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Complaints and feedback - Tell us what you think

We value your complaints and feedback because this helps us to stay in touch with your needs and to improve our service. If you have been pleased with our service, let us know as it gives us the opportunity to recognise great service by our staff.

Ways to make a complaint or give us feedback

To begin with we recommend that you:

  • try to resolve the issue with the person you have been dealing with
  • ask to speak to their manager, if you are not satisfied.

Centrelink and Medicare information

If you want to make a complaint about our service, you can:

  • send us a secure online message to offer customer feedback about Centrelink payments and services. 
  • if you would like to provide feedback about a Medicare program or service, please email us at customer.feedback@humanservices.gov.au
  • write to us (no postage stamp required) at:
    DHS Customer Relations
    Reply Paid 7788
    Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610
  • telephone our Feedback and Complaints line: Free CALL™ 1800 132 468
  • telephone the National Relay service if you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impediment
  • speak to a Customer Service Officer at any of our Service Centres.

Child Support information

If you want to give feedback or make a complaint about Child Support, you can:

See objecting to Child Support decisions if you think a decision about your case is not right.

How we handle your complaint or other feedback

We will always respond to your complaint, suggestion or compliment.

If you have a complaint, we will respond as quickly as possible. We will let you know if we can resolve the matter the same day, or whether we need more time to investigate and resolve your complaint. Sometimes this may mean we have to speak to someone in a Service Centre who is handling your matter.

In all cases, we will inform you of the progress of your complaint.

Timeframes

If the matter is complex, we may take several days to give you an answer, but generally we will answer in:

  • 5 working days (Centrelink services)
  • acknowledged within 2 working days and responded to within 10 working days (Medicare services)
  • within 10 working days (Child Support services)

What we ask from you

We understand that you may be dissatisfied with Medicare, Child Support or Centrelink services.

You will want to tell us how you feel and have us fix the problem. So we can respond quickly and effectively to your complaint, we ask you to:

  • give us as much specific detail about your situation as you can. This should include details of any letters that you have sent or received from us and the details of any phone calls or other discussions you have had with staff, about the problem you want fixed
  • consider how you want us to fix the problem
  • tell us if you need help to lodge your complaint or provide other feedback, including an interpreter or someone authorised to enquire on your behalf
  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect.

We reserve the right not to respond to messages which contain abuse, inflammatory statements or material clearly intended to intimidate.

If a complaint cannot be resolved

You can ask for a review of a decision. For more information visit Review and Appeals.

Where we are unable to resolve a complaint to your satisfaction, we will explain why and let you know what other options you have. Our objective is to resolve your complaint up front. If this is not possible, there are three external and independent avenues you can take:

Commonwealth Ombudsman

If you have been unable to resolve a complaint with us you may wish to contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Commonwealth Ombudsman considers and investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an Australian Government department or agency.

For more information visit the Commonwealth Ombudsman website or call 1300 362 072.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Where you believe your privacy rights have been infringed.

For more information visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner website or call 1300 363 992.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

In certain specific circumstances where legislation allows.

For more information visit the the Administrative Appeals Tribunal website or call 1300 366 700.

Other support when talking to us

The following resources can help you in talking to us:

Legal Aid

National Legal Aid (NLA) represents the Directors of each of the eight State and Territory Legal Aid Commissions in Australia.

Visit the National Legal Aid website.

Family Relationship Advice Line

Visit Family Relationships Online or phone 1800 050 321.

National Association of Community Legal Centres

The Community Legal Centres provide legal and related services to the public.

Visit the National Association of Community Legal Centres website.

Policy department feedback and suggestions

The Department of Human Services delivers a range of payments and services on behalf of the Australian Government.

Australian Government policy departments welcome suggestions from the public and they encourage people to contribute ideas about improvements to a department's policies, programs and services. To offer feedback and suggestions, visit policy department feedback and suggestions.

Confidentiality and privacy

We make sure your privacy is respected in line with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 the Health Insurance Act 1973, and the National Health Act 1953.

For more information visit your right to privacy.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

An FOI request is not needed if you want to see your own information.

If you need to you can look into getting other types of information by visiting Freedom of Information and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.