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YN

Accessing Centrelink during COVID-19

A simple step-by-step guide to see if you are eligible for assistance, and if so, how to access it.

updated Tuesday, 18th of August, 2020

Start here...

Are you already receiving a Centrelink payment?

YesNo

Do you have a myGov account?

YesNo

Is your myGov account linked* to Medicare or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)? * Check by logging into your myGov account and clicking on "Services" in the dashbar to see which services have been linked.

YesNo

Great, now you're all set up. If you have received Centrelink payments before you will already have a Centrelink Reference Number (CRN). You can find your CRN on Centrelink letters and concession cards. It is a 9 digit number that ends with a capital letter. Keep this handy for later. However, you no longer need a CRN to register your intention to apply for a payment - Centrelink will contact you to set this up later if you don't already have one

Next

As a result of COVID-19 or the economic downturn have any of the following happened to you:

Been stood down Lost your job Had shifts cut Lost or reduced work to care for young children Lost work due to self-isolation

YesNo

Have your circumstances changed as a result of COVID-19 or the economic downturn? (E.g. have you been stood down, lost your job or had shifts cut?)

YesNo

Note: If you have lost your job or been stood down on or after 1 March 2020 your employer may be eligible for the "JobKeeper" payment. This is a government payment to allow employers to keep on employees and pay them at least $1500 per fortnight. Speak to your employer about this option.

If you are self-employed you may also be eligible. Find out more here. In the meantime, you may still be eligible for a Centrelink payment.

Are you already receiving a JobSeeker (formerly Newstart) or a Youth Allowance job seeker payment?

YesNo

Sounds like you may be eligible for a job seeker payment.

Register your intention to claim

  1. Youth Allowance (for job seekers) if you are between 16 - 21 years
  2. JobSeeker Payment if you are between 22 or the age Pension Age (66 or older)
  3. Parenting Payment if you are a young child's main carer

Note: anyone receiving these payments will receive the temporary Coronavirus Supplement which is an extra $550 a fortnight payment on top of your income support payment.

This is a temporary payment that is schedule to stop 24 September 2020. Beyond this date, the Coronavirus Supplement will be available at $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020.

Go to myGov to log in and get started.

If you have lost your job or been stood down on or after 1 March 2020 your employer may be eligible for the "JobKeeper" payment. This is a government payment to allow employers to keep on employees and pay them at least $1500 per fortnight. Speak to your employer about this option.

If you are self-employed you may also be eligible. Find out more here. In the meantime, you may still be eligible for a Centrelink payment and should register your intention to claim.

You do not need to give Centrelink a bank statement, employment separation certificate or letter from your employer. Just lodge your intention to claim online and Centrelink will be in touch with you if they need more information.

You may be eligible for another type of Centrelink payment. Go to the Centrelink website to see what support you may be eligible for.

You can also check out the fact sheets here or call your local community legal centre for more advice.

You will need to log in to myGov to link your account. You can follow the tutorial to link your account to Medicare here or to the ATO here.

Once you have done this, click 'Yes' in the question above to continue.

Go to myGov to register for an account. You will need an email address to register.

Once you've set up the account click 'Yes' in the question above to continue.

Update Centrelink to your change in circumstances

(e.g. if your or your partner's income has changed or you have had shifts cut)

Centrelink is experiencing long delays. Please do not go to your local Centrelink office, instead:

  1. Online: you can update your change in circumstances through your myGov account
  2. Phone: if you cannot access your myGov account then you can phone Centrelink but be prepared to wait on hold

You will automatically receive:

  1. The Coronavirus supplement*

The Coronavirus Supplement is a temporary payment. JobSeeker recipients will receive the supplement until 24 September 2020 when it is scheduled to stop. Beyond this date, the Coronavirus Supplement will be available at $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020.

* an additional, temporary payment of $550 per fortnight to people receiving certain payments. Check if you are eligible here.

Find out more here.

Note: Mutual obligation recommenced on 4 August after being temporarily paused due to COVID-19. This means that your JobSeeker payment may be cancelled if you refuse suitable work without a reasonable excuse.

Sounds like you may be eligible for a job seeker payment.

Register your intention to Claim

  1. Youth Allowance (for job seekers) if you are between 16 - 21 years
  2. JobSeeker Payment if you are between 22 or the age Pension Age (66 or older)
  3. Parenting Payment if you are a young child's main carer

Anyone receiving these payments will receive the temporary Coronavirus Supplement which is an extra $550 a fortnight payment on top of your income support payment.

The Coronavirus Supplement is a temporary payment. JobSeeker recipients will receive the supplement until 24 September 2020 when it is scheduled to stop. Beyond this date, the Coronavirus Supplement will be available at $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020.

Go to myGov to log in and get started.

You do not need to give Centrelink a bank statement, employment separation certificate or letter from your employer. Just lodge your intention to claim online and Centrelink will be in touch with you if they need more information.

Note: Mutual obligation recommenced on 4 August after being temporarily paused due to COVID-19. This means that your JobSeeker payment may be cancelled if you refuse suitable work without a reasonable excuse.

Do Nothing.

You will automatically receive:

  1. The Coronavirus supplement

The Coronavirus supplement is an additional, temporary payment of $550 per fortnight to people receiving certain payments. Check if you are eligible here.

It is scheduled to stop 24 September 2020. Beyond this date, the Coronavirus Supplement will be available at $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020.

Find out more here.

Note: Mutual obligation requirements for the JobSeeker payment, Youth Allowance as a job seeker or Parenting Payment were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. They recommenced on 4 August 2020. That means that your JobSeeker payment may be cancelled if you refuse suitable work without a reasonable excuse.