Family Assistance - Improving Debt Recovery 

What's New?

This measure will improve the recovery of family assistance overpayments through:

  • Increasing the flexible recovery rates for family assistance reconciliation overpayments from $20 per fortnight (for overpayments under $750) to $30 per fortnight, and from $40 per fortnight (for overpayments over $750) to $60 per fortnight; and
  • Introducing case management practices for family assistance overpayments greater than $3,000 and over 12 months old.

Since the introduction of Family Tax Benefit, family assistance payments have significantly increased. However, the flexible recovery rates have remained unchanged.

Those families who owe larger amounts of money will be referred to specialist recovery officers within the Family Assistance Office. These officers will help determine the customer's real financial capacity and negotiate the most appropriate recovery arrangements.


Arrangements for the recovery of family assistance overpayments remain generous, especially when compared to arrangements for the recovery of tax or income support debts. These changes will help reduce the number of families who face recovery over extended periods of time.


  • Increase in flexible recovery rates - 1 July 2006.
  • Case management of larger overpayments - 1 January 2006.

Total Government Funding

$11.4 million over four years.

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