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. Deductions from payments


Deductions can only be made from payments when a recipient would actually receive an amount if the deduction had not been made.

Types of deductions

The following table describes the types of deduction and the order in which they are made.

Type of deduction Order of deduction Description
Compulsory First Compulsory deductions are called withholdings. They are used to recover debts (1.1.D.40) to the Commonwealth.
Recipient requested Second

A recipient may request deductions for a number of reasons.


  • board and lodging to a place where they live, such as a migrant centre
  • rent payments to a public housing authority, OR
  • taxation payments.

A recipient may request that the remainder of their payment be redirected to a third party.

Policy reference: SS Guide Payment to a third party

Last reviewed: