This section contains information on the recovery of debts arising under the SSAct.
Australian Government departments and agencies MUST pursue recovery of debts unless:
As Justice Sheppard of the Federal Court stated in Director-General of Social Services v Hales (1983) 5 ALN N162:
Recovery of debts under the SSAct enables FaHCSIA and Centrelink, in the context of limited social security resources, to maintain a high level of services to the community.
The fundamental purpose of debt management is to recover debts as quickly and efficiently as possible without causing real financial hardship to debtors.
In addition, consistent with the aims of a modern social security safety net that helps people move out of welfare dependency, the process of debt recovery under the SSAct must avoid creating disincentives for debtors to take up work opportunities.
This section contains the following topics:
Last reviewed: 12 August 2013