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Major Centrelink change coming: ‘We’ll send you a letter’

Services Australia says it will send Centrelink recipients a letter about a major upcoming change.

People line up outside a Centrelink office.
Aussies using Centrelink's Cashless Debit Card (CDC) will be moved to a new system. (Source: Getty)

Centrelink recipients who have been using the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) will soon receive a letter in the mail about the new income-management system coming into effect on March 6.

“We will send you a letter before the CDC program ends. We explain more about Enhanced Income Management in your letter,” Services Australia said.

“For now, you keep using your CDC until you get a new SmartCard, which looks and works like a regular bank debit card.”

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Aussies who are switching over to the new SmartCard will need to visit a service centre or participating agent from March 6 to get their new card.

"Enhanced Income Management helps you budget your payments from us. It also helps you meet essential household needs and expenses, like food, rent, bills and education. You access your enhanced Income Management account with your SmartCard,” Services Australia said.

Aussies will move to their new system if they have a CDC and choose to continue Income Management once the CDC program comes to an end.

Those who live in the Northern Territory, Cape York or Doomadgee who have a CDC will also move to the new system.

“If you are on Income Management and have a BasicsCard, nothing changes. You do not move to Enhanced Income Management,” Services Australia said.

“If you live in certain areas of Australia, you can volunteer for Enhanced Income Management and access it with a SmartCard.”

You can find a state-by-state breakdown of how the new SmartCard system will work in your area on the Services Australia website.

The Albanese government announced in September last year it wanted to end the controversial CDC system.

The plan will see around 17,300 individuals in cashless debit card program sites transition off the CDC and onto the new arrangements, or off the program completely.

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