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: 1.1.C.143 Conditional eligibility determination, 6.2.3 Payability determinations for flexible PPL

Last reviewed: 21 September 2020