Do you owe Centrelink money?

From 10 June 2019, if you owe us money we can recover it from your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) payments.

This includes FTB top ups, supplements, lump sum claim payments and arrears.

Currently, we use FTB top-ups, supplements and lump sum claim payments to recover family assistance debts. From 10 June 2019, we can also use FTB arrears. We can use all of these to recover both family assistance and other Centrelink debts. We’ll do this even if you have a payment arrangement in place.

Your payment arrangement will continue if you still owe us money after we use your FTB payment.

You can avoid using your FTB payments to recover the money you owe us. To do this, you’ll need to pay back the full amount you owe by 4 June 2019. Read more about:

Example of how we’ll use an FTB top up to recover Centrelink debts

Shannon has a $200 debt from when she was a student. She has a payment arrangement in place to pay back $20 a fortnight. This won’t pay her debt in full by 4 June 2019 and she can’t afford to pay any extra.

At the end of the financial year we’ll balance Shannon’s FTB payments. If she gets an FTB top up, we’ll use it to recover her debt.

If there’s still a debt after we use the top up amount, Shannon’s payment arrangement will continue. It will stop when her debt balance is $0.

More information

You can avoid getting a debt by letting us know when your circumstances change. Read about how and when to tell us if there’s been a change in your circumstances.

For help use our manage money you owe online guide.

Page last updated: 9 May 2019

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