SFSS overpayments


This topic contains information on SFSS overpayments. This topic covers the following matters:

  • the reasons for an SFSS overpayment
  • SFSS debt (1.1.D.40) recovery action, and
  • overpayment on the death of a recipient.

Reason for overpayment

An SFSS overpayment can occur for the same reasons as an overpayment of YA, Austudy or PES.

Example: The recipient

  • was not entitled to any financial supplement for the year
  • received SFSS payments past the date YA, Austudy or PES was payable
  • should NOT have been granted the current income concession
  • gains a parent
  • has parents whose income moves above the stipulated threshold level, or
  • was the subject of an administrative error.

Any SFSS overpayment, includes those caused by administrative error, is NOT recovered from future SFSS instalments. They are repaid in accordance with the existing SFSS repayment arrangements and conditions.

Exception: Except for cases requiring Student Service Centre recovery action.

Act reference: SSAct section 5(1)-'parent'

SFSS debt recovery action

Debt recovery action is undertaken when:

  • false or misleading information was provided about the recipient, or
  • information such as a change of circumstances was deliberately withheld or omitted.

In these cases, the Commonwealth can 'buy back' from the CBA the overpaid SFSS amount and assume the debt as its own.

Death of a recipient

If an SFSS overpayment occurs because a recipient dies, the debt will only be bought back and discharged by the Commonwealth after proof of death has been sighted. The debt is NOT passed on to the recipient's estate or next of kin.

The only exception is where the debt has been passed to the ATO and a TNA has been issued which includes an amount owing in respect of the financial supplement.

Example: Acceptable forms of proof are a:

  • death certificate, OR
  • notice of death of a recipient from a financial institution, OR
  • letter from a solicitor, on their letterhead informing Centrelink that they are acting for the recipient's estate, OR
  • letter or invoice from the funeral director showing the recipient's
    • funeral costs, AND
    • full name, DOB and date of death, OR
  • advice that the debtor is deceased.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.4 SFSS - eligibility & payability

Last reviewed: 2 January 2020