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:

  • your contact details
  • your bank details
  • you change or correct your name
  • your child stops living with you
  • another child comes into your care
  • your shared care arrangements change
  • your relationship changes
  • you're getting child support payments and the amount changes
  • you change your address.

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

The easiest way to tell us about changes is through our self service options.

You need to:

  • tell us within 14 days of the change
  • make sure your details are up to date in myGov.

Changing or correcting your name

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

To change or correct your legal name, we’ll need:

  • an original document issued by a state or territory Births, Deaths and Marriages registry
  • your consent to verify the document.

You need to bring your document to a service centre so we can update our records.

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: 24 July 2022