The first step in having a decision reviewed is to ask Centrelink to review the decision themselves. When you make this request try to be specific as to why you believe the decision is unfair or incorrect.
Although you can ask for a review over the phone or in person, it is best to do it in writing. You can either write a letter or complete a 'Review of a decision' form available from the Centrelink website or a 'Appealing to an Authorised Review Officer' form available from the Welfare Rights Centre website.
If you do ask for a review over the phone make sure you receive a receipt number and confirmation in writing that Centrelink will review the decision.
Be sure to include the following information:
- your name and contact details;
- your Customer Reference Number;
- what decision you are appealing;
- why you think the original decision is wrong; and
- any evidence you think will help your case
Initially the decision will be looked at by the original decision maker. However the decision will then be reviewed by an Authorised Review Officer (ARO). An Authorised Review Officer is a senior Centrelink officer uninvolved with the original decision. If you wish you can request that the matter goes straight to an Authorised Review Officer and that the original decision maker does not review it again.
Once the decision has been reviewed you will receive a letter from the ARO outlining the reasons for their decision.
If you are unhappy with the ARO’s decision your next option is to consider appealing to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, see Review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (First Review).
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.