The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.S.45 Services Australia (SA)


Services Australia (SA), formerly Department of Human Services (DHS), is responsible for the development of service delivery policy and provides access to social, health and other payments and services. DHS was created on 26 October 2004 as part of the Finance and Administration portfolio. The Human Services Legislation Amendment Act 2011 integrated the services of Medicare Australia, Centrelink, Child Support and CRS Australia on 1 July 2011 into DHS. On 26 May 2019, the Prime Minister announced the setting up of SA. On 1 February 2020, DHS was renamed SA and became an agency in the Social Services portfolio.

SA offers a range of health, social and welfare payments and services through the:

  • Medicare program

    • which looks after the health of Australians through the efficient delivery of programs such as Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and the Australian Organ Donor register.
  • Centrelink program
    • which delivers a range of payments and services for retirees, the unemployed, families, carers, parents, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians and people with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and provides services at times of major change.
  • Child support program
    • which provides support to separated parents to provide the financial and emotional support necessary for their children's wellbeing.

Act reference: PPLAct section 6 The Dictionary

Human Services Legislation Amendment Act 2011

Last reviewed: