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What can I do if I’m receiving an income support or pension payment and my account is overdrawn?


A Code of Operation applies to payments such as income support and pensions paid by Centrelink or the Department of Veteran Affairs. The Code allows you to access this payment even if your account is overdrawn. A list of protected payments as defined by Services Australia is available here.

If you receive a protected payment while your account is in negative balance and do not already have an arranged repayment plan with the bank, the bank can’t take more than 10% of this payment to cover your outstanding balance. This means, you can ask to withdraw up to 90% of the fortnightly payment amount that you received.

For example, if your account is overdrawn by $200 and you receive a payment of $500 per fortnight, this reduces your available balance to $300. You can withdraw up to $450 (90% of $500) under the Code.

If you need help with accessing a protected payment while your account is overdrawn, please visit a bank branch.