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Legal Aid NSW responds to BlueScope closures

 

Free legal advice for BlueScope Steel workers

Wollongong Legal Aid office is providing assistance to the workers retrenched when BlueScope Steel closed down its blast furnace at Port Kembla in August.

Legal Aid can help with free advice about debts, mortgage repayments, rent payments and other legal issues. It is important that people are fully aware of their rights and seek legal advice early, particularly if they are worried about being able to maintain rent, mortgage or loan payments. By receiving expert advice they can be in an informed position to manage their affairs.

Tips – what you can do

Centrelink benefits

  • Declare all payments received to Centrelink. 
  • Any payment on termination may prevent you or your partner from receiving certain Centrelink benefits for a period called the income maintenance period. When you cease employment you and your partner should immediately make a claim for a benefit and ask Centrelink to advise you how long your period is. Refer to the "Did you receive a leave or redundancy payment?" Centrelink Factsheet for further information.
  • Never be afraid to challenge a Centrelink decision. Get legal advice on how to do this.

Mortgages & other loans

  • If you are falling behind on repayments, or think that you may, make a hardship application to the lender. This may enable you to stop or reduce your payments for an agreed time. Get legal advice if the lender refuses your application. Refer to the CLC Financial Hardship factsheet for further information.

Rental problems

  • Keep paying your rent. If you fall more than 14 days behind, the landlord can take steps to try to have the tenancy ended.
  • Get advice from a tenants' service.

Superannuation

  • If you wish to seek early release of your superannuation contributions contact APRA or contact your Superannuation Fund. 
  • If you are unable to do any other work because of injury or disability or illness you may be able to make a claim for Total and Permanent Disablement.

Taxation & other financial issues

Employment & redundancy issues