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How to Apply for Centrelink Benefits

centrelinkIf you are a low-income earner and are having difficulty making ends meet, you may be eligible for some governmental benefits through Centrelink. Eligibility requirement vary depending on the type of benefits you are applying for, but the application process is the same for all these benefits.
It is important for you to understand how the Centrelink process works before applying for benefits. This will help to ensure that you receive all the benefits you deserve, which can help alleviate some of your financial pressure.

Gather all Your Financial Information
The first step is to gather all of your financial information together in one place. This includes all of your personal documents, such as your driver’s license and Australian Taxation Number, and any financial information. You will be asked questions about your earnings and any assets you may have, so have this information readily available. You may also need information about your rent and other household bills.

Complete Application
The next step is to complete the Centrelink application. You can request this application by phone or mail, or stop by your local Centrelink Customer Service office. You can also complete the application online through the Centrelink website. They have all the forms needed online, so you can easily print them out to complete. Be sure to complete the application form an accurately as possible, because your answers are likely to directly affect your eligibility and how much you may receive. Once completed submit your application to the Centrelink office either online, in person, or by mail.

Face-to-Face Interview
Once your application is received at the Centrelink office, they will review it to determine what benefits you may be eligible for. At this point, a Centrelink work may contact you by phone to perform a short phone interview to gather additional information. A face-to-face interview will then be set up and you must attend this meeting if you want to receive benefits. You will likely be required to bring certain documents long to your meeting, such as several forms of identification, and proof of earnings and assets. Be sure to take all of the required documentation with you to avoid any delays in receive you benefits.

At this interview, the Centrelink representative will tell you what benefits you are eligible for and how much you will receive. The representative may also tell you about other programs in your area that you may also qualify for. Once all the documents are in place, you will start receiving regular payments. Oftentimes, these payments are made directly to your bank account.

Review and Appeal
If you are not happy with the decision made by the Centrelink representative in regards to your benefits, you may file an appeal. The Department of Human Services will do an internal review to see if that right decision was made in regards to your benefits. If it is deemed that the decision was incorrect, you will receive back pay for any payments that were missed during the review process.

It is your obligation to report any changes in your income or family size to the Centrelink office immediately. You must also report any changes to your address in a timely manner. This helps the Centrelink office ensure that you are receiving all the benefits you and your family deserve. Not reporting these necessary changes could result in the loss of benefits, or you may be ordered to return a portion of the benefits already paid to you. For other forms of financial help visit our options page.

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