Last updated 15 June 2016

There are a variety of penalties applied to social security payments if a person does not comply with the requirements for example not attending an activity or interview arranged by an employment service provider. Centrelink will advise the person of the failure and the related penalty. In some cases, people will first be aware of their penalty when they do not receive their regular payment.

Penalties can include an immediate non-payment until a person contacts Centrelink, the loss of the equivalent of one working-day payment or a suspension of payment for a set period. A history of non-compliance can also lead to more serious penalties such as an eight-week non-payment period.

What to do if a penalty is applied

The first thing to do is to get in contact with Centrelink and reschedule any activities or appointments, or provide a reasonable excuse as to why the person was unable to complete their requirements. If a person does not agree with a penalty, they should appeal, particularly as having three minor failures within a six-month period can lead to an eight-week non-payment period.