Avoid Centrelink fraud

Could you be committing fraud and not even know it?

Most of us do the right thing – or at least try to! But could you be unknowingly committing Centrelink fraud?

Centrelink have launched Taskforce Integrity in partnership with the Australian Federal Police to try and catch so-called ‘welfare cheats’ and crack down on people taking advantage of the system. Sure, we all want to make sure we’re getting the payments we’re entitled to, but make sure you’re playing within the rules.

 Here’s some ways you might be committing Centrelink fraud – without even knowing it!

Not updating your details with Centrelink.

  • You need to tell Centrelink if there are changes to:
    • your personal and contact details
    • your bank details
    • your relationship status, for example if you become partnered or separated
    • care arrangements for anyone in your care, including your children
    • your work status
    • your gender identity – gender updates are optional
    • your accommodation details
  • You also need to tell Centrelink if
    • you’re leaving the country, whether it’s temporarily or permanently
    • you get a lump sum payment
    • there’s a change to your income or assets – or your partner’s
    • you’ve started or finished studying

Updating your details – and avoiding fraud – is easy!

  • Tell Centrelink about any changes to your circumstances
  • Use your myGov account regularly to check that your information is up to date
  • It’s never too late to report a change!
  • By telling Centrelink about any changes to your details asap, you can make sure you receive the correct payments and avoid any debt or penalty.

 If you are doing the wrong thing….

  • If you’ve intentionally not reported a change in your details, or have been dishonest in order to get a payment, this is welfare fraud.
  • Don’t chance your luck! Dishonestly claiming welfare can have some pretty serious consequences, including a debt, loss of your payments, and even a criminal record or a prison sentence.