If you get a payment from us now

How you repay money you owe if you get a payment from us.

Deducting from your payment

From the date your debt is due, we’ll start deducting money from a payment you get from us to recover the money you owe. This will only happen if you haven’t already repaid the debt in full by the due date. This includes Child Care Subsidy payments to recover Child Care Subsidy debts. You don’t need to do anything to set this up.

If you set up an additional voluntary payment arrangement, we’ll still deduct money from a payment you get from us.

How much we deduct depends on which payment you get from us and if you have any other income. For example, if you get an income support payment our standard deduction is 15% of the basic rate of payment. This is after the income and assets tests are applied and any supplement paid.

If you’re having trouble making repayments, we’d like to help. Please contact us on our Debt Recovery Line.

The easiest way to manage your repayments is online. If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, you can:

  • see how much we’re deducting
  • change the amount we deduct.

To do this, sign into myGov and select Money you owe.

Sign in to myGov

You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

At any time, you can make extra payments to repay the money you owe. This could be a regular payment or a one-off payment.

Recovering debts for other Australian and New Zealand government departments

We may deduct money from your Centrelink payment to recover money you owe to other Australian Government departments. This includes the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

We also recover money on behalf of the Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand. We’ll let you know if we’re going to recover any overpayments from your income support payment.

Recovering debts from Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Subsidy payments

We check for debts as part of balancing your family payments each financial year.

If you have an existing debt with us or we’ve paid you too much Family Tax Benefit (FTB), we can recover it from any of the following:

  • FTB top ups and lump sum payments
  • FTB supplements.

This includes existing debts for income support payments.

We can recover your debt from these payments even if you’ve entered into a repayment arrangement with us.

If you set up an additional voluntary payment arrangement, we’ll still deduct money from a payment you get from us. This includes Child Care Subsidy (CCS) to recover Child Care Subsidy debts.

If you have an outstanding debt with the Australian Taxation Office, they may recover it from any of the following:

  • FTB top up and supplements
  • FTB lump sum payments.

If you have an outstanding CCS debt with us, we may recover it from any of the following:

  • your ongoing CCS payments
  • CCS top up, withholdings and arrears payments
  • tax refunds.

The amount you pay your child care provider will increase if we recover your debt from your ongoing CCS payments.

For more information, read about understanding your CCS balancing outcome.

Recovering debts at tax time

In some situations, we may use your tax refund to reduce the amount of money you owe. This may happen if you already have a payment arrangement in place. Read more about how we recover debts at tax time.

Contact numbers available on this page.

Centrelink debt recovery line

Use this line to discuss repaying an existing Centrelink debt.

Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm

There are other ways you may want to contact us.

Page last updated: 4 June 2024.
QC 60306