Elderly welfare cheats flew under radar for 20 years, claiming thousands in fraudulent payments

A 71-year-old woman who defrauded taxpayers of more than $380,000 under fake identities is one of thousands of elderly Australians rorting the welfare system for more than 20 years.

Shocking claims from the Daily Telegraph reveal an estimated 270,000 cunning elderly Australians have managed to fly under the radar claiming fraudulent payments.

According to the report, the massive group includes a 71-year-old woman who defrauded taxpayers of $383,359 by claiming widow’s allowance under multiple false identities.

Her whereabouts was listed as ‘unknown’.

Another 93-year-old claimed $261,376 in pension payments by hiding assets for more than 20 years.

The government is cracking down on welfare cheats, with new measures to ensure debts are paid back.

They’re considered some of Australia’s worst welfare cheats, illegally racking up individual debts at the cost of the taxpayer.

A similar case found an 87-year-old man had claimed the age pension for 24 years under multiple fake identities, defrauding $301,863.

The Daily Telegraph claimed it’s estimated 270,000 Australians are cheating the system while refusing to pay back the welfare debt of $870 million.

Changes to the Social Services Act to be introduced into Parliament will mean welfare fraudsters can no longer hide from the system.

The government is set to remove a six-year loophole under the Statute of Limitations, which has allowed many to escape paying off their debts.

Interest will also be charged on outstanding debts at a rate of nine percent, and cheats who refuse to pay back their debts will be slapped with a departure prohibition order to prevent them from leaving Australia.