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Reviews and appeals 109-03000000
Currently published version valid from 26/07/2021 10:35 PM
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This document explains the internal and external review and appeal process for Centrelink decisions.
Government intent
The right to have a decision reviewed exists for almost every decision made by Centrelink. It is also possible for a customer to seek
an administrative law remedy where the actions of Services Australia have had an adverse impact on them.
It is important that customers are aware of their review and appeal options if they do not understand or do not agree with a
Internal review framework
The internal review framework aims to make sure that customers:
understand decisions that affect their entitlements
are given the chance to provide new information to have a decision reassessed
can exercise their right to apply for a formal review of a decision they disagree with
Documenting the decision discussion
Document a discussion about a decision on the customer’s record. This will make sure that:
there is a record showing what was discussed with the customer
the contact can be acknowledged if the customer contacts again
Steps in the internal review process
When a customer contacts the agency to discuss a decision that has been made:
s 47E(d)

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s 47E(d)
External review process
After a formal review by an ARO, the customer may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for an AAT first review of the
decision. Certain decisions are excepted.
If a customer does not agree with an AAT first review decision, they may apply for an AAT second review.
All parties to an AAT second review have a further right of appeal to the Federal Court. Decisions of the Federal Court may be
appealed, by leave, to the High Court.
These decisions cannot be appealed to the AAT:
ABSTUDY entitlement and eligibility decisions. See Review of ABSTUDY and AIC decisions
JET Child Care fee assistance (JETCCFA) decisions. See Reviews of JETCCFA decisions
Grants, formerly known as ex-gratia payments. Appeal rights following an ARO review depend on the guidelines for each
grant. See Reviews of grants and ex-gratia payments.

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Complaints and FOI requests
A customer who requests an explanation or applies for a formal review of a decision may also:
make a complaint about the service they received, or
request release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
Advising verbally of an unfavourable decision
Request for an explanation or application for a formal review
Reviews by an Authorised Review Officer (ARO)
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
Court Appeals after an unfavourable decision by Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) (AAT second review)
Related links
SME explanations, ARO referrals and implementing ARO decisions
Priority explanation or formal review of a decision
Secretary initiated review of decision
Appeals (APL) system
Continuing payments pending review (PPR)
Managing reviews and appeals paper files
Requests lodged under Freedom of Information Act 1982
Managing customer complaints and feedback
Customer compensation and act of grace payments
Australian Human Rights Commission
Commonwealth Ombudsman
This page contains information to help staff when customers make initial contact about a Centrelink decision. A separate procedure
applies if the customer has already requested an explanation, quality check or formal review of the decision.
On this page:
Service Officer guide
Customer has further information
Service Officer guide
Table 1: guide/scripting for Service Officers to use to help customers with an enquiry about a decision.
Check why the customer has contacted + Read more ...
After checking why the customer has contacted, ask them what they would like to do or know about the decision.

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Ask appropriate questions to understand the customer’s enquiry so their concerns can be addressed or referred to
the relevant business area.
Staff can use the support resources available to them if the matter is complex, or if they need support to give a
satisfactory response to the customer.
s 47E(d)

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s 47E(d)

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s 47E(d)
Customer has further information
Table 2

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s 47E(d)

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s 47E(d)
Training & Support

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Add the course number to the Search field in the Learning Portal (LMS) in ESSentials:
Customer Service Delivery Group (CSDG) staff complete:
CLK01303 - Changes in Internal Review (CSDG only)
CLK01252 - Changes in the SME Role in Internal Review
Non-CSDG staff complete:
CLK01251 - Changes in the Internal Review Process
CLK01252 - Changes in the SME Role in Internal Review
To undertake the SME role, Service Officers must complete the eLearning courses above and be recognised as SMEs by team leaders
or line managers. Line manager approval must be obtained before participating in the eLearning courses.