Centrelink debt pause update

8 January 2021

The pause on debt activity is ending for everyone from 11 January 2021, but repayments won’t restart until February.

Last October, the debt pause in response to COVID-19 ended for most people. From 11 January 2021, the pause will have ended for everyone.

If you were repaying a debt before the pause

You may have put your repayments on hold. If you have, we’ll keep them on hold until February. There’s nothing you need to do now. We’ll let you know before you need to start repaying the money again.

If you want to start repaying the money before February, please either:

If we’ve noticed you’ve been overpaid

We may have noticed you were overpaid in the past. Because we weren’t raising debts during the pause, you may not know this. Now the pause has ended, we’ll write to you if you’ve been overpaid.

If you’ve been overpaid, we’re here to help you.

There are 4 things to know:

  1. You don’t need to pay anything back until February, but you can if you want to.
  2. If you don’t understand why you’ve been overpaid you can talk to us. Call us on your regular Centrelink payment line and ask us to explain. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for a review.
  3. When you need to start repaying the money there’ll be options. You’ll be able to work with us to find the best one for you.
  4. If you’re worried about this we can give you support. We have social workers who can provide short term counselling, information and referrals to other services.

Next steps

Please keep your contact details up to date at all times. Use our guide to check and update your contact details online.

Watch our video about restarting debt activity after the COVID-19 debt pause.

Page last updated: 13 April 2021