Last updated 5 December 2016 This chapter is under review.

pdf_downloadHow to Claim a Social Security Benefit
Activity-tested Social Security Payments
Penalties Applied to Social Security Payments
Disability Support Pension
Common Social Security Problems
Social Security Payment Rates for Couples
New Zealand Citizens’ Eligibility for Social Security Payments
Appealing a Centrelink Decision
Free Legal Advice and Assistance

The social security system is administered by Centrelink, a Department of Human Services agency. Centrelink provides payments on behalf of the federal government to eligible people, including (but not limited to) retirees, the unemployed, families, carers, parents, people with disabilities and Indigenous Australians.

Most legal issues arise when a person’s social security payment application is rejected or the payment has been reduced in amount, the payment has been cancelled or it has been overpaid and a debt has been raised against the recipient.

This chapter will outline common issues experienced by people accessing the social security system and how to appeal a decision. Certain steps can be taken to find out why a decision was made and how to advocate to change the decision if appropriate.

The law that underpins the social security system is the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth), the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth), A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 (Cth) and A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth).