What you need to know as Centrelink debt repayments start again

1 February 2021

Repayments for Centrelink debts are starting again soon. If you owe money, please know we’re here to help.

Last year, we paused a range of debt activity in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In October the pause ended, but we kept repayments on hold until February 2021. We’re now getting ready for debt repayments to start again.

There are 3 important things to know:

  1. If you owe us money you don’t need to pay it all at once, you can repay it over time.
  2. The easiest way to manage this is using the Money you owe service in your Centrelink online account through myGov or Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
  3. If you can’t start repaying money by your due date, please call us before the money is due.

If you placed repayment of your debt on hold during the pause

We’ll start writing to people who put their repayments on hold from early February. We’ll let you know your due date for the restart of repayments and what your repayment options are.

If you’re getting a payment from us, we’ll start deducting amounts from your first payment after your due date.

If you’re no longer getting a payment from us there are things you need to do before your due date. You’ll need to either:

  • set up a new payment arrangement
  • check your existing payment arrangement is up to date.

If you have a new debt

We’ll start writing to people to let them know their due date from the start of February. Your due date will be 28 days from the date we send the letter.

You’ll also be able to check your due date in the Money you owe service in both your:

It’s important to know, there’s nothing you need to do until we give you a due date. Also, not everyone’s due date will be the same.

Support available

We know many people are still doing it tough, so please know we’re here to help.

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.

We also have information available to help you manage debt and find out where you can go for extra help.

If you’re worried about your situation we can give you support. We have social workers who can provide short term counselling, information and referrals to other services.

Next steps

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

Read more about Centrelink debts and overpayments.

Page last updated: 17 June 2021