Centrelink payments are provided by the Australian Government, and can provide payments and services to people who are eligible. There are many types of payments available, and we know that applying for Centrelink can be a confusing, and sometimes anxious, process. We’ve put together a fact sheet to answer some commonly asked questions about Centrelink, as well as other concessions and assistance that is available to people in Victoria.
Do I Need To Provide Any Other Documents?
Centrelink may ask you to provide some documents to help support your claim for a payment or service. This can include documents such as your tax file number, parent or guardian details, or doctor issued medical certificates. For a full list of the documents Centrelink may require, click here. You won’t have to guess which ones you might need, if any of these documents are required, Centrelink will let you know.
You can provide your documents to Centrelink in person by bringing them with you to a Centrelink office, or you can upload them online. To do this, you will need to create a myGov account. Read about myGov accounts in the section below.
Can I Access Centrelink Payments?
You might be eligible for Centrelink if you are a student or apprentice, have disability, Indigenous Australian, not currently employed, over 65, or from a diverse cultural or linguistic background. You may also be eligible if you have been financially impacted by COVID-19. The ‘Payment and Service Finder’ is an online tool provided by Centrelink that helps you to find which payments or services you can apply for. It will ask you to answer questions such as ‘Are you an Australian resident?’ and ‘What type of accommodation do you live in?’. To check it out, click here.
If you would like information specifically related to COVID-19 because it has financially impacted you, click here.
Will My Income Impact My Centrelink Payment?
Yes, your income may impact how much of a payment you are entitled to. To find out how, click the links below:
How Do I Confirm My Identity?
If you are applying for a Centrelink payment for the first time, you will need to provide Centrelink with some documents so that they can identify you, such as a driver’s license. You can find a list of identifying documents that Centrelink will accept on their website here.
What Are Mutual Obligations and Requirements?
If you are receiving the JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment single or Special Benefit payments, you are required to do some things to increase your chance of getting employment, and ensure that your payments continue. This might include attending your appointments and other activities. To read more about this, click here.
Centrelink Stopped My Payments, Now What?
If you’re payments have been stopped by Centrelink, you will need to contact your local Centrelink office, or, if you have one, your job service provider. They will be able to discuss with you what you need to do to have your payments reinstated. It’s important to remember that this is often a straightforward process, and you won’t be asked to do anything other than your normal obligations and requirements.
What’s A myGov Account?
A MyGov account is a useful way to access Centrelink online. Instead of waiting in line at a Centrelink office, you can do things such as provide documents, update your details, or report your income online through logging into your MyGov account. To create a MyGov account, click here. To find out how to upload your documents once you’ve done this, click here.
There are a number of other services you can link to your myGov account to access them all in the one place. These services include Medicare, the Australian Taxation Office, Australian JobSearch, My Aged Care, and others. For more information about this, click here.
If you are a public housing tenant, or a Victorian Housing Register applicant, you can also link HousingVic Online Services to your myGov account. You will be able to access information about your tenancy, or the status of your application, as well as receive digital mail, and make payments related to your tenancy. To read more about the online housing services, click here.
What is a Health Care Card?
A Health Care Card is a concession card that you may be eligible for. There are a number of benefits to having one, such as providing concessions on energy and electricity bills, public transport, medications, and other things. To find out more about Health Care Cards, including if you are eligible for one, click here.
What is a Pensioner Concession Card?
A Pensioner Concession Card is like a Health Care Card, but it is available to those who are aged 60 and over, or who have partial capacity to engage in paid work. You can only be eligible for one of these cards at a time. To find out more about Pensioner Concession Cards, including if you are eligible, click here.
Other Concessions Available
The Victorian Government offers some other concessions to those who are eligible:
A Seniors Card offers benefits such as free or concession public transport, and business discounts. You may be eligible for one if you are over 60, are a permanent resident of Australia and are working less than 35 hours per week in paid employment. If you are working more than 35 hours per week in paid employment, you may be eligible for a Seniors Business Discount Card. To find out more, including how to apply for one, click here.
A Carer Card offers a number of discounts. Carer Card are available to people who are the primary carer of a person with disability, severe medical condition or mental illness, or someone who is frail aged or in need of palliative care, or if you are a foster, kinship, or respite carer. To find out more about Carer Cards, click here.
A Myki Concession offers a 50% discount on public transport within Victoria. It’s available to international students, war veterans, carer card holders and a number of other people. To find out more about it, click here. In addition, some people are eligible for a Free Travel Pass. To find out if that’s you, click here.
What is a Crisis Payment?
If you are going through financial hardship because of extreme circumstances, you may be eligible for a one-off Crisis Payment from Centrelink. This payment is issued to help those who are dealing with crisis, such as experiencing family violence, have recently been released from prison, or gone through a natural disaster that is not covered by Disaster Recovery Payment. To find out more about the Crisis Payment, click here.
What Do I Do if I Have a Debt with Centrelink?
If you owe Centrelink any money, they are responsible for letting you know, telling you why, and explaining how and when you will be required to pay what is due. If this happens and you would like some further support, you can contact Centrelink to talk about a payment plan, or other things you would like help with. To find out more about this, click here.