Getting a medical certificate

If you get Special Benefit and can’t work or study for a short time you may need to give us a medical certificate.

This applies if you’re getting Special Benefit and you have mutual obligation requirements.

Why you need to give us a medical certificate

If you’re sick or injured, you may get a temporary incapacity exemption from your requirements. You’ll need to give us a medical certificate so we can work out if we’ll either:

  • give you an exemption
  • reduce or change your requirements.

If you can’t work or study because of coronavirus (COVID-19) you don’t need to give us a medical certificate. We’ll give you an exemption for up to 14 days if you’re either:

  • self-isolating
  • caring for someone who needs to self-isolate.

Call us on the Centrelink Employment Services line to let us know. We may ask for a medical certificate after 14 days if you still need to isolate.

What information you need to give us

Your medical certificate must include all of the following information:

  • what the sickness, injury or disability is
  • how long it will take for you to recover
  • the period you’ll be unable to work, participate or study.

It also needs to tell us if you’re unable to meet your requirements for at least 8 hours per week.

Types of medical certificates

There are 2 types of medical certificates you can give us, either a:

The preferred evidence is a Centrelink medical certificate form. This helps us assess your exemption request faster.

Who can complete a medical certificate

Only authorised medical doctors may complete and sign the Centrelink Medical Certificate form. A medical doctor is a person with recognised medical qualifications, such as a general practitioner, physician or surgeon. If you live in a rural or remote area without a doctor, a community nurse can complete your medical certificate.

Centrelink Medical Certificate form

Your doctor can either:

  • fill the Centrelink Medical Certificate form online, or print it and complete it by hand
  • give us a Centrelink Medical Certificate online using Health Professional Online Services.

Non-Centrelink Medical Certificate

Your doctor may choose to use their own form. We’ll accept it as long as it has the required details and your doctor signs it.

When to give us a medical certificate

You can do this if you’re sick or injured and you’re either:

Applying for an exemption when you claim Special Benefit

If you’re applying for an exemption when you claim, you’ll need to let us know if either of these apply:

  • you’re still doing paid work or study but you’re doing less hours because of your sickness or injury
  • you’re unable to look for work because of your sickness or injury.

You can submit your medical certificate as one of your supporting documents. Read about how to submit your documents.

Applying for an exemption if you’re already getting a Special Benefit

You can apply for an exemption at any time. Your medical certificate will help us decide if your sickness or injury affects your ability to either:

  • do any suitable work
  • participate in other activities such as online training.

How to give us your medical certificate

If your doctor gives you the completed medical certificate, you can submit it online

using either:

If you can’t submit it online, you can either:

Page last updated: 10 December 2021