Reviews and appeals of a Centrelink decision

Centrelink has changed its formal review process. Here’s what you need to know.

Your options

Key Points

  • Centrelink has changed its formal review process
  • You can ask for verbal explanation or formal review of a Centrelink decision
  • The major change is that requests for review now go to an Authorised Review Officer

If you don’t understand or agree with a decision Centrelink has made, you can ask for an explanation or apply for a formal review.

1. Explanation of a decision - you can contact Centrelink and ask them to explain the decision.

A staff member will contact you to explain the decision and answer any questions you have. Centrelink says this method can sort out your concerns or change the decision without needing a formal review.

You don’t have to pay for an explanation of a decision. Centrelink aim to contact you and explain its decision within 14 days.

2. Formal review

From 15 May 2021, Centrelink’s internal review process changed. Now, if you apply for a formal review, it will go straight to an Authorised Review Officer. Previously, Centrelink did an extra check of a decision before you could get a formal review.

You can apply for a formal review if you understand the decision but disagree with it. You can apply for a review at any time. You don’t have to apply for an explanation first.

An Authorised Review Officer will review the decision. They will:

  • speak with you about a decision, where possible
  • look at the facts, the law, and the policy involved in a decision
  • change the decision if it’s wrong
  • write to you to let you know the outcome of your review.

You don’t have to pay for a formal review.

Centrelink aims to finish a formal review within 49 days. Some may take longer. It depends on the details of the case.

If you’ve already applied for a review

If you asked for a review before 15 May, you don’t need to do anything. Centrelink says it will keep working on your review.

How to get an explanation or formal review

You can ask for an explanation or apply for a formal review by either:

You can also fill in the Explanation or formal review of decision form and give Centrelink any supporting documents online, using either:

Read this guide to uploading your Centrelink documents online.

If you can’t provide online then send them to:

Centrelink Reply Paid 7800 Canberra BC ACT 2610

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