Compliance program

We do a range of activities to protect Australia’s welfare system.

What we do

Our compliance activities detect if someone gets a payment they shouldn't. We investigate non-compliance and fraud activities. This helps us undertake proactive payment reviews to help you avoid owing us money.

We refer cases with evidence of criminal behaviour to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. Read more about how they manage social security fraud on their website.

How we deliver it

We complete a number of tasks as part of the program. These can include:

  • identity checks
  • data-matching
  • data-mining
  • analysis activities
  • regular payment reviews

We work with the public, government agencies and the private sector and share details about intelligence activities when needed. 

Currently, we partner with the Australian Federal Police on Taskforce Integrity. We also use data from:

  • the Australian Taxation Office
  • the Department of Education and Training, and
  • other sources to match income information reported by people who get a payment

Why we do it

The activities in our compliance program aim to protect Australia’s welfare system. We do this by making sure you get the right payment and the right payment amount. Our proactive payment reviews help you avoid a debt. We will continue to remind you about the need to keep your details up to date.

How we apply data from other agencies

We get information about your income from other government agencies, such as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If we get information that your income is different to what you have told us when getting a payment, we will ask you to:

  • review
  • update, and
  • confirm your information

It is important you engage with us to confirm the dates you worked and the amount you earned. If you don't, we'll use the information we get from the other agency to identify and calculate if we’ve overpaid you.

For example, if the ATO shows you worked for a period of 5 months, we will equally divide your income over the 5 months. This will calculate the payment you should have got.

How you can help

There are a number of ways you can help.

Reporting fraud

If you suspect someone may be committing fraud against Centrelink, Medicare or Child Support, you should report it, you can do this anonymously. Specialist officers assess the fraud claims we get.

Keep your details up to date

If you’re getting a payment from us, it’s important to tell us straight away if your circumstances change. This is so we can give you the right payment.

You need to tell us about changes to your:

  • living arrangements
  • work, study, training or volunteering arrangements
  • relationships
  • children
  • health
  • overseas travel
  • any other events which may affect your payment

We know most people do the right thing and tell us when their circumstances change. Not all incorrect payments are a result of fraud. However, please keep in mind, incorrect payments may result in a debt which you will need to repay.

It’s never too late to update your details.

User testing

We regularly test our letters and online systems with people. Read more about how we use market research to improve our services and products.

Keep a record

If you’re no longer getting a payment from us please remember to keep all records, such as:

  • financial statements
  • tax returns
  • pay slips or group certificates
  • bank statements, and
  • any documents that may help us and you

This will help if we need you to check the information we have about:

  • your employment income, or
  • other details that might affect the payments you get

Respond to our requests

Don’t ignore any letters we send you, and always respond to the requests in the letter by the due date. If we ask you to check the details we have about you, the quickest and easiest way to do this is using self service.


Family Day Care operator reviews

We check the income you get from your Family Day Care operation has been reported correctly.

Read more about our Family Day Care operators compliance reviews.

Trust reviews

We check you have reported the income you get from trusts correctly.

Read more about our trust reviews.

Page last updated: 10 August 2018