About Us
Welfare Rights Centre is a community legal centre that helps people who have a problem with Centrelink. We specialise in social security law and family assistance law, including the intersection of child support and social security payments.

Welfare Rights Centre opened its doors in 1983 as part of the Australian community legal centre movement responding to the scarcity of affordable legal help for marginalised people. Originally co-located with Redfern Legal Centre, the Centre moved to its own premises in 1985.

Since then, we've had many changes in location, staff, funding sources, law and policy but we remain the lead service agency in NSW for social security law and policy.

Welfare Rights Centre staff photo August 2023

Our work

  • We provide free legal information, advice and representation to thousands of NSW residents adversely affected by Centrelink decisions each year. We can advise and assist people through the social security review and appeals system, including Centrelink internal review and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
  • We undertake community legal education to improve knowledge and understanding about social security law in the community. We prioritise training of community workers and others providing direct support to clients, training more than a thousand workers each year. Our community legal education program includes 10 subject-based sessions each year, with additional targeted sessions scheduled on request.
  • We use the knowledge and experience we gain through our casework to advocate for reforms to social security law and policy that would make the Australian social security system fairer for everyone. We collaborate with our peak body. Economic Justice Australia, to provide evidence and submissions to parliamentary and other inquiries, and to publicly advocate through the media for a fair and accountable social security system.