What is a waiver?
A waiver is a permanent giving up of the right of recovery of a debt or part of a debt by Centrelink. As a result any debt or part of a debt that is waived ceases to exist.
In what circumstances will a waiver be granted?
Waivers can only be granted in specified circumstances. Below is a list of some of them:
- where the debt is attributable solely to administrative error and the money was received by the person in good faith, and the debt was not raised within six weeks after the first payment which caused the debt, or six weeks after the end of the notification period which the person complied with. In this case all or part of the debt must be waived [see Social Security Act 1991(Cth) s 1237A].
- where the debt did not arise from a person knowingly making a false statement or representation, and there are special circumstances other than financial hardship alone and it is more appropriate to waive rather than write off the debt. In this case all or part of the debt may be waived [see s 1237AAD].
- where the debt is a very small one and the costs associated with recovery exceed the amount owed [see s 1237AAA].
- where Centrelink have agreed to settle a civil action against a debtor for recovery for less than the full amount of the debt. In this case the difference between the amount owed and the amount agreed upon for settlement must be waived [see s 1237AAB].
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