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. Overpayments Resulting from Arrears of Swiss Benefits


SSAct section 1228A allows for a debt to be raised against individuals who have been overpaid a benefit by one State as a result of the grant of a benefit by the other State. Recovery of a debt can be by cash refund, by withholding from future entitlements, or by withholding a portion of the arrears payable by the other State.

The recovery from future entitlements would generally only apply when:

  • the arrears are insufficient to fully recover the overpayment, or
  • the arrears have been released directly to the recipient.


When the grant of a Swiss benefit includes arrears for a past period, any Australian income tested benefit received during the period the arrears covers may need to be reassessed. The Australian pension is reassessed as if the arrears had been paid and received from the grant of the Swiss benefit, or the date of grant of Australian benefit, whichever is the later. This determines whether the person has received more Australian benefit than their correct entitlement. See

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 20 Switzerland

SSAct section 1228A Comparable foreign payment debt recovery

Policy reference: SS Guide Income from overseas payments - general rules, Arrears of Foreign Payment

Last reviewed: