What does Centrelink define as a debt?
A debt is any payment made by Centrelink to someone who is not entitled to it. Where an overpayment has been made Centrelink raises a debt against that person for the amount overpaid.
A debt can also arise in a variety of situations ranging from a person incorrectly receiving a payment through no fault of their own to a person incorrectly receiving a payment as a result of deliberate fraud.
If you are notified of a debt by Centrelink always seek independent advice on whether in fact the debt is owed. Independent advice can be sought from either the Welfare Rights Centre or the Legal Services Commission of South Australia. Debts can sometimes be raised in error by Centrelink, or an error may have been made as to the amount owed.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.