Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services are gearing up for public holiday arrangements and industrial action during April.
Department of Human Services General Manager, Hank Jongen, said service centres and most phone lines will be closed on Good Friday (14 April), Easter Monday (17 April) and Anzac Day (25 April).
“Automatic payments will not be delayed because of the holidays, but some people may receive their payments earlier than usual,” he said.
“If you receive an early payment it’s important to remember that this is not an extra payment.
“Payments are made as close to your regular payment date as possible, but you may need to budget carefully to ensure this payment lasts until your next payment is due.”
Mr Jongen said some reporting dates have changed for the Easter holidays, and if people are due to report on a closure date, they may need to report early.
“If you are due to report, you must do so before your payment can be processed. Reporting dates can be checked on your reporting statement using myGov, the department’s online options, or phone self-service. We would have also sent you a reminder.
”Changes to reporting dates do not affect the assessment period, and earnings estimates will still need to be reported for your normal 14-day period,” he explained.
While all face-to-face and most telephone services will be closed on the public holidays, full access to self-service options will still be available.
“You can still use your myGov account, Express Plus mobile apps and phone self-service to complete your business with us during the holiday period.
“People will be able to quickly and easily check their reporting dates, update their details, report their earnings, and even lodge some Medicare claims this way.”
The revised holiday arrangements will also not impact Child Support arrangements or the majority of Medicare services.
“Medicare claims can continue to be lodged at your doctor’s office or using self-service,” Mr Jongen said.
“Critical services for Medicare providers such as organ donor and PBS authorities will remain available over Easter and Anzac Day.”
People can transfer funds to their BasicsCard throughout the holiday period by using self-service or calling 1800 132 594 between 8am – 5pm. BasicsCard balances can be checked at any time by calling 1800 057 111.
Mr Jongen said the industrial action by the CPSU from Thursday (13 April) to Wednesday 26 April would not impact payments.
“The CPSU’s industrial action is designed to disrupt the face-to-face and telephone services we provide to the community,” Mr Jongen said.
“The timing is extremely poor as we have staff going the extra mile to support those recovering from disaster events in Queensland and New South Wales.
“Our priority is ensuring that those most vulnerable or with urgent queries get the support they need.
“Other recent stoppages have had minimal disruption and services will continue during this latest action. We ask people for patience and apologise in advance if anyone experiences delays, but don’t forget our self-service options can help you beat any queues.
“The CPSU’s actions will not change the department’s position in relation to the new Enterprise Agreement,” he said.
Find out more about holiday period reporting and payment dates at humanservices.gov.au/holidays
Information on self-service options is available at humanservices.gov.au/selfservice
Spoken by Department of Human Services General Manger Hank Jongen.
Download audio: April holiday arrangements 2017 grab 1 (MP3, 332KB)
Transcript 1: As well as our service centres and phone services being closed over the Easter and Anzac Day public holidays, some of our payment and reporting dates have changed.
Download audio: April holiday arrangements 2017 grab 2 (MP3, 424KB)
Transcript 2: The easiest way to check both payments and reporting dates is by visiting your Centrelink account, which is accessed through myGov, or via the Centrelink Express Plus mobile app.
Download audio: April holiday arrangements 2017 grab 3 (MP3, 424KB)
Transcript 3: Automatic payments will not be delayed over the holiday period, however people may be paid earlier than usual. These payments will be made as close as possible to your regular reporting day.
Download audio: April industrial action grab 1 (MP3, 378KB)
Transcript 4: Rest assured, we have arrangements in place to make sure that staff are available to help those in financial hardship and who need immediate assistance.
Download audio: April industrial action grab 2 (MP3, 239KB)
Transcript 5: Our priority is ensuring that those most vulnerable or with urgent queries get the support they need.
Download audio: April industrial action grab 3 (MP3, 471KB)
Transcript 6: The CPSU’s actions will not change the department’s position in relation to the new Enterprise Agreement and we’re disappointed it’s taking more industrial action while we continue to bargain in good faith.