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 another Act, Centrelink will take action to recover the debt.

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

Last reviewed: 20 September 2018