How Do Centrelink Entitlements Work?

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Centrelink is a Government service that provides help to Australians in need of financial support. These entitlements are offered to a number of people with different backgrounds and hardships. 

There are a number of Centrelink payments and entitlements available, and each comes with its own criteria and benefits. Learning how these entitlements work and seeing if you’re eligible will help you take full advantage of any government assistance available to you. You don’t have to face financial hardship alone, and these programs exist for good reason. 

What is Centrelink?

The Centrelink Master Program, more widely known as Centrelink, is part of the Department of Human Services through the Australian Government. It’s a resource which offers a range of Government payments and services to people who need extra help. The majority of these services are funded through social security payments. 

Centrelink helps all of the following groups of people:

  • The unemployed
  • Families
  • Caregivers
  • People with disabilities
  • Students
  • Apprentices
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Refugees
  • And more

The more you know about Centrelink, the more empowered you’ll be to use the services and resources available to you. 

How Do I Receive Centrelink Entitlements?

How exactly do these entitlements work? How do you access them? It’s a surprisingly simple process. You can actually claim benefits online as long as you qualify. Here are the appropriate steps to take:

  • Find your program – First,  you need to identify a program that fits your situation. If you’re a student, a single parent, or so on, you’ll need to learn about your particular Centrelink entitlements. For a full list of programs and services, visit the Centrelink website
  • Learn whether or not you qualify – Next, you’ll need to determine if you qualify. There are usually a number of qualifications, and they might have to do with age, location, citizenship status, income, and more.
  • Apply online – If you do qualify, you can apply online. You’ll first need to register for a Centrelink account. From there, you can apply online by answering a few questions about your circumstances. 
  • Book an appointment – In some cases, you might need to book an appointment to show proof of identification and your situation. These are very straightforward meetings and nothing to be intimidated by, but be prepared with proper documentation and IDs. 
  • Wait for approval – Finally, wait for your approval. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll be entitled to your Centrelink benefits and entitlements. Be sure to take full advantage of all the resources at your disposal. They’re available for a reason! 

Common Centrelink Entitlements

Because there can be an intimidating number of Centrelink entitlements, let’s break down the most common ones and what you can expect from each program. These are the ones that are most well-known in Australia, though they aren’t always fully utilised by those who are eligible. 

  • The Age Pension – This is a fortnightly payment which provides income support to Australians in their retirement years. The amount of Age Pension you receive will be dependent on your assets. 
  • Carer Payment – If you’re a parent or care provider who gives constant daily care to someone who is 16 years of age or older with a disability or medical condition, you might be able to get the Carer Payment which provides Rent Assistance and lump sum payments.
  • Disability Support Pension – If you’re unable to work due to a disability or health condition, this pension is for you. To be eligible, you must be 16 years of age or older and have been assessed as having a physical, intellectual, or mental health condition that has been documented by a medical professional. This condition must mean you’re unable to work or be retrained for work.
  • Family Tax Benefit – This is a 2-part payment that helps with the cost of raising children. If you have a dependent child or full-time student aged 16-19 and you meet income requirements, you might be eligible for a payment for each child in your care. 
  • JobSeeker Payment – If you’re over 22 and under the Age Pension age, you can get this payment while you’re searching for a job. If you’re looking for work, recently lost your partner, or are unable to work temporarily due to sickness or injury, this can help with an income support payment. 
  • Parenting Payment – If you’re a young child’s main carer, you can claim this entitlement. To be eligible, you must have income under the limits and be the principal carer for a child under 8 if you’re single and under 6 if you’re partnered.
  • Youth Allowance – The Youth Allowance is a payment intended to support people between the ages of 16 – 24. To be eligible, you must be studying full-time, pursuing an apprenticeship, training, or actively seeking work. 

Take Advantage of Your Centrelink Entitlements

It can often be confusing to understand the full range of Centrelink entitlements. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to check your eligibility and apply for benefits online. These services exist for a reason. Make sure you’re putting them to good use if you qualify. 

For assistance understanding which Centrelink entitlement fits your needs, contact a friendly professional at Debt Busters today on 1300 368 322. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, we can help you navigate the resources and benefits available to you. 

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