In this episode we talk to Katherine Boyle. Katherine is the Executive Director of the Welfare Rights Centre. The Welfare Rights Centre is a specialist legal service helping people across NSW with Centrelink problems including debts.
Katherine talks about her burning issues around Centrelink debts, the help provided by the Welfare Rights Centre lawyers and different ways that community workers can support their clients when they get a Centrelink debt they don't understand.
The links below are for the services and resources discussed in the episode.
You can contact the Welfare Rights Centre by phone on 1800 226 028 during one of their advice intake times. This number is toll free if you are calling from outside the Sydney metro area.
The advice intake times are:
If your matter is urgent, such as if you have lost your payment and have no other source of income, you can call on the office number – 02 9211 5300 - to speak to a lawyer straight away.
You also have the option to make an online enquiry through the website – https://welfarerightscentre.org.au/need-help. Scroll down on the home page and click on the link to making an online enquiry.
There are also factsheets on the website that you can download about a range of Centrelink legal problems.
If you live in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven or South Coast you can contact the Illawarra Legal Centre Welfare Rights Service
You can also contact the Legal Aid NSW Government law team to talk about Centrelink problems. Call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 to be referred to this team.
Call the National Debt Helpline if you need help with any money problems on 1800 007 007. The NDH also has a Centrelink Debts step by step guide that you can download.
Economic Justice Australia is the peak body for Welfare Rights Centres across Australia. See their Economic Australia Centrelink Debts Factsheet – last updated April 2020.