Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Media release: Extension of coronavirus debt pause to 30 October 2020

25 September 2020

The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

On 3 April, the Australian Government put in place a temporary six-month nation-wide pause on Services Australia debt raising and recovery to help ease pressure on people’s budgets during the coronavirus pandemic.

The temporary pause was scheduled to end on 3 October, however, in recognition of the ongoing pressure on people’s budgets during the coronavirus pandemic, the pause on debt raising and recovery will remain in place until 30 October.

The pause will continue to be assessed on a monthly basis.

It is important that people keep Services Australia informed of any changes to their circumstances including their income and activity so that Services Australia can make correct payments. It is also important families receiving Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Subsidy lodge their tax returns or advise Services Australia that they do not need to lodge a tax return. If families do not lodge or advise Services Australia that they do not need to lodge a tax return their payments could be impacted.

People continue to have the option to re-pay any overpayments assessed prior to the debt pause during this period if they choose to and it can be managed within their personal circumstances.

Services Australia has a range of services to help people manage an overpayment including online tools and specialist staff such as social workers who can provide short term counselling, information and referrals to other services for Australians in need.

For information about why an overpayment has occurred, customers should contact their regular payment line or go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/phoneus

For information about repaying a Centrelink debt contact the Centrelink debt line on 1800 076 072.

For information about social work services, go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/socialwork

Page last updated: 25 September 2020