Dear Abe,
I dropped a subject before the Census date, but Centrelink did not have that in their record and now they are saying I should have told them and I owe them some money. Are they allowed to do that?

I Want to Drop Centrelink


Dear I Want to Drop Centrelink,

Centrelink are an incredibly frustrating institution to deal with. You should not need to tell them about subjects you drop before the Census date, but you definitely need to tell them any subjects you drop after that. This is even if dropping the subject does not change you to a part time student. In fact, you need to tell them about lots of things, like if you get a new housemate, or you move house, or you change bank accounts, or you are going overseas (not really likely to happen right now though). To deal with the “overpayment”, book an appointment with an SRC Caseworker so you can make an appeal.

As general good practice, always ask them for receipt numbers for any conversations that you have over the phone or in person.

Abe.