Since August 2021, Centrelink have put debt pauses in place to help ease the pressure on people dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns and more recent disaster events.
These debt pauses will be ending between July and October 2022, depending on which event affected you. The more recently you were affected, the longer you will have until you need to make repayments.
Centrelink is sending letters and text message reminders to let people know when they need to start repaying money and if they need to take any action.
You may get a letter in your myGov Inbox or in the post, depending on how you choose to get letters from them.
What to do if you have been overpaid
The action you need to take depends on your circumstances.
If you still get a Centrelink payment, you do not have to do anything: deductions will be taken from your regular payment.
If you no longer get a Centrelink payment, you do not need to repay your debt all at once. You can set up a payment arrangement with Centrelink and repay the money over time.
You will not need to pay any money until your repayment due date, unless you choose to.
The easiest way to manage your debt is using the Money you owe service in your Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink app.
What else you should know
If you owe money, there are 3 important things to know:
- Centrelink is here to help and support you to repay money in a way that best suits your situation.
- If you owe money, you do not need to repay it all at once. Most people set up a payment arrangement and repay it over time.
- If you do not understand your debt or you are worried about repaying money, you can talk to Centrelink by calling your regular payment line, or by calling the Centrelink debt recovery line on 1800 076 072. Let Centrelink know if you need an interpreter, and they will arrange one for free.
To speak with Centrelink in your language about their payments and services, call 131 202.
For more information
For more information about managing your debt in English, go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/owingmoney
For more information about debt pauses in your state and territory in English, go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/current-debt-pauses
To read, listen to or watch information in your language, go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/yourlanguage