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Centrelink relief offered to these Aussies

Australians line up outside a Centrelink office.
Flood-affected Aussies had has their Centrelink mutual obligation requirements paused. (Source: Getty)

Mutual obligation and participation requirements for Centrelink recipients have been paused for Aussies in flood-affected areas of New South Wales.

Those in flood-affected local government areas (LGAs) will not have to meet their requirements from July 5 to July 12.

This will affect Aussies who live in:

  • Blacktown

  • Blue Mountains

  • Camden

  • Canterbury Bankstown

  • Campbelltown

  • Central Coast

  • Cessnock

  • Fairfield

  • Georges River

  • Hawkesbury

  • Hornsby

  • Kiama

  • Lithgow City

  • Liverpool

  • Northern Beaches

  • Penrith

  • Shellharbour

  • Shoalhaven

  • Sutherland Shire

  • The Hills Shire

  • Wingecarribee

  • Wollondilly

  • Wollongong


Services Australia said during this period, no payment suspensions or financial penalties would apply to those who didn’t meet their requirements.

Debt collecting resumes

This comes just days after Centrelink recipients were required to start repaying debts that had been paused due to COVID-19 and previous natural disasters.

Back in January, Services Australia advised that the temporary pause on Centrelink debts had been lifted and letters would be sent to those who owed money.

The debt pause was in place for LGAs in New South Wales, Victoria, South-East Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said more than 17 per cent of JobSeeker payments were not accurate.

Many welfare recipients were overpaid, with the debts owed “drastically increased”.

Rishworth said some debts had been sitting in the system for more than three years, and that “some people aren’t even aware that they’ve received too much money from Services Australia”.

You can see details of your debt in the Money You Owe service in your Centrelink online account through myGov.

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