News

Clearing the confusion for Centrelink users in Shepparton

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Confusion and frustration reigned across Australia as newly unemployed people queued in lines at Centrelink to receive welfare payments this week.

On Tuesday morning, the MyGov website crashed once again leaving more than 100 000 people unable to apply for Centrelink benefits.

Speaking on the ABC's Mornings with Virginia Trioli, Victorian Trades Hall Secretary Luke Hilakari urged people to record failed attempts at registering for Centrelink's JobSeeker Payment.

“If you don’t do that, the day the clock starts on when you receive that allowance hasn’t started yet.

“You don’t have to complete the entire application, but you at least need to signal your intent to do that to Centrelink.

“If you can’t get online access or psychically get there, I would keep a record of your attempt to do so.”

Mr Hilakari said records could include screen shots showing the date and time of failed attempts, an email to a government authority or a picture of yourself in a Centrelink queue.

One concerned Shepparton parent was unsure whether his 23-year-old daughter on Youth Allowance as a student would be eligible for the newly announced $550 coronavirus supplement.

Shepparton-based Sofcorp Wealth lead advisor Tracey Sofra said the extra payment would be available to the woman from April 27.

“People do not need to physically go in to Centrelink to get a reference number as was the case in the past,” she said.

“People can call up online to get their reference number, and the application can be completed online on the Centrelink website.”

With household expenses hitting harder now with uncertain job prospects and rising unemployment, Sofcorp Wealth advised the Shepparton community to claim the Victorian Government's $50 power saving bonus for electricity and gas users.

For more information and to claim the payment, visit www.compare.energy.vic.gov.au

To see what payments you may be eligible for, use the payments and services finder on the Centrelink website.