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Centrelink flaw sees JobSeeker boost delayed for thousands

·3-min read
Thousands of Aussies need to wait another fortnight to receive their JobSeeker payments. Source: Getty
Thousands of Aussies need to wait another fortnight to receive their JobSeeker payments. Source: Getty

An income reporting blunder has left thousands of Aussies expecting the extra $550 Coronavirus Supplement boost today out-of-pocket, with payments now touted to flow later for some applicants.

To receive the extra payments, Aussies had to have reported their income to Centrelink over the period including 27 April, Centrelink said on Twitter.

“We’ll only start to pay the supplement once you’ve reported for the period that includes 27 April,” they stated. “As you reported on Friday, it won’t have included income for 27 April. This means you’ll start getting it with your next payment.”

But Treasury documents said: “The Coronavirus supplement will commence from 27 April 2020.”

And Centrelink said: “We’ll pay it to you automatically for up to 6 months from 27 April 2020 as part of your usual payment.”

The mixed messages weren’t lost on Aussies.

“I’m speechless,” Jeremy Poxon, Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union spokesperson tweeted.

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“This is just so unspeakably cruel. People expected to get the new supplement this week; they weren't told this information at all. Now they'll have to starve/wait for another 2 weeks?”

Poxon said the increase was meant to be “the light at the end of the tunnel” for many who were starving, and who told themselves to “just make it to the end of the month”.

“So that means that some Jobseekers have to wait TWO WEEKS longer than others for their JobSeeker supplement, until mid May,” one user said. “And we have already waited a month!” another added.

Reporting periods confirmed

In a social media post on 24 April, Services Australia confirmed payments would flow from 27 April, but would not necessarily enter all bank accounts that day.

“You’ll receive this with your fortnightly payment once you’ve reported income for the period that covers 27 April,” they stated.

If your reporting period is 11 April to 24 April, you will get paid from 27 April.

If your reporting period is 14 April to 27 April, you will be paid 28 April.

If your reporting period is 22 April to 5 May, you will be paid on 6 May.

How to claim JobSeeker

  1. To claim your JobSeeker online, you will need to have a myGov account linked to Centrelink. To do this, you’ll need your Centrelink Customer Reference Number CRN) to link your Centrelink online to myGov.

  2. If you don’t have a CRN, you’ll need to confirm your identity online through myGov - you no longer need to visit a service centre to do that.

  3. Get your supporting documents ready, however you’ll no longer need your employment separation certificate; bank statements; and proof of rental arrangements.

  4. Make your claim through the Centrelink portal on myGov.

This story has been updated on 27 April at 4.00pm AEST.

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