Change of circumstances

You must tell us if things change as it may affect your JobSeeker Payment.

You need to tell us about a change in your circumstances within 14 days. If you don’t, we may pay you too much. This means you’ll have a debt you need to pay back.

If your circumstances change it may also affect the child support payments you make or receive.

Why you need to tell us about changes within 14 days

You need to tell us about any changes to your circumstances within 14 days, in accordance with social security law. These changes include your partners’ circumstances.

If you don’t tell us, it may affect your payment. You may need to pay back money we’ve paid you. If you’re dishonest in order to get a payment, you’re committing welfare fraud. Read more about how to avoid committing fraud.

What you need to tell us

Here are some examples of changes you must tell us about.

If your employment changes

Tell us if any of these things happen:

  • your work hours change
  • you start or stop work
  • you change jobs
  • you get compensation, leave or redundancy payments.

If your personal situation changes

You need to tell us if your personal situation changes. This could be a change to where you live, your family situation, finances, work or study.

You need to give us proof of your rental arrangements to get Rent Assistance.

If your home situation changes

You need to tell us about changes if:

  • you can’t work or study for a short time
  • you change your address or contact details
  • you’re single and start sharing accommodation with a non-family member who’s 16 or older
  • you move into or out of long term care, like a nursing home or hostel, due to injury or disability
  • you’re leaving the country, for a short time, or to live somewhere else
  • you’re in lawful custody.

Changes about Rent Assistance

If you get Rent Assistance, you also need to tell us if any of these things happen. You:

  • stop paying rent, or the amount of rent you pay changes
  • start paying rent to a state, territory or Commonwealth Housing Authority.

If your relationship changes

You need to tell us if:

  • you marry or start living with your partner
  • you separate from your partner.

You need to complete the:

If your financial situation changes

You need to tell us if any of the following change:

  • your bank details
  • you or your partner open or close a bank account
  • a change to you or your partner’s income or financial assets more than $2,000
  • buying or selling a car, house or other assets.

You can manage your income and asset details through your Centrelink online account.

If your personal, work or study situation changes

You need to tell us if any of the following change:

  • you change or correct your name
  • your study, including any changes to your study load
  • you’re sick, injured or unable to do your usual mutual obligation requirements, work or study for a short time
  • you start or stop getting a pension, benefit or allowance.

You can also update your gender identity if you choose to do so.

You’ll need to give us a medical certificate if you’re sick or injured.

If your family situation changes

You need to tell us about changes to your family situation. This includes if an immediate family member dies.

Changes about a child

Tell us if any of these things happen:

  • you have a child or take care of a dependent child who is 16 years of age or younger
  • your dependent child who is 16 years of age or younger leaves home, or gets a pension, benefit or allowance
  • your dependent child is in custody on remand, in a psychiatric institution or in prison.

Changes about your partner

Tell us if your partner does any of these things. They:

  • start or stop working
  • have income or assets change
  • get ABSTUDY, a pension, benefit or allowance.

You must also tell us within 14 days if your partner dies. Recognising this will be a difficult time for you, we have advice and help on what to do when a loved one dies.

If you need to change or correct your name

It’s important to tell us if you change your legal name.

To change or correct your legal name, we’ll need:

  • an original document issued by a state or territory Births, Deaths and Marriages registry
  • your consent to verify the document.

You need to bring your document to a service centre so we can update our records.

How to tell us

You can tell us about a change to your circumstances using one of these self service options:

Read more about what you can do using self service.

If you don’t have access to a self service option please call the job seekers line.

Page last updated: 7 September 2022