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Change in Centrelink requirements if you live in these areas

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
People line up outside a Centrelink office.
Some Centrelink recipients in Queensland will have their mutual obligation requirements paused. (Source: Getty)

Some Centrelink recipients will have their mutual obligation requirements paused due to “site issues” in Queensland.

The pause affects some job seekers living in:

  • Cairns

  • Mackay

  • Darling Downs

Services Australia said affected participants would get an SMS message from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

If you’re affected and have questions, call the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

Mutual obligation requirements are tasks and activities recipients have agreed to do while getting certain payments.

Penalties can apply if you don’t meet them but residents in those three areas will not be penalised while the pause is in place.

Who has mutual obligation requirements?

You have mutual obligation requirements if you get any of these:

You’ll need to meet mutual obligation requirements if you’re both:

What are the requirements?

If you’re a job seeker you must:

  • Do all the tasks and activities listed in your Job Plan

  • Go to appointments with your employment services provider

  • Complete and report your job searches

  • Go to all job interviews

  • Accept any offer of suitable paid work

  • Not leave a job, training course or program without a valid reason

If you don’t meet your mutual obligation requirements, suspensions, demerits or financial penalties may apply.

What penalties apply?

If you don't meet your mutual obligation requirements you may have your payment suspended and you could get a demerit.

If you get three demerits in six months you will need to attend a capability interview to discuss your circumstances.

If you get five demerits in six months you will need a capability assessment to ensure your requirements are reasonable for the circumstances.

The most serious penalties include losing your fortnightly payment or having your payment cancelled entirely.

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