If you are going to receive a compensation payment there are two main things to keep in mind in relation to Centrelink:
1. You may need to repay Centrelink for payments to date
Your lawyer will find out if Centrelink will impose a charge for payments that you have received from them prior to receiving your compensation payment.
A charge will only be payable if some of your compensation payment was for lost income or earning capacity.
Any charge will usually be deducted before you receive your settlement money.
Bear in mind that Centrelink may cut off payments as soon as they are advised of the settlement, even though it may be some time before you or your trustee receives the settlement money.
2. Your preclusion period
Your lawyer will let you know if your compensation payment means that you won’t be able to access Centrelink benefits for a certain period of time.
If you receive a compensation payment that includes money that replaces lost income or earning capacity the Centrelink will do a calculation to work out when you can access Centrelink benefits again. They will write to you and let you know this date.
It’s always important to make the most of any compensation payment you receive. Getting good financial advice as early as possible will help you work out the best way to support yourself.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, speak to your lawyer or contact the Centrelink Compensation Recovery Team.