My Number 1 Centrelink Tip

Online is best.

Claim online, update online, upload documents online, and check these details online.

I know this can be difficult for some clients and I recommend your clients work with advisers, family or other outsource services if this is something they are not comfortable with.

With the rapid amount of changes occurring in Centrelink, including new rules, and the large numbers of new and inexperienced staff, being aware of Centrelink’s current records for your clients, will allow you to make the correct updates. Checking this is completed correctly, again is easiest online. This will ensure your clients receive the right benefit as efficiently as possible, and potentially reduce any over payment and stress this causes.

No one wants to wait 30 minutes in Centrelink office queues to be directed to their online kiosk. In March 2020, we saw queues out the door for those in need of urgent support. No one has time to wait on hold for over 20 minutes (if you are lucky) to be informed that they can not complete your request, if you get that far and the line doesn't drop out.

Improvements to the online claim process has reduced some claim questions by about 70% for students, parents and jobseekers (from 100 questions to about 26). Your clients will be asked specific questions based on the information they provide. Then provided a list of exactly what supporting information is required to submit a claim. This will save valuable time and reduce confusion.

Developments for the myGov site have lead to increased performance since the famous online crash in March. We can expect to see more improvements on the myGov site, only in last few weeks we have seen changes to the Income and Assets pages and also a feedback page.

While there remains confusion and complexity for benefits, eligibility and means testing, there is a long way to go to see Centrelink complaints reduce from their current rates (over 261,000 in 2018-19). However, we know that continued efficiencies can be found online as the system is improved.

If you want to start seeing claims and updates processed for your clients in days and weeks rather than weeks and months, offer a Centrelink administration service focusing on an online process. Speak to us at AdviceLink for an outsource option and to gain access to our expertise in this area.

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