We understand that families are under high amounts of pressure and stress during the course of their child’s treatment and beyond. Understanding and navigating Centrelink is difficult and confusing. Here we’re highlighting a few tips about Centrelink and other options that may be relevant to you and your family.
Tips for accessing Centrelink
services and payments
Speak to a Social Worker at your Centrelink office
Social Workers can help with your application and direct you to the most appropriate payment depending on your situation. Centrelink Social Workers can also assist you with information, short term counselling, referrals to support services and the payment claims process.
You can contact a Social Worker by asking for one in a Centrelink office or by calling the Social Work Line on 132 850.
Often the more supporting documents, the better. Centrelink works from an evidence perspective so the more evidence you provide, like Official Letters, Doctor’s certificates, Legal papers, Payslips, Medical Information. Etc, the more change of your claim being processed quickly and approved.
Ask for a temporary Medicare or Health Care Card while waiting for your application to be processed. This will allow you to get discounts while waiting the 6-8 weeks that applications usually take to be finalised. You can also access your Health Care Card in the digital wallet on the Centrelink App.
Go into a Centrelink Office
Speak to Centrelink staff in person when it’s possible and safe to do so, rather than over the phone. Centrelink receives around a million calls a day and wait times can easily be up to 3 hours. If you do need to call Centrelink, 8am and 3pm are often the best times.
Consider all your claim options
You might be eligible for more than one Centrelink benefit, or you may be eligible for a different payment you don’t know about. Try the ‘Payment Finder’ tool on the Centrelink website. It is a good first step in exploring your eligibility to Centrelink options.
Click here to go to Centrelink’s Payment Finder Tool
Claims and additions made during COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, there have been changes made to some payments and services, such as Job Seeker.
Click here for more information
Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
There are additional resources available if you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, including the Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre. You can call them Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm on 1800 136 380.
Click here to see more payments and supports for Indigenous Australians
Benefits that Redkite families
may be eligible for
An income support payment if you give constant care to someone who has a severe disability or illness. It is means-tested.
A supplement that you can apply for separately to the Carer Payment. This allowance is not means-tested.
Carer Adjustment Payment
A one-off payment of $10,000. This is limited to the child being under 7 years of age at the time of illness or disability.
A Low-Income Healthcare Card
A card that can allow you to access bulk-billed doctor visits, cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and lower your threshold for the Medicare Safety Net. Depending on your state or territory, you may also be able to access discounts on electricity and gas bills, property and water rates, public transport and motor vehicle registration.
Family Tax Benefit
A two-part payment that helps with the cost of raising children
An additional supplement if you’re receiving certain other Centrelink payments.
Make sure to remember
Follow up missed calls
Follow up any missed calls from Centrelink by ringing back on the relevant phone number. This depends on the claim you’ve applied for. If you miss a call, there is a high chance that your claim will have additional waiting periods or be cancelled altogether.
If your claim is rejected
If your claim is rejected you have the right to ask why it was rejected and appeal the decision. You may have the option of resubmitting your claim with additional evidence or editing your answers. If this option is not successful, you can get additional support from the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Connect with a Redkite Social Worker over the phone, via email or over video and together we can support you to apply for these payments and find more ways to help you and your family that are specific to your circumstances.
Call us on 1800 REDKITE (1800 733 548) or email us at email@example.com
Please note: This tip sheet aims to give you some information and options when looking into Centrelink claims and benefits. If you want or need more specific information or help, please look up the Centrelink website or speak to a Financial Advisor regarding your situation as not all the options mentioned may be beneficial or applicable to you.