Changes to claims and your obligations

We’ve made changes so it’s easier for you to claim and keep your payments.

How to check what you can get

Use our guide to check what you can get. It can help you find the payment that’s right for you.

What the changes are to debt activities

We’ve paused a range of debt raising and recovery activities connected to social security payments, including Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Subsidy.

This ensures that during these difficult times you can focus on your personal situation.

This pause will not apply if you already have a payment arrangement in place. If you want to keep paying off your debt, you don’t need to do anything. If you need to reduce, pause or stop your repayments, you need to call us on the Centrelink debt line.

This pause will not apply to debt related activity connected to serious non-compliance or fraud.

How to claim a payment

You don’t need to visit a service centre to prove your identity to claim a Centrelink payment. Using your myGov account you can:

For JobSeeker claims, you can also claim through the Centrelink Express Plus app.

If you’re claiming a payment you don’t need to give us these:

  • bank statement
  • Employment Separation Certificate
  • letter from your employer
  • relationship verification form
  • information about your assets
  • proof of rental arrangements
  • partner confirmation.

We’ll still need information about your income, where you live and who you live with.

What changes apply to partner income

For JobSeeker Payment, we’re increasing the amount your partner can earn before it affects your eligibility and payment amount. From 27 April 2020, the partner income limit at which your payment will cancel temporarily increases to $3,068.50 gross per fortnight. If you earn any income, it will also count in this income test.

If you submitted a claim between 23 March and 26 April 2020 we’ll reassess your claim with the higher income limit. You don’t need to contact us or submit your claim again.

What the changes are to requirements and waiting periods

We’ve suspended mutual obligation requirements for:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance as a job seeker
  • Parenting Payment
  • Special Benefit.

During this time, you can choose to go to appointments with your provider and take part in your activities. However, it won’t affect your payment if you don’t do these things.

You still need to report your income every fortnight so we pay you the right amount.

We’ve suspended participation requirements until for Disability Support Pension.

We’ll let you know when mutual obligations and participation requirements start again.

We’ve removed the assets test for:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Austudy

We’ve removed the liquid assets waiting period for:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Austudy.

We’ve removed the non-payment period for moving to an area of lower employment prospects for:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance for job seekers
  • Special Benefit as a nominated visa holder.

We’ve also removed the newly arrived residents waiting period and seasonal work preclusion period for:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Austudy
  • Parenting Payment
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit.

We’ve stopped Mobility Allowance reviews. If you’re already getting Mobility Allowance, this won’t affect your payment.

Page last updated: 29 May 2020