Change of circumstances

We need to know about changes to your or your partner’s situation. If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may get a debt you’ll have to pay back.

What to tell us

You need to tell us as soon as any of the following things change:

You also need to tell us as soon as any of the following things change:

  • you or your partner get more or less money in a fortnight
  • your work status changes
  • your study load changes
  • you get a lump sum payment
  • you get compensation or your compensation rate changes
  • your accommodation details, including the amount of rent you pay
  • your living arrangements if you’re single and start sharing your accommodation with a non-family member who’s 16 or older
  • you’re sick or injured and unable to do your usual work or study load and can provide a medical certificate
  • your partner or child dies.

You can also update your gender identity.

You need to tell us within 14 days of the change or before your next payment. This will stop you or your partner getting a debt.

How and when to tell us

You need to tell us if your circumstances change within 14 days. If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov you can tell us online. To do this, sign in to myGov and select My details.

Sign in to myGov

If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink online account you’ll need to create them.

Changing or correcting your name

It’s important to tell us if you change your legal name.

What happens if you don’t tell us

If you don’t tell us about changes to your circumstances, we may pay you too much. If this happens you’ll have to pay the money back, plus a fee.

If you deliberately don’t tell us about changes, we could charge you with fraud.

Read how to avoid fraud.

Page last updated: 28 September 2023.
QC 29901