In 2012 I received from Centerlink, paid parental leave (PPL) & shortly after the birth of my son I became a single parent therefore I started receiving single parent pension at the same time.
I remember clearly asking in the Centerlink office do I need to report fortnightly receiving PPL and the man said no as it wasn't considered an income.
Fast forward to 2017 & I then received a debt off centerlink relating to this, that in fact I should have been reporting as PPL was an income. Going thru family court & study at the time I just took the debt..not to mention the Centerlink woman dealing with the debt was pushy that I in fact I had done the wrong thing!
Fast forward to today... I read a statement online from centerlink "we now consider PPL an income". This got me thinking at one stage was it not an income? And maybe the original person I had spoke to way back in 2012 had given me the correct information after all. I then found out that yes Paid Parental Leave had had legislation changes! In fact on the 1st of October 2016 it was changed to being an income! So in fact when my debt was raised 2012 it was NOT an income.
So if you have received a Centerlink debt prior to 1st of October 2016 and received paid parental leave an income support for that year I really urge you to get in contact as just like me they may have included your PPL as income when in fact it wasn't! I have just spent two hours on the phone sorting this mess out and now my case is off to a review as it's noted on my file the Paid Parental Leave was included at the time of assessing my debt.
The rogue debt system Centerlink is using should be stopped as obviously in my case and probably thousands of others out there it has not taken into account legislation changes - let's face it that are yearly concerning social welfare!