The temporary pause on Centrelink debts is lifting

7 December 2021

The debt pause is lifting for people who were in lockdown. But if you owe money, you won’t need to repay it until July 2022.

In August, we temporarily paused Centrelink debt activity for locked down Local Government Areas in New South Wales, Victoria, South East Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

This pause will lift on 9 January 2022.

You don’t need to pay anything back until the next financial year, unless you choose to do so. When you need to start repaying the money back there’ll be options. You’ll be able to work with us to find the best one for you.

The easiest way to manage your debt is using the Money you owe service in your Centrelink online account through myGov or Express Plus Centrelink app.

If you have a new debt

We’re sending letters from January 2022 to people who were overpaid in the past. During the debt pause we didn’t raise debts for some so you may not know you have a debt.

You will get a letter via the post or to your myGov Inbox. You will also be able to see details of your debt in the Money you owe service in your Centrelink online accounts through myGov.

You won’t need to repay until the next financial year.

If you placed repayment of your debt on hold

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

If you need support

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.

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.

Next steps

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Page last updated: 10 December 2021