Centrelink soften their stance on welfare debt notices

Could Centrelink finally be starting to see sense?

It’s fair to say Centrelink having been making a bit of a mess of things lately.

Understandably, the public outcry has been huge. But it seems that finally, Centrelink might be starting to back down, if only a little.

Immediate repayment no longer required

  • Up until now, anyone who wanted to challenge their Centrelink debt notice not only had to encounter the difficulty of actually getting through to Centrelink first.
  • They also had to start immediate repayments – regardless of whether they wanted to contest the fact that the debt existed.
  • But following public pressure, the government have intervened and Centrelink have softened their stance.
  • In a small back down, Centrelink have agreed they’ll no longer demand payment for debts that are under review.
  • Only once a debt has been reviewed and it’s confirmed as correct will the recipient need to start making repayments.

Making it easier to get in touch

  • The other small positive change Centrelink have agreed to is to make it easier for clients to get in touch with them to discuss their debt.
  • Debt notice recipients will now be able to confirm their details and data online, without first having to create a MyGov account.
  • They’ll be given a special access code for Centrelink’s online compliance section.
  • Here, they can enter the financial info Centrelink need to investigate any challenge to their debt notice.
  • Centrelink have also pledged to start using much simpler, easy to understand language and screens, making the process clearer and easier for people who want to challenge their debt notice.

But it’s not all good news

  • However, Centrelink aren’t going to back away from the debt notices they’ve issued.
  • It will still be up to individual welfare recipients to prove if their Centrelink debt notice is incorrect.

But at least Centrelink are finally starting to make that process a little easier.