Information provided on this website is prepared by the Department of Social Services (DSS) for general information only. You should independently check whether the information is relevant for your purposes.
While DSS makes every effort to ensure that the information on this site is up to date, DSS accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information.
DSS does not accept liability for reliance on any information presented on this site.
Note that the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Repeal of Cashless Debit Card and Other Measures) Bill 2022 received royal assent on 30 September 2022.
As a result, DSS is updating information on this site. While this process is well underway, it will take some time before all changes are complete. In the meantime, references within the Guide to Social Policy Law should now generally be understood to be references to recent changes within the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999.
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.
7.3.5 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.
The Department of Social Services acknowledges the traditional country throughout Australia on which we gather, live, work and stand. We acknowledge all traditional custodians, their Elders past, present and emerging and we pay our respects to their continuing connection to their culture, community, land, sea and rivers.