Registering with Centrelink is necessary for you to receive JobSeeker payments and other benefits you may be entitled to if you’re looking for work, such as jobactive support.
Services Australia has a detailed guide to registering and claiming online. There are many steps to this process so give yourself plenty of time.
If you’re not able to register online, start by ringing the Job Seekers Line on 132 850. This phone service operates from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
Please note: Many of the rules and requirements for the JobSeeker Payment have been relaxed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, and a supplement has been introduced that increases the amount you will receive. You can find out more in the fact sheet called “Income Support for Individuals” available here and by visiting the Services Australia website here. When we refer below to “normal circumstances”, we mean times when the arrangements we are referring to have not been relaxed or changed due to the COVID-19 emergency.
In normal circumstances, when you apply for the JobSeeker Payment you’ll be asked to provide your tax file number and bank statements and have an assets test. If you were employed before you applied for the JobSeeker Payment, you’ll be asked to provide an employment separation certificate. This lists the payments you received when you finished work. You’ll need to ask your former employer to fill it out and return it to you within 14 days. There are many other documents you may have to provide in the first 14 days. They’re all listed in the online guide.
As part of the process, you’ll need to answer a phone call from Services Australia. They’ll talk to you about your obligations. One of those obligations in normal circumstances is usually that you’ll have to apply for an agreed number of jobs every fortnight.
You’ll also need to book an appointment with an employment service provider such as jobactive. You do have a choice about your jobactive provider, so it would be a good idea to have a look through the list of Tasmanian providers before your phone appointment with Services Australia.
Launceston Community Legal Centre can help with forms
The Launceston Community Legal Centre’s Legal Literacy program has highly trained volunteers who can help people living in northern Tasmania fill in Centrelink forms and other documents. Ring 6334 1577 or 1800 066 019 to make an appointment. These volunteers are also sometimes on duty in Centrelink offices to help people without an appointment.
During periods of physical distancing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, volunteers are not able to help in person.
There are alternatives to looking for work if you’re over 55
In normal circumstances, most job seekers who receive income support must enter into a mutual obligation agreement to do numerous activities.
If you’re over 55 you can choose to do combinations of self-employment, volunteering and paid employment. You can find more information about these arrangements here.
You can find information about starting your own business or doing volunteer work on our web page called “Other kinds of work“. These are options for people of any age, but to be able to count them towards your mutual obligations, you’ll need to meet the age requirements mentioned above. The voluntary work provider and the voluntary work will also have to be approved.