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Topic: Do You Need Help With Centrelink Problems?

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Katy100
    Katy100 avatar
    85 posts
    15 January 2014
    I worked in the social security area for a couple of years, assisting people with various issues.   

    It's complicated, emotional and stressful to try and work through the various rules and regulations and often Centrelink staff don't know all the answers.  

    I'm happy to try and give some general advice.  

    Please, don't post any information you wouldn't want a total stranger to see, and don't give any personal details.  Please also note that information I give will NOT be professional legal advice.  You probably already know this, but I feel better after saying it.  


  2. Katy100
    Katy100 avatar
    85 posts
    16 January 2014 in reply to Katy100

    Well, I might give a few pieces of advice here, as I'm in the mood ... 

    Be polite to Centrelink staff.  Grit your teeth and try your best.  Easy enough to say, I know, and I nearly lost it yesterday with them, but it doesn't help.  The department is understaffed, has a high staff turnover rate, most are not well trained, and there is little job satisfaction.  If YOU are polite and maybe smile at them, they will be more inclined to help YOU.  

    If you can't be polite, then you can nominate another person to speak on your behalf.  This can be a friend, relative, or someone from a community legal centre.  

    Take notes when you talk to them in person.  If you are on the phone, ask for a Receipt Number.  Both these actions will inspire the staff to be more accurate in the information they give you.  

    If you are not happy with the information you get, check it.  Ring the Call Centre without giving your name and ask them the same questions.  Check the Centrelink website which has heaps of information on it.  

    If you are not satisfied by a decision Centrelink has made about you, appeal it.  Ask for a review by an Authorised Review Officer (ARO, pronounced arrow).  If you still aren't happy, then you can appeal their decision to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, and then to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

    This publication is great.  It contains heaps of information on Centrelink payments and is moderately understandable.  

    Keep all documents from Centrelink.  I filled my garage, converted my wine cellar, stuffed the spare room, and am currently renting another house to store my rapidly increasing documentation.   Take notes of conversations, as I said above.  

    One lovely thing about their website is that you can now upload documents online ... this means that you can reduce the number of visits to their office.  No more waiting and less frustration.  


  3. geoff
    geoff avatar
    3787 posts
    17 January 2014 in reply to Katy100

    dear Katy, well this information is well needed for so many people devastated by Centrelink and there confusing rules and entitlements.

    I have been a spoken for at least 6 or more people who just want to throw the towel in, but they needed more entitlement or information to be changed, forms to be sent out to them, and now I am about to do the same with my son, which I will do on Monday.

    I think that the wait to speak to someone is always putting off, but I know that you can get them to ring you back.

    The one thing that annoys me and I believe lots of other people is when the Rudd/Gillard circus was in power all the asylum seekers were automatically given Centrelink payments, housing and the list goes on, whereas anybody else had to struggle through the ropes to get anything, now this has stopped.

    I will keep you informed and thanks. L Geoff. x

  4. Katy100
    Katy100 avatar
    85 posts
    17 January 2014 in reply to geoff

    Thank you for those kind words, Geoff.  Good luck on Monday.  I should be around if you want to rant or vent or ask questions :)

    I think that it's hard enough to deal with Centrelink anyway, but when you're depressed it is so much tougher.  

    Another good thing to do with Centrelink is to ask to talk to a social worker.  This generally gets you an interview in a private room with someone trained to deal with emotional issues.  

    People can also ask to talk to a "financial advisor".  This is generally over the phone, but they will try and work with you to organise your money.  You can choose to have some payments come straight out of your Centrelink income to pay regular bills.

    *** I'm using the general "you" ***


  5. Miss
    Miss avatar
    2 posts
    15 July 2014 in reply to Katy100

    I am in desperate need of some help in regards to Centrelink.


    I was getting youth allowance for study last year but was depressed and anxious to the point where I couldn't leave my bedroom to get ready to go to work placement for my study when my house mate was home and it all caught up with me recently when they stopped my payment and I was asked if I finished my course which I obviously hadn't and I now owe centrelink $15,000 and I have no idea what I'm going to do!

    I didn't see a councillor because I had used my ten free ones and my councillor was my house mates aunty. (she helped moved me there because I

    tried to kill myself because of my mum) 


    I am dreading trying to appeal because I don't want to go through such stress for nothing (I am extremely anxious about talking on the phone, it takes me the majority of a day to work myself up into doing it) And

    I am absolutely terrified of going back to centrelink for more money in order to pay it off in lots because what if it all happens again and I owe them $30,000!!!



    Please help me. I am due to be married in August and I am on Zoloft at the moment but it isnt working and I am afraid it will all be too much for me one day and I really don't want to break my fiance's heart. :(

    beyondblue’s clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.


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