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. Waiver of small debts


Centrelink must waive the debt if:

  • the debt is, or is likely to be, less than $200, and
  • it is not cost effective for the Commonwealth to take action to recover the debt.

Exception: If the debt is $50 or more and could be recovered by deduction or setting off in relation to a payment to which the debtor is entitled under the PPLAct or another Act, Centrelink will take action to recover the debt. This may include where a person has flexible PPL days available to be claimed at a later date and they have been found conditionally eligible for PLP for flexible PPL days, or where a person has a payability determination for one or more flexible PPL days for a future date.

Cost effectiveness

In determining whether it is cost effective to pursue the recovery of a debt the following factors should be considered:

  • the amount of the debt
  • the cost of any further investigation
  • the cost of recovery in terms of staff resources, calculating and recording the debt and advising the debtor, and
  • the prospect for recovery.

Act reference: PPLAct section 197 Waiver of debts—small debts

Policy reference: PPL Guide 1.1.C.143 Conditional eligibility determination, 5.2.2 Payability determinations for PLP

Last reviewed: