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. No time limit on debt recovery action


From 1 January 2017, legal proceedings or any action to recover a PLP, family assistance or social security debt, can be commenced at any time. The former 6 year statute of limitations no longer applies.

A debt that was deemed irrecoverable prior to 1 January 2017 cannot be pursued, however, Centrelink can still accept voluntary repayments of the debt.

Even where a debt was deemed irrecoverable at law due to the former statute of limitations, the debt still exists. The debt may be waived where appropriate.

Act reference: PPLAct section 192A No time limit on debt recovery action

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