8.4.1 Current administrative provisions | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Overpayment Management Manual, Ch 8 Centrelink/DVA Recovery, 8.4 Debt Recovery

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8.4.1 Current administrative provisions

8.4.1.1If a department (e.g. DVA or Centrelink) is requested to recover an overpayment incurred under another department's legislation, then that department acts only as an agent under instruction from the department responsible for raising the overpayment. For example, an overpayment has been raised by DVA against a debtor. The debtor is no longer in receipt of a pension from DVA, but is now in payment with Centrelink. DVA, being the responsible department, may request Centrelink to act as agent and to recover the debt by deductions from any Centrelink benefit being paid.

8.4.1.2If the agent is unable to implement deductions for any reason, the responsible department should be advised:

  • the reason that deductions cannot commence as requested; and
  • the expected date that deductions could commence.

8.4.1.3The responsible department should then withdraw its request and resubmit it at a later date. This should occur where there are no changes in the debtor's circumstances which would enable recovery by other means (e.g. a request will not be necessary if DVA granted the debtor a pension before Centrelink was able to initiate withholdings from their benefit).

8.4.1.4The responsible department will:

  • advise the debtor that recovery will be made by deductions from payments made by the agent
  • advise the agent of the total overpayment amount to be deducted from the debtor's payments
  • handle all enquiries from the debtor regarding the overpayment; and
  • renegotiate repayment arrangements with the debtor if continuing payments by the agent cease before the debt is fully recovered.

8.4.1.5The responsible agent will:

  • manually raise the debt on their debt management system and will determine a deduction rate
  • advise the responsible department when deductions will commence and advise the debtor
  • recalculate the deduction rate if at any time before the overpayment is fully recovered, the amount of pension benefit or allowance is reduced, and respond to any queries regarding the rate; and
  • notify the responsible department if a broken agency arrangement is created.