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. Overpayments or mistaken payments of PLP instalments


A debt to the Commonwealth may arise if a claimant has been paid an instalment of PLP from an employer or Centrelink in excess of the total amount payable to the claimant.

If the claimant was paid the excess amount of PLP from their employer, the claimant owes a debt to the Commonwealth. The amount of this debt is the amount that the claimant received that exceeds what was payable to them. Any excess amount that the employer has received as a PLP funding amount and has NOT paid the claimant is a debt owed by the employer to the Commonwealth.

If Centrelink pays an excess amount of PLP to the claimant, the amount is a debt due to the Commonwealth by the claimant. If the claimant has a continuous flexible period (1.1.C.145) for the child, the debt arises after the end of that period. Otherwise the debt arises when the excess payment is made to the claimant by the employer or Centrelink.

Debts may be raised if instalments of PLP stop being payable retrospectively, if the payability determination is later set aside or varied.

Act reference: PPLAct section 165 Debts due to the Commonwealth, section 166 PLP instalment debts—instalments paid by employer, section 167 PLP instalment debts—instalments paid by the Secretary

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