Complaints and feedback - tell us what you think
We value your feedback and complaints. They help us to stay in touch with your needs and improve our service. If you have been pleased with our service, let us know as it gives us the opportunity to recognise great service by our staff.
How to make a complaint or give us feedback
If you are dissatisfied, we recommend that you start by trying to resolve the issue with the person you have been dealing with.
If you are still not satisfied, you can ask to speak to their manager.
Feedback for Centrelink and Medicare
If you would like to give feedback (complaint, compliment or suggestion) about our service, you can:
- send us a secure online message to offer customer feedback
- write to us (no postage stamp required) at:
DHS Customer Relations
Reply Paid 7788
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610
- call our Feedback and Complaints line: Free CALL™ 1800 132 468
- call the National Relay service if you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impediment
- speak to a Customer Service Officer at any of our service centres.
Feedback for Child Support
If you want to give feedback or make a complaint about Child Support, you can:
- make a complaint by following our three step complaints process, or
- provide feedback by calling 1800 132 468.
You can also object to a Child Support decision if you think a decision about your case is not right.
How we handle your complaint or other feedback
We will always respond to your complaint, suggestion or praise.
If you have a complaint, we will respond as quickly as possible. We will let you know if we can resolve the matter the same day, or whether we need more time to investigate and resolve your complaint. Sometimes this may mean we have to speak to someone in a service centre who is handling your matter. In all cases, we will inform you of the progress of your complaint.
The Department of Human Services will use the information collected in the lodgement of complaints, compliments or suggestions to investigate and resolve individual issues and to provide feedback to staff or areas within the department. The information collected will be stored and used to assist in the identification of improvements to the delivery of our services.
If the matter is complex, we may take several days to give you an answer, but generally we will:
- respond within 5 working days for Centrelink feedback
- acknowledge your comment within 2 working days and respond within 10 working days for Medicare feedback, and
- respond within 10 working days for Child Support feedback.
What we ask from you
We understand that you may be dissatisfied with Medicare, Child Support or Centrelink services.
You will want to tell us how you feel and have us fix the problem. So we can respond quickly and effectively to your complaint, we ask you to:
- Give us as much specific detail about your situation as you can. This should include details of any letters that you have sent or received from us and the details of any phone calls or other discussions you have had with staff, about the problem you want fixed
- Consider how you want us to fix the problem
- Tell us if you need help to lodge your complaint or provide feedback, such as an interpreter or someone authorised to enquire on your behalf
- Treat our staff with courtesy and respect.
We reserve the right not to respond to messages which contain abuse, inflammatory statements or material clearly intended to intimidate.
If a complaint cannot be resolved
In some circumstances you can ask for a review of a decision. For more information visit Review and Appeals.
Where we are unable to resolve a complaint to your satisfaction, we will explain why and let you know what other options you have. Our objective is to resolve your complaint up front. If this is not possible, there are three external and independent avenues you can take:
If you have been unable to resolve a complaint with us you may wish to contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The 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.
Office of the Privacy Commissioner
Where you believe your privacy rights have been infringed, you can contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
For more information visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner website or call 1300 363 992.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal may be involved in certain specific circumstances where legislation allows.
For more information, visit the Administrative Appeals Tribunal website or call 1300 366 700.
Other support when talking to us
You may find the following resources helpful when making a complaint or giving feedback.
National Legal Aid (NLA) represents the Directors of each of the eight State and Territory Legal Aid Commissions in Australia.
Visit the National Legal Aid website.
Family Relationship Advice Line
Visit Family Relationships Online or phone 1800 050 321.
National Association of Community Legal Centres
The 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
The Department of Human Services delivers a range of payments and services on behalf of the Australian Government.
Australian Government policy departments welcome suggestions from the public and they encourage people 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
For more information visit Your right to privacy.
Freedom of Information (FOI)
An FOI request is not needed if you want to see your own information.