Help with Centrelink and myGov

Recently unemployed or lost work?

If you’d like more information from Services Australia about payments visit Services Australia. Their information is also available in other languages.

Further information on Services Australia

Step 1 – Set up or log into your myGov account

A myGov account links your Services Australia, Workforce Australia, Medicare and Australian Taxation office services and helps you manage these with one password. 

  • If you already have a myGov account that is linked to Workforce Australia, log in and start by registering your intention to claim a payment. Now skip ahead to Step 4. 
  • If you do not have a myGov account, create one by heading here (with extra instructions around how to create an account here). If you’ve not linked services such as Medicare or the ATO before, this may take more time. 
  • If you are having any difficulty in setting up your account you can reach the myGov help desk here

Step 2 – Create a Workforce Australia account

To create a Workforce Australia account, you will need a Services Australia Customer Reference Number (CRN) or Services Australia Customer Access Number (CAN)
How to create a Workforce Australia account will vary depending on your situation. See which of the below best describes your situation and what you need to do next.

If you have received payments from Centrelink in the past but don’t know your CRN or CAN or don’t know if you have one

If you’ve ever received payments from Services Australia (for example, when you were a student), you may already have a Centrelink account. 

Even if you don’t have an online Services Australia account, you may have a Services Australia Customer Reference Number (CRN) or Centrelink Customer Access Number (CAN). 

By finding old emails, letters or documents from Services Australia, you may well be able to find your CRN or CAN.  

If you can’t, then you’ll need to call Services Australia (132 850). They will ask you some questions and either let you know your existing number, or if you don’t have one, they will set you up with a CRN.

If you have never received payments from Services Australia and definitely don’t have a CRN or CAN

In the past, to set up a CRN with Services Australia, you needed to provide three original documents in person to prove your identity.

To set up a CRN you can now call Services Australia. They will ask you questions that allow you to identify yourself and provide you with a CRN. 

Before that, you can register your intent to claim a payment through myGov without a CRN or CAN and they will backdate any future payments.

Step 3 – Link your Workforce Australia account in myGov

  • Log into your myGov account
  • Add or ‘link’ Workforce Australia to your existing services (ie. Medicare and/or the ATO). If you have trouble, you can follow this guide.

Step 4 – Make a claim

Once you have a myGov account linked to Services Australia, login and select your Services Australia account to start your claim. 
Select Payments and Claims from the menu > Claims > Make a Claim.

Every person’s circumstances are very different, so what documents Services Australia will require from you in order to assess your claim will be unique to you.

You’ll need to submit “required documents” immediately, and have 14 days to submit “supplementary documents”. 

If you require any help with Centrelink  or with lodging a claim, you can call them here

Step 5 – Book a phone appointment

As part of the claim process, you’ll need to book a phone appointment. You do not need to visit a Services Australia service centre.

Once you have made the appointment, make sure to answer the call from a private number at the agreed time. 

Once you have provided all the documentation and had your phone appointment, you will need to wait for your claim to be processed.

Step 6 – What happens if your claim is approved

If you are approved for a Centrelink payment, such as the Jobseeker payment, you will be required to fulfil what is known as “mutual obligations”. 

While you are receiving payments, your obligations will include things like applying for jobs or undergoing training. 

Some people, such as sole traders and self-employed people with a certain income, people caring for someone who has coronavirus or who is self-isolating, or even parents of children whose school has closed, may even have their mutual obligations waived.

In any case, Services Australia will let you know what is required of you while you are receiving the Services Australia payment. If your circumstances change, and you feel you may fit into one of the exemption categories, you will need to call Services Australia to advise them.

If you are unfamiliar with Services Australia payments, it is important to understand that failing to report changes in your circumstances, failing to check in on allocated days and attend appointments as directed by Services Australia can affect your payments under normal circumstances. 

It is important to understand what is expected of you and follow through at the required time to ensure your payments continue to arrive in your bank account on time. 

If appropriate, Services Australia will connect you to a local job services provider such as MAX. 

Learn more about our Employment Services

Having difficulty setting up your myGov account?

If you don’t have a myGov account, talk to us and we can help you set one up. Alternatively, the myGov help desk is open from:

Monday - Friday 7:00am - 10:00pm

Saturday - Sunday 10:00am - 5:00pm

Call the myGov help desk

Select option 1.