Centrelink is the name of the statutory authority that administers the payment of financial assistance from the Commonwealth Government to individuals.
Legislation administered by Centrelink includes:
It can be particularly useful to refer also to the Australian Government's Guides to Social Policy Law.
Centrelink payments include a range of pensions, allowances and benefits which are paid to eligible people in certain circumstances.
Some common types of Centrelink payments include:
For a full list of Centrelink payments and their eligibility criteria, see the Guide to Australian Government Payments on the Services Australia website.
Eligibility to receive a Centrelink payment will depend on a wide range of factors, including a person’s income and assets, whether they are studying, a member of a couple, a parent, have a disability, are a carer, or are a retiree, as well as many other factors [Social Security Act 1991 (Cwth) Chapter 2]. Generally speaking, to be approved for a Centrelink payment a person must also meet residence requirements, although there are some exceptions to these rules [see section 7].
Disputes over Centrelink matters most commonly arise when a person’s application for a payment is rejected, when an existing payment is reduced or cancelled, or where a person has been overpaid and Centrelink has raised a debt against them. These issues are explored further in this chapter.