If you incur Centrelink debt and you do not repay the amount owing, and Centrelink has not agreed to extend the time for payment, further action may be taken. This includes:
- Referring your account to an external collection agency (Dun & Bradstreet or Recoveries Corporation).
- Reducing your payments from Centrelink or Family Assistance Office to help repay the amount owing.
- Referring your case to solicitors for legal action, and/or issuing a garnishee order to take money from: your wage or salary income, your tax refund, or other assets and income (including money you may hold in a bank account).
The standard repayment rate is 15% of your Centrelink payment. If you have other income, such as earnings from employment or investments, the repayment rate can be higher than 15%, as it is calculated using a sliding scale based on your income. Different deduction rates apply to Family Assistance Office payments.
Deductions may also be made to recover money owed to some Australian Government departments, including the Child Support Agency and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.