are only eligible for Centrelink Special Benefits on the same basis and rates as other Australian residents.

'There is no separate rate of benefit payments for refugees.'

Mr Logan said refugees received no cash payments under Australia’s Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy.
In 2009, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) again attempted to refute the claims in these emails by posting the following letter to various Australian newspapers:
Letter to the Editor - Atherton Tablelander
02 September 2009

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) totally rejects the false claims that refugees permanently settling in Australia receive more in benefit payments than Australian pensioners (Pensioners deserve fair go, 01/09/2009).

The figures quoted, which have been circulating in a hoax email, bear no resemblance to income-support payments to pensioners, or to payments to asylum seekers and refugees settling in Australia.

The text and figures in the email appear to have originated in Canadian emails, websites and internet chatrooms. We suspect that the email circulating here has been cut and pasted from these sources.

In Australia, refugees granted permanent visas may gain access to benefits on the same basis and at the same rates as other Australian permanent residents.

There is no separate rate of benefit payments for refugees. Refugees receive no cash payments under Australia's Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy.

DIAC helps eligible refugees with English-language lessons and settling-in assistance including basic goods to start a household, subsidies for rent and utilities for their first four weeks in the country.

We would strongly encourage anyone who receives an email claiming asylum seekers or refugees are treated more favourably than Australian permanent residents to hit the delete button and ignore these scurrilous claims.

Sandi Logan
National Communications Manager,
Department of Immigration and Citizenship

2 September 2009
In March 2010, The Refugee Council of Australia also updated information on its website dismissing the messages as a hoax. It notes:
The Refugee Council of Australia has called on Australians to ignore hoax emails which continue to be circulated nationally and which claim that refugees receive higher social security payments than pensioners. The emails are blatantly inaccurate and intended to create resentment towards refugees and fuel disharmony.

A refugee who has permanent residency in Australia receives exactly the same social security benefit as any Australian-born person in the same circumstances. Refugees apply for social security through Centrelink like everyone else and are assessed for the different payment options in the same way as everyone else. There are no separate Centrelink allowances that one can receive simply by virtue of being a refugee, nor do refugees receive cash payments under either the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (IHSS) or the Settlement Grants Program (SGP). The IHSS provides settlement support to eligible refugees and assists them in securing basic necessities such as accommodation, utilities, clothing and medical care. The SGP provides funding to organisations to help new arrivals settle in Australia.
The misinformation in these viral emails has also been further distributed by at least one talk-back radio host who apparently did not bother to take the time to check the facts before sprouting such nonsense over the airways.

And, one version of the hoax formats the message as an email based petition and tacks on the following call to action:
Forward this email to everyone you know, write in your name and state on the list and SUPPORT OUR PENSIONERS FIRST,
The bigger the list the more chance our pensioners have.......DO IT !!!
First Click Forward then enter your name at next available number.
Given that email based petitions are virtually worthless and that the claims in the petition message are completely untrue anyway, the petition version of the protest message is doubly useless.

Moreover, the message is not even home-grown. In fact it is a mutant sibling of a protest email that has circulated in both Canada and the United States. There is also a UK based variant of the hoax. And the claims in the message are as equally false in those countries as they are in Australia.

Thus, forwarding this misinformation will serve only to create unnecessary anger among Australian citizens and unwarranted resentment of refugees. If you receive this message, please do not pass it on to others and please let the sender know that the information it contains is untrue.


Last updated: 31st January 2012
First published: 10th May 2008
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
DIAC refutes internet claims on refugee payments
DIAC - Hoax refugee email
RESPONSE TO OUTLANDISH CLAIMS ABOUT BENEFITS TO REFUGEES: UPDATE
Media Watch: Viral Overload
Are Email Petitions Useful?
Canadian Refugee Pensions Protest Hoax
UK Pensioners v Asylum Seekers Protest Message






Latest Hoax-Slayer Articles