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Centrelink Offences

Under Commonwealth legislation, it is an offence for a person to obtain a financial advantage (for themselves or for another person), which they are not eligible to receive from a Commonwealth entity (such as Centrelink). 

Common examples of this offence are known as Centrelink fraud, and involve people obtaining payments from Centrelink, even though they are not entitled to it. This can include situations where a young person obtains a Youth Allowance at the same time as being employed and failing to declare his or her income. This can result in substantial overpayments being obtained and the person facing criminal charges pursuant to the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995.

Another example is where an individual has been made redundant or lost their job, applied for the Newstart Allowance and continued to receive the allowance, even after that person obtained new employment. Common orders made by the courts for such criminal offences include restitution orders being orders to pay back the Commonwealth, together with community service orders, and terms of imprisonment (whether suspended or not).

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