Complaints and feedback - tell us what you think

We value your opinion and want to hear what you think about the quality of our service. We will use your feedback to improve our products and services.

If we haven’t met our commitments, we want to hear from you. Your experience can help us improve our service to you and others. We want to know what you like about us and any suggestions about how we could do better.

What we will ask you

So we can respond to your complaint or feedback as quickly as possible, we will ask you to:

  • provide details of your complaint or feedback
  • tell us details of any attempts you have made to resolve the matter
  • tell us your preferred outcome
  • provide a contact phone number as privacy restrictions prevent us from sending email responses
  • be respectful and courteous to staff and other customers
  • tell us if you need help to use our products and services
  • provide complete, accurate and timely information

We may not respond to messages that contain abuse, or material clearly intended to intimidate our staff.

We will accept anonymous complaints however providing your name and contact information will help us to look into your complaint or feedback more effectively.

How to make a complaint or give us feedback

Talk to the person you have been dealing with. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can ask to speak to their manager.

If you are still not satisfied:

Call us

Our feedback and complaints officers will aim to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. If your complaint, compliment or suggestion is about Centrelink, Child Support or Medicare:

Health professionals can phone us on 1 of the numbers listed on the Health professionals page.

Write to us

If you prefer to write to us, it may take us longer to respond. If your complaint or feedback is not urgent:

For Centrelink and Medicare

  • send us a secure online message. Please include a contact phone number so we can acknowledge and respond to your feedback
  • write to us (no postage stamp required) at:
    DHS Complaints and Feedback
    Reply Paid 7788
    Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610

For Child Support

Find out more about the Child Support 3 step complaints process. If you think a decision about your case is not right you can object to a Child Support decision.

What you can expect from us – our service commitments

  • respect – we welcome, listen and work with you to understand your individual and cultural needs
  • easy access to services - we will give you quick and easy access to the right services
  • quality information - we are committed to providing consistent and accurate information
  • fair and transparent services - we will be open and honest with you and follow through on our commitments. We will tell you how we make our decisions and how you can check that we are being fair
  • genuine consultation - we value your feedback and we will work with you to understand how to improve our services
  • efficiency - we will simplify the way we deliver services to you. We will streamline processes to provide the right outcomes

How we handle your complaint or feedback

If you have a complaint, we will respond as quickly as possible. We will let you know if we can resolve the matter or whether we need more time to investigate. Sometimes this may mean we have to speak to someone who is handling your matter. We will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint.

We will use information from complaints to investigate and resolve individual issues and to improve our services.

Timeframes

Generally we will contact you within 5 working days and resolve your feedback within 10 working days.

If a complaint cannot be resolved

Where we are unable to resolve a complaint to your satisfaction, we will explain why and let you know what other options you have. In some circumstances you may be able to ask for a review of a decision.

Read more about our review and appeals process.

Our objective is to resolve your complaint. If this is not possible, there are 4 external and independent avenues available:

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Considers and investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an Australian Government department or agency.

For more information, visit the Commonwealth Ombudsman website or call 1300 362 072.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian Government and some non-government bodies.

For more information, visit the Administrative Appeals Tribunal website or call 1300 366 700.

Social Security Administrative Appeals Tribunal

An independent statutory body which reviews decisions made by Officers of the Department of Human Services under the social security law, family assistance law, child support scheme and some other statutes.

For more information, visit the Social Security Administrative Appeals Tribunal website or call 1800 011 140.

Australian Information Commissioner

Provides an avenue to investigate the handling of your personal information or a Freedom of Information decision by an Australian Government department or agency.

For more information visit the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website or call 1300 363 992. If calling from outside Australia call: + 61 2 9284 9749.

Other support when talking to us

You may find the following resources helpful when making a complaint or giving feedback.

Legal Aid

Represents the Directors of each of the 8 State and Territory Legal Aid Commissions in Australia.

Visit the National Legal Aid website.

Family Relationship Advice Line

Provides all families whether together or separated with access to information about family relationship issues, ranging from building better relationships to dispute resolution.

Visit Family Relationships Online or phone 1800 050 321.

National Association of Community Legal Centres

Provide legal and related services to the public.

Visit the National Association of Community Legal Centres website.

Policy department feedback and suggestions

We deliver a range of payments and services on behalf of the Australian Government.

Australian Government policy departments welcome suggestions from the public and they encourage you to contribute ideas about improvements to a department's policies, programs and services.

To offer feedback and suggestions, visit policy department feedback and suggestions.

Confidentiality and privacy

Read more about how we manage your privacy.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

An FOI request is not needed if you want to see your own information.

You can look into getting other types of information by visiting Freedom of Information and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.