Centrelink is a branch of the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services that administers social welfare payments provided by the Australian Government. This system is known as social security.

Introduction and key legislation related to social security

Last updated

30 June 2019


Rates of pensions and allowances change regularly. Always check current rates with Centrelink.

Services Australia

On 1 July 2011, Centrelink and Medicare Australia were abolished as statutory authorities and integrated into the Australian Government Department of Human Services (now called Services Australia). For ease of reference, this chapter will continue to refer to Centrelink.

Introduction and key legislation

Social security law is also found in the:

  • Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) (‘SS Act’);
  • Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth) (‘SSA Act’);
  • Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999 (Cth);
  • A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 (Cth) (‘Family Assistance Act’); and
  • A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 (Cth).

Legal practitioners should also read The Social Security Guide (available at http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law); Centrelink officers use this guide to assess eligibility for payments.

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