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Welfare Rights

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

The welfare rights unit assists people who are having problems with Centrelink matters. Assistance provided ranges from information, advocacy and representation. If you think that Centrelink have made a wrong decision, you have the right to ask for the decision to be reviewed.

Ask the Welfare Rights Advocate

Never ignore Centrelink notices. If you feel something is not right or unfair, it might be.

Never just accept what you are told; Centrelink makes mistakes too.

The welfare rights service provides assistance to people appealing a decision made by Centrelink. The service provides information and support so that you can be aware of your rights and receive your maximum entitlement

The welfare rights advocate can assist with the submissions and appeal process.

How do you appeal a Centrelink Decision?

  1. Ask Centrelink to review their decision. This is done by the person, who made the original decision (ODM).

  2. You can then request a second review through Centrelink by an authorised review officer (ARO).

  3. If Centrelink do not change their decision, you can then appeal to an independent tribunal called the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT).

  4. If you are not happy with the SSAT decision, you can appeal again at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Our welfare rights advocate is able to provide assistance and advice at any stage of the appeals process.

What the Welfare Rights Advocate can do for you:

  • Provide free and confidential service

  • Assist you in appealing a Centrelink decision that you feel is wrong e.g. an overpayment or period of non-payment.

  • Give you independent information and advice on matters relating to Centrelink

  • Advocate for you at various stages of an appeal and may be able to represent you at the SSAT or AAT hearings

To discuss your concerns with the welfare rights advocate, it is best to phone first.

Initial telephone information can be given and an appointment made for you if necessary. Bring all letters, documents or notes made about the issue that concerns you to your appointment.

To make an appointment

Call (08) 6253 9500

Monday to Friday

9:30 am - 4:30 pm



National Welfare Rights Network is the network of community legal centres, which specialise in social security law and its administration by Centrelink. A range of factsheets is available to provide information about specific social security payments, your rights, obligations and entitlements.

Centrelink is an agency of the Department of Human Services delivering a range of services to the community. The website can make it easier for you to explore your options and know what questions to ask about your situation.

This service is funded by

Commonwealth Attorney General's Department.

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