Update on Services Australia debt pause

On 3 April, the Australian Government put in place a temporary nation-wide pause on Services Australia debt raising and recovery. With coronavirus restrictions easing, Services Australia will gradually commence debt-raising activity from 2 November, except for areas that remain in a state of disaster such as Victoria.

Debt recovery activity will recommence in February 2021.

As debt activity starts again, Services Australia has said that they will work with people to make the process as clear and simple as possible. The agency will explain how debts arose, where to go for more information, how to self-service and offer other support.

During the period between debt raising and recovery, people will be able to commence repayments of their debt voluntarily. People continue to have the option of re-paying any overpayments assessed prior to the debt pause if they choose to and it can be managed within their personal circumstances.

Services Australia has a range of services to help people manage an overpayment including online tools and specialist staff such as social workers who can provide short-term counselling, information, and referrals to other services for Australians in need.

For information about why an overpayment has occurred, customers should contact their regular payment line or go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/phoneus

For information about repaying a Centrelink debt contact the Centrelink debt line on 1800 076 072.

Read the government’s media release.