Financial aid

Guide to dealing with Centrelink

Further information

Contact

Centrelink can be contacted in the following ways:

Opening hours for Centrelink are 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

The UWA Student Guild can also help members with Centrelink enquiries.

Because Centrelink staff are responsible for dealing with many different Centrelink benefits, you may find that, on occasion, you are provided with different information from different Centrelink staff.

The following guide will help you to deal successfully with Centrelink.

  1. Contact
  2. Applications
  3. Appointments
  4. Changes to your circumstances
  5. Disputes

Contact

  • When telephoning, it pays to take note of when you called, to whom you spoke and what was discussed. You may need this information if a dispute arises.
  • It is extremely important that you make sure that the address Centrelink has on file for you is current at all times. If you do not respond to a request from Centrelink for information, Centrelink will cancel your payment immediately.
  • Further information on contacting Centrelink can be found on their website.
  • For inquiries regarding Youth Allowance and Austudy, contact Youth and Student Services on 13 2490.
  • For ABSTUDY inquiries contact 13 2317.

Find the location of the Centrelink Office closest to you.

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Applications

Applications for youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY are submitted online through the Centrelink website.

  • When lodging your first Centrelink application, ensure that you provide adequate identification to meet Centrelink's 100 point test. (Refer to the information contained in the booklet Information you need to know about your claim for Youth Allowance/Austudy.)
  • Keep a copy of all information you provide to Centrelink (It is useful to be able to read these documents again if Centrelink subsequently wants to contact or question you about documents you have submitted.

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Appointments

  • If you need to make an appointment to meet personally with a member of Centrelink staff then use the Call Centre number 13 10 21 to arrange the appointment.
  • Ensure that you are punctual for Centrelink appointments. If you are late it may mean you will have to re-schedule your appointment and possibly wait for up to 14 days for the next available interview time. Make sure you take all necessary forms/paperwork to the interview.

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Changes to your circumstances

  • Notify Centrelink of any changes to your circumstances, even if you feel it won't change matters, such as changes in part-time employment, pay dates, change of address, change in study hours and the like. You will need to quote your Customer Reference number when contacting Centrelink by telephone. This is usually far quicker than visiting a Centrelink office.
  • If you receive a letter from Centrelink stating that you have been overpaid you must ensure you respond to the letter by the date indicated. However, it is a good idea to seek advice before contacting Centrelink. If in doubt, speak to the Student Financial Aid Officer in Student Services or Welfare Rights or an Education Officer in the Guild.

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Disputes

  • If you are having difficulties dealing with Centrelink, try to remain calm and systematically work through or discuss the problem with the Centrelink staff member. Remember that it is ok to be assertive but not aggressive.
  • If you are unhappy with a Centrelink decision, you have the right to request a review of the decision. The quickest way to have the decision reviewed is to speak to the person who made the decision. Centrelink has produced an information sheet entitled Review of a Centrelink decision. (Please be aware that you have only 13 weeks in which to ask for a review to be undertaken. After the expiry of that period, if the decision is reviewed and found to be incorrect your payment will only be backdated to the date you asked for the review.)

If you have any questions regarding Centrelink benefits, contact the Student Financial Aid Officer.

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