The Welfare Rights Centre is a community legal centre specialising in social security law and family assistance law and its administration by Centrelink.
We provide free legal information, advice and representation to thousands of NSW residents every year who are adversely affected by Centrelink decisions. The Centre also provides education to improve knowledge and understanding about social security law in the community. We use the knowledge and experience we gain through our casework to advocate for reforms to the law and policy that would make the Australian social security system fairer for everyone. The Centre also provides assistance to the community through community education and training, law reform and lobbying.
We can advise people about their social security rights, entitlements and obligations and assist people through the social security review and appeals system, including Centrelink internal review and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. We provide all initial advice by phone.
The Welfare Rights Centre opened its doors in 1983 as part of the community legal centre movement in Australia that began in response to scarcity of affordable legal assistance available to marginalised members of society. Originally co-located with Redfern Legal Centre, the Centre opened its own premises in 1985. Since then it has experienced changes in location, staff, funding sources, law and policy. Throughout these changes, the Welfare Rights Centre has remained the lead service agency in NSW for social security law and policy.