How you can start an early claim for JobSeeker Payment

20 July 2020

You can start a claim for JobSeeker Payment up to 13 weeks before your circumstances change.

You may know your circumstances are going to change soon. If this is the case, there’s no need to wait until you start working less hours or lose your job. You can start a claim for JobSeeker Payment early if:

  • you’ll be working less hours and your income is under the test limits
  • you know you’re going to lose your job
  • you know your JobKeeper payment will stop soon and you’ll lose your income.

You can start your claim up to 13 weeks before your circumstances will change. This means if you’re told your employer will close in October, you can start your claim now.

Get ready to claim

To start your claim, you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you don’t have a myGov account it’s easy to set one up. Then you’ll need to link your myGov account to Centrelink. You need a Customer Reference Number (CRN) to do this.

Most people get a CRN when they claim their first payment or register their details with us. Your CRN stays the same. It doesn’t change and we don’t delete it if you no longer get a payment from us.

If you don’t have a CRN, you can get one through myGov. You don’t need to visit a service centre.

Start your claim early

  1. Select the menu in your Centrelink online account. Then select Payments and Claims, followed by Claims and Make a Claim.
  2. Select Get started from the Looking for work category.
  3. Answer each question and fill in your details. Make sure you tell us the date you expect your circumstances to change.
  4. Once you’ve added your details, your claim will be saved, ready to submit closer to when your circumstances change.
  5. We’ll send you an SMS and a myGov Inbox message 14 days before you told us your circumstances will change. You’ll need to review your details and upload supporting documents to complete your claim.

You should do this as soon as you can. We can’t assess your claim if you don’t confirm your details and provide the supporting documents we need.

What happens next

We won’t process your claim until you review and submit it. We’ll give you a receipt for your claim and you can track its progress, there’s no need to call us.

We’ll assess your claim as quickly as we can. We’ll let you know when your claim is finalised and what the outcome is.

Next steps

Talk to your employer to find out if your employment is going to change.

Check if you’re able to get JobSeeker Payment. You can also use our Payment and Service Finder to make sure it’s the right payment for you.

Read more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we may help.

Page last updated: 23 July 2020