Media Release: More online services for families saves time and reduces risk of overpayments

5 June 2017

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

More than 1.5 million families who receive Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit can now use self-service options to view and update the way they receive payments.

There are a number of ways families can elect to receive their Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Benefit payments, including fortnightly or in a lump sum at the end of the financial year. 

It is important families make the right decision to reduce the risk of overpayment.

Previously, people had to phone or visit a service centre to change their payment method but now the new Payment Choices service allows people to update their preferences through their myGov account, the Express Plus App or via phone self-service.

To assist families with the decision the new service will recommend the most suitable option based on their personal circumstances. If a different option is then selected, a warning is given about the risk of potential overpayment before the change can be made.

Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge said the Department is focussed on providing more convenient digital services, while still ensuring support is available for those who need it.

“We know families are busy and one less phone call or visit to a service centre can make a difference in their day,” Minister Tudge said.

“This new service is another one of the practical improvements the Government is making to save people’s time and provide flexible choices to suit varying individual family situations.

“The new Payment Choices service provides families with the information required to make the correct choice about how to manage their payments and avoid potential overpayments.

“The Government is focussing on giving people the convenient option to complete simple procedures online which helps free up our phone lines and service centres for those who need extra support with more complex issues.”

This is another element of our service delivery transformation, including the billion dollar WPIT programme, new $600 million telephony system, claiming processes overhaul, complete revision of sections of the Centrelink website, 250 new call centre staff and other measures to reduce call wait times.