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.

6.3.5 Writing off debts


Centrelink may decide to write off (1.1.W.60), for a stated period or otherwise, a debt that is due to the Commonwealth under the PPLAct.

Centrelink may write off a debt only if:

  • the debt is irrecoverable at law, or
  • the debtor has no capacity to repay the debt, or
  • the debtor's whereabouts are unknown after all reasonable efforts have been made to locate the debtor, or
  • it is not cost effective for the Commonwealth to take action to recover the debt.

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