How to skip the Centrelink queue

As thousands of people race to Centrelink offices across Australia to apply for the JobSeeker allowance in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, here's how you can skip the queue and apply for the payment online.

1. Check your eligibility for the JobSeeker payment using the below criteria:

* Are you unemployed, looking for work and aged between 22 and Age Pension age? If these criteria do not apply, you may be eligible for another form of welfare. Check here.

* Is your income per fortnight less than $1075 if you're single and not a principal carer? Note: For those who were told to take leave by their employer and are still getting paid, you cannot apply until your threshold is lower than the above limit.

* The assets test and waiting period have been waived, so there is no need to worry about that.

2. If you meet the above criteria, register for a myGov account. You will need an email address to do this.

3. Log in to myGov and go to your Centrelink online account. If you don't have a Centrelink account, set-up your account through myGov using these instructions here.

4. You may need to confirm your identity before you are able to set-up an account. This can now be done over the phone as a result of recent changes.

5. Link your Centrelink account to your myGov account

6. Go to your Centrelink account in myGov and select "make a claim"

7. Under "looking for work" select "get started"

8. Note: you will need some supporting documents including an employer separation certificate from every employer you've finished working with in the last 12 months, bank account details, tax file number, income and assets, superannuation, PAYG certificates, pay slips and others.

9. Answer the relevant questions and select "claim now"

10. Lodge the claim and book your phone appointment

11. Submit the claim.


12. You can track the progress of your claim by going to MyGov and going to Centrelink.

NOTE: The Government's $550 coronavirus supplement will not be paid out until late April.


Originally published as How to skip the Centrelink queue