Keeping your information safe

If you’re leaving a relationship or living with violence or abuse, there are some things you need to do to keep your personal information safe.

Call 000 if you are in immediate danger. To close this page and display another website use the quick exit button. Remember to clear your internet search history.

Talk to us if you’re concerned about your safety. You can call us on your regular payment line. If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, you can call our Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre on 1800 136 380.

To access 24/7 counselling and support, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Get and secure your personal identity documents

You may need your personal identity documents. This could include documents like a:

  • drivers licence
  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • state or territory issued marriage certificate
  • bank card
  • veterans card.

We have a full list of documents that can be used to prove your identity that you may want to get and secure.

If you have access to these documents, you may want to consider downloading and setting up the myGovID. This is an easy way to prove who you are online without needing to have your physical documents with you at all times.

If you don’t have access to your documents and you want to claim a payment from us, we can help you. We’ll work with you to find other options.

Talk to us if you’ve lost, or someone has stolen, your personal documents. You can also talk to us if you’re concerned about the security of your records. Call our Scams and Identity theft helpdesk on 1800 941 126.

Secure your myGov account and your Express Plus apps

You should change your passwords or PIN. This will make sure only you have access to your myGov and online accounts. You can also request additional passwords as extra security to protect your information with us.

You should change your account passwords and pins for the following:

  • any Express Plus mobile apps you use
  • your myGov account which will secure any member services you have linked such as Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support.

You might remain linked in our system with someone if you don’t update your personal details and relationship status. This could impact your payments. It also means that someone may have access to your current address.

If you’re concerned about the security of your records, call us on your regular payment line. If you think someone’s accessed your myGov account, call the myGov helpdesk.

Update your personal details with us

You’ll need to update your personal details with Medicare, Centrelink or Child Support. You can do this through myGovID. This could be a new phone number, home or postal address. Others may have access to this information. The following information will help you keep your personal information safe.

You should end any arrangements for someone to speak on your behalf. You will need to end these separately with Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support if you have them in place.

You should update your relationship status before updating your address. If you don’t, someone may have access to your updated address.

To secure your personal information it is important that you also:

  • update your relationship status with Centrelink
  • update your personal details separately with Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support
  • transfer yourself and your children to a new Medicare card
  • update your family Medicare Safety Net registration
  • check who has access to your child’s My Health Record that you may want to cancel.

You can update most of your details online using your myGov account, we have a range of online guides that step you through how to update your details for myGov, Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support. Please be aware you will need to update your details separately with each.

Arrangements for someone to speak on your behalf

If someone else deals with us on your behalf, they can see updates made to your personal details, until the arrangement is ended.

Please be aware that we will notify them if you change your circumstances, or end the arrangement.

Talk to us if you’re worried about your safety and someone else:

  • is getting and using your Centrelink payment or Medicare benefit
  • deals with Medicare, Centrelink or Child Support on your behalf
  • has access to your myGov, Medicare, Centrelink or Child Support online account.

You’ll need to cancel arrangements separately with all of the following:

Medicare card

You can transfer yourself and your dependents to a new Medicare card if you don’t want to remain on a current card. If you do this, anyone on your old Medicare card will be able to see that you are no longer on it.

You should transfer off your current Medicare card before updating your address. This is to avoid someone seeing your new address and services your children access.

Complete an Application to copy or transfer from one Medicare card to another form. You’ll get a new Medicare number and we’ll send your card in 3 to 4 weeks. We’ll send it to the address you give us.

You can use a digital copy of your Medicare card until your new card arrives in the mail. To use a digital version of your Medicare card, you need to:

  1. Sign in to the Express Plus Medicare app.
  2. Select the Card tab on the home screen.

My Health Record

Your or your child’s My Health Record can contain contact details, such as your address.

If this could put your family at risk, call the My Health Record help line.

Get a bank account in your own name

As part of your safety planning, you should have secure access to a bank account in your name only. If you’d like us to send your payments to a new account, you’ll need to change your bank account details.

You’ll need to do this separately for Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support.

Use our online guides to help guide you through how to:

If you are calling us about something else, you can ask to update your bank account details as part of your other business.

Redirect your mail

You may want to redirect your mail if you are living with violence or abuse, or separating from your partner. This can help to keep your information secure.

You may want to choose a secure home address or PO Box, depending on your situation. If you are affected by Family and Domestic Violence, Australia Post offers a Australia Post’s mail redirection for special circumstances, which allows access to a PO Box for free.

Check if you can get payments

Use our Payment and Service Finder to check if you can get a Centrelink payment.

If you already get a payment, you may need to meet participation or mutual obligation requirements to keep getting the payment. Talk to us, or your provider, if you can’t:

  • attend an appointment
  • meet your participation or mutual obligation requirements.

Child Support

You may also want to ask about child support. You can apply for a new child support assessment online. Call Child Support on 131 272 if you’re worried about risks to you and your families safety when seeking child support.

Stay safe online and other accounts to consider

If you are online, you may be vulnerable to abuse or to your information being accessible. There is advice available to help you.

It’s important you keep all of your sign in details private. If you share sign in details with anyone, you should change them immediately.

You should consider changing your passwords or PINs for all online accounts that hold personal information, for example:

  • Banks and credit unions
  • Insurance company
  • Superannuation
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Social media accounts.

eSafety

You can learn about online safety on the eSafety Commissioner website.

They have information and resources that can help you:

Australian Electoral Commission

Your address appears on the electoral roll. If you think this could put your family at risk, you can register as a silent elector. Contact the Australian Electoral Commission to do this. Read more about silent electors on the Australian Electoral Commission website.

Page last updated: 17 November 2022