Getting a medical certificate

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

Why you need to give us a medical certificate

You need to meet your mutual obligation requirements if you have them and you’re getting Parenting Payment.

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.

While we assess your request for an exemption, you need to keep meeting your mutual obligation requirements This includes attending appointments with your employment services provider.

Read more about what happens when you give us a medical certificate.

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 Families 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 do these things 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:

  • making a new claim for Parenting Payment
  • already getting Parenting Payment and you’re unable to meet your requirements.

Applying for an exemption when you claim Parenting Payment

If you’re applying for an exemption when you claim, you 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 due to sickness or injury.

You can submit your medical certificate as 1 of your supporting documents.

Read about how to submit your documents.

Applying for an exemption if you’re already getting Parenting Payment

You can apply for an exemption at any time.

Your medical certificate will help us decide how 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: 3 June 2021