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Income management

Income Management in Bankstown

From 1 July 2012 income management rules may apply to anyone on Centrelink payments who lives in the Bankstown local government area.

If a person is income managed Centrelink will keep a percentage of their payments and put them in an income management account. That money must be spent on what Centrelink decides are the person’s priority needs, for example rent, bills and food. Centrelink will organise direct payments for rent and bills, and the person may be given a BasicsCard to buy things at shops. There are three ways a person can be on income management:

1 - Vulnerable

  • If a Centrelink social worker is worried that a person is “vulnerable” they can force the person to be income managed. A person may be considered “vulnerable” if they are unable to look after themselves or their family, are in financial hardship, or are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
  • A “vulnerable” person can be income managed for up to 12 months at a time.
  • 50% of their Centrelink payments and family payments will be income managed by Centrelink with the remaining 50% given to the person to manage.
  • If a person doesn’t consider they are “vulnerable”, they can ask for a review of the social worker’s decision.

2 - Child protection

  • If the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) thinks a person needs to be income managed to help them care for their children, they can force Centrelink to income manage the person.
  • A person can be income managed for periods between 3 to 12 months at a time.
  • 70% of their Centrelink payments and family payments will be income managed by Centrelink with the remaining 30% given to the person to manage.
  • If a person doesn’t agree with FACS’ decision they can make a complaint to FACS or the NSW Ombudsman.

3 - Voluntary

  • If a person lives in the Bankstown area they can choose to be on income management.
  • 50% of their Centrelink payments and family payments will be income managed by Centrelink with the remaining 50% given to the person to manage.
  • A person must stay on income management for at least 13 weeks.
  • After 13 weeks the person can ask Centrelink to stop the income management at any time.
  • Every six months a person stays on voluntary income management, Centrelink will pay a bonus $250 into their income management account.

How can a person get off income management?

1 - Vulnerable

  • Every 3 months they can ask the Centrelink social worker to reconsider their circumstances.
  • They can also ask for a review of the social worker’s decision that they are “vulnerable” and need income management.

For legal advice and assistance see Legal Aid NSW or the Welfare Rights Centre (see "Legal help" below for details).

2 - Child protection

They can make a complaint about the decision of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) to:

In limited circumstances they can appeal to the Supreme Court.

For legal advice and assistance see Legal Aid NSW or the Welfare Rights Centre (see "Legal help" below for details).

3 - Voluntary

They can tell Centrelink they want to stop being income managed any time after 13 weeks.

Legal help

A person can get free legal advice and assistance about Centrelink problems from a Legal Aid lawyer, or the Welfare Rights Centre.

Call your closest Legal Aid NSW office to make an appointment:

  • Central Sydney
    Ph: 9219 5790
  • Liverpool
    Ph: 9601 1200
  • Fairfield
    Ph: 9727 3777

Call the Welfare Rights Centre for telephone advice 9211 5300