Centrelink keeps copies of your claims forms, any written statements or information you provide and its records of contacts with you. This can be useful information if you are seeking a review of a decision made by Centrelink.
You can apply for access to your file, or request a copy of your file be sent to you, by making a written application under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth). There is no charge for making this request, however Centrelink may charge a fee for repeated requests for the same documents.
To make a request either complete a form or write a letter. If you choose to write a letter be sure to mention that you are making the request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth). A 'Freedom of Information: I want to access or change documents' form is available from the Centrelink website or a 'Request for documents under Freedom of Information' form is available from the Welfare Rights Centre website.
When submitting your request it is advisable to list exactly what documents you want to view or receive copies of. Centrelink keeps records in both paper and electronic formats. For example, if you wish to receive copies of all the information that Centrelink keeps on you ask for “copies of all file papers and computer records and printouts concerning me”.
Centrelink must respond to a Freedom of Information request within 30 days, however extensions of time may be granted - see further the Law Handbook on Access to Government Information and the Office of the Information Commissioner's website.
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.