What your commitments are

You need to look for work or do activities to help you find work while you’re getting JobSeeker Payment. You won’t have to do these if you have an exemption.

We’ve suspended mutual obligation requirements for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance as a job seeker and Parenting Payment until 27 April 2020. This is due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

What you need to do

There are a few things you’ll need to do for JobSeeker Payment. 

You’ll need to do both of these:

  • report any income for you and your partner
  • tell us about any change to your circumstances.

You need to report these things to us every 2 weeks.

Keep in mind, if your circumstances change, you need to tell us as soon as possible.

Depending on your situation, you may also have mutual obligation requirements. This means to get your payment you must do 1 or both of these:

  • look and apply for jobs as part of your Job Plan
  • do activities to help you become job ready, such as training.

There are other options to help you meet your mutual obligation requirements if you’re:

How to report

You need to report to us using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app or through your Centrelink online account. This will keep us up to date on your situation and job search.

What a Job Plan is

A Job Plan is a record of the things you have agreed to do. This is to give you the best chance of getting a job.

You may need to make a Job Plan. If you do, you’ll negotiate your Job Plan with an employment services provider or with us.

The activities in your Job Plan will be tailored to your circumstances.

What happens if you can’t meet your mutual obligation requirements

Sometimes things happen in your life that stop you doing the activities in your Job Plan. First, talk to your employment services provider. They may be able to renegotiate your Job Plan, taking into consideration your situation.

When you can’t do any activities at all, we may give you a temporary exemption.

If you’re sick or injured you’ll need to give us a medical certificate. You can do this using your Centrelink online account through myGov. The medical certificate must state why you’re unfit to work and for how long.

Some other situations where we can give you a temporary exemption include where you:

  • have a major personal crisis, such as the death of an immediate family member, domestic violence or homelessness
  • experience a major disruption to your home, such as a fire or flood
  • have temporary caring responsibilities for an adult or child
  • meet the eligibility criteria for Widow Allowance and claim JobSeeker Payment.

What happens if you don’t meet your mutual obligation requirements

Unless we’ve given you an exemption, if you don’t continue to look for work, your payment may reduce or stop. Read more about:

If you don’t report changes to your situation, this may result in a debt you’ll need to repay.

Page last updated: 30 March 2020