Slovenian Welfare & Information Office Inc.

Dealing with Centrelink and other social services

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Centrelink is an Australian Government agency delivering payments and services on behalf of a number of government departments including the following departments:

  • Department of Employment and Workplace Relations,
  • Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and
  • Department of Education, Science and Training

    Centrelink‚Äôs purpose is to assist people to become more self sufficient and improve the opportunities of people who are of working age to find a job, while supporting those in need.  Centrelink advises customers about all relevant service and payment options including referrals to providers of Australian Government employment services (Job Network, Disability Employment Network, Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Disability Supported Employment Services), Centrelink specialists, and other departments and agencies as appropriate.

    Centrelink also supports those who require special assistance during different life stages such as when they are planning for retirement, if they are ill, or experiencing a crisis.

    Centrelink provides assistance to people of working age, with capacity to work, to find suitable work or take part as fully as possible in the community.

    Centrelink has a range of options to help you find full-time or part-time work, to access community work, to access education and training, to assist you while you are undertaking a full-time Australian Apprenticeship or to assist you when entering the workforce.

    When you first contact Centrelink about Centrelink payments, it is generally to find out if you are eligible for payments or other assistance. To find out more about making a claim you can call Centrelink on 13 28 50,  visit or call in at your local Centrelink Customer Service Centre.

    If you are currently receiving a payment or concession card from Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office you must tell Centrelink if you are leaving Australia temporarily or permanently.  You should let Centrelink know at least six weeks before you leave, so it can be established how your payments will be affected.  If you need to leave in a hurry, tell Centrelink as soon as you can before you leave Australia.

    If you receive any Centrelink payment, you need to tell Centrelink about income and changes in your circumstances so that you can be paid the correct amount.  If you are overpaid benefits, you will probably have to pay money back.  A penalty may be imposed, if incorrect information has deliberately been given to Centrelink.

    The Family Assistance Office delivers a number of payments to assist you with the cost of raising your children.  Payments include the following:

  • Family Tax Benefit,
  • Child Care Benefit,
  • Baby Bonus, and
  • Maternity Immunisation Allowance.

You can find more information at any Medicare office, Centrelink Customer Service Centre or Tax Office shopfront.  You can also ask for it by phoning 13 61 50, by visiting: or

Information about Medicar

Having a valid Medicare card is important.  Medicare ensures that all Australians have access to free or low-cost medical, optometrical and hospital care while being free to choose private health services.  Medicare provides access to:

  • Free treatment as a public (Medicare) patient in a public hospital,
  • Free or subsidised treatment by practitioners such as doctors, including specialists, participating optometrists or dentists (specified services only).

Centrelink has a number of booklets that address the needs of specific customers.  The full range of customer booklets includes:

  • Are you a parent or guardian?
  • Are you separated or divorced?
  • Looking for work?
  • Studying or training?
  • Are you a farmer or self-employed?
  • Needing help in a crisis?
  • Recently moved to Australia?
  • Are you ill, injured or do you have a disability?
  • Caring for someone?
  • About to retire or in retirement?
  • Needing help after someone has died?
  • Centrelink-the basics.

Above listed booklets are available at any Centrelink Customer Service Centre.

For more information about Centrelink services ask at a Centrelink Customer Services Centre, phone 13 28 50 or visit:

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