Services Australia is reminding people that debt recovery activity will recommence in February 2021, following the end of the nationwide debt pause in response to coronavirus.
On 3 April 2020, a temporary pause was put on debt raising and recovery to help ease pressure on people’s budgets during the coronavirus pandemic.
Debt raising activity gradually recommenced in November last year, as announced on 28 October 2020. Centrelink debt repayments will start again in February 2021.
Early next month, we’ll start contacting people who have a debt to let them know the due date for their repayments and how to start repaying money.
We’ll provide information to help people understand the reason for their overpayment and set up the best repayment options for their situation.
No one will have to make repayments before these due dates, unless they choose to.
Delaying debt recovery has given time for people to consider their circumstances and engage with us about their flexible options.
If you placed repayments on hold, we’ll contact you regarding your payment arrangements.
As the State of Disaster declaration for Victoria has been lifted, the debt pause for all people in Victoria ends on 11 January 2021 but repayments won’t restart until February.
If you’ve been overpaid, we’re here to help you.
Anyone who doesn’t understand why they’ve been overpaid can talk to us by calling their regular Centrelink payment line.
Services Australia has a range of services to help people manage an overpayment, including online tools and specialist staff such as social workers who can provide short term counselling, information and referrals to other services for Australians in need.
For information about repaying a debt contact the Centrelink debt line on 1800 076 072 or go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/debts