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8.6.1 Overview

8.6.1.1Where a client is no longer in receipt of Centrelink payments, and they are receiving a payment from DVA, Centrelink may request DVA to recover the Centrelink debt via deductions from the client's DVA payment.

8.6.1.2A manual letter 'Request DVA to recover and advice to customer (Q533)' is sent to DVA requesting they recover a specific debt amount on Centrelink's behalf.

Note:When this letter is sent, a copy will also be sent to the client.

8.6.1.3The request from Centrelink to recover from DVA payments should be checked to ensure that it includes:

  • debtor's full name, address and date of birth
  • both Centrelink and DVA reference numbers; and
  • outstanding overpayment amount.

8.6.1.4All Centrelink debts being recovered by DVA should be recorded on DMRS as overpayment 'Other Department DSS'. This allows for an audit trail with the corresponding Centrelink Overpayment destination in the Outward Payments tab in VIEW. Only the outstanding adjustment amount should be entered as a debt. The DMRS business rules will initiate the appropriate recovery plan. Add 'clearance received dd MM yy' or similar notation in the comment column for reference. These debts should not be included in the DVA total of outstanding debts for Annual Reports or any other similar publication. The full DMRS guide is available on the Intranet.    

8.6.1.5Centrelink are to follow up with DVA to ensure the details of the debt have been transferred to the DVA system and deductions are in place.

8.6.1.6Centrelink should be advised of the status of each debt and the amounts recovered on a monthly basis. This includes debts initiated by DVA following clearance adjustments as well as requests for ongoing deductions from Centrelink. All debts recovered in the reporting period need to be recorded in the report even if the debt is $0 at the end of the reporting period, so that they can be clearly identified as fully recovered. The onus is on Centrelink to review and advise of any variation in the level of withholdings.

8.6.1.7The debt reports should be sent to the Area Recovery Teams at Centrelink. A listing of contacts for these teams is available from the Centrelink Information folder in CLIK.

8.6.1.8If the debt has been fully or partially recovered from arrears of DVA pension, DVA is responsible for advising the pensioner of the outcomes of the arrears adjustment. Standard letters can be accessed from the Y: Drive at Y:\97 Templates\IS ROOLS Letter Templates (Non MetaFrame users), or Y:\Application (MetaFrame users).

8.6.1.9For portion recovery, an automatic letter from DVA is generated when the debt has been repaid advising the customer of the date their pension will be restored to the level of their full entitlement. If the debt is repaid in a lump sum, a letter is sent by DVA to the customer to acknowledge the payment once it has been processed.

8.6.1.10The name and telephone details of the Centrelink contact is maintained in DMRS if the debtor wishes to discuss the recovery or seeks a review of the calculations. For portion recovery, an automatic letter will be generated when the debt has been repaid advising the client of the date pension will be restored to the level of full entitlement. If the debt is repaid in a lump sum, a letter should be sent to the client to acknowledge the payment once it has been processed.

8.6.1.11DVA will need to notify Centrelink immediately if ongoing payments cease before the debt is fully recovered. It is then Centrelink's responsibility to renegotiate repayment arrangements with the debtor.