Registering at Centrelink for COVID-19 support

My Visit to Centrelink - Darren Vizer

So, this morning I joined Centrelink as I figured, until my online business for Mr Pilates gets going, I wanted to have some cash flow to support me.

My experience was, I lined up at 6:30am, an hour and a half before opening.  Queue was not that long at that time. By 7am it started to get long, by 7:30am so much longer. So my advice is to get there early.

For me, I felt I needed to commit to lining up and just get it done. It wasn’t that bad. Yes, it was a bit cold so I took a coffee, warm coat and beanie. People in the queue were all in the same boat so be patient when you get there.

I did try and phone the phone line (132850) but it was no use.

You need to get a Centrelink CRN (customer service number) which you can get online!  (I needed to go there because I couldn’t find mine.)

You will already have a CRN number if you’ve been on Centrelink before for AusStudy, Newstart, etc.

You first off need to have a mygov account. This link will take you there:

This is the link for Centrelink

Once I got inside it was quite pleasant, warm and calm.

I got to the front desk by around 9:30am.  They really know what they are doing & were very efficient. The guy who served me took me through what I need, it was quite easy.

I was out the door by 10am.

The main thing is to get your name down. If you have all your id ready, drivers license, passport, birth certificate, it helps. If you don’t have all your id you can upload it later.

When you fill out the documents, which they will guide you through, make sure you say “self-employed” if you run your own business. If you were employed by a Pilates studio you are unemployed, not self-employed.

I am not ashamed of signing up. I need it until I work out my cash flow for my business.

Once I stepped out of the building, I experienced a lot of joy and relief, and a lot of weight & anxiety lifted. I skipped home, knowing I now can focus on how to adjust my business, creating online streaming.


  • Anyone who has lost income, a sole trader, lost their business, can apply
  • Download the mygov ID app. It really helps verification
  • Have your id ready: driver’s licence, passport, birth certificate. It helps enormously
  • The Jobseeker allowance is $550 per fortnight which will be temporarily doubled with a corona virus supplement
  • MyGov  and Centrelink tends to crash due to the huge number of people logging on, so I found late at night, like midnight, the best time to go online


Warmly Darren Vizer

Registering your intention to claim a Centrelink payment - coronavirus

If you’ve lost your job or income has reduced due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and are:

You don’t need to complete a full claim right now, you can register your intention to claim a Centrelink payment at a later time and place that works for you. Your payment will be backdated.

You can do this online through myGov, you don’t need to visit a service centre to register your intention to claim. If you sign in to your MyGov account as of today, on the first landing page there is an ‘intent to claim’ tick box. Even if you’ve not yet linked Centrelink to your MyGov account the checkbox is there.

All future payments will be backdated to the day you tick it.

Once you’ve registered your intention to make a claim, Centrelink will contact you to let you know what the next steps are.

Centrelink – Registering your intent to claim – coronavirus

How to apply online for Jobseeker payment

  1. Check your eligibility for the JobSeeker payment using the below criteria:
    • Are you unemployed, looking for work and aged between 22 and Age Pension age? If these criteria do not apply, you may be eligible for another form of welfare. Check here.
    • Is your income per fortnight less than $1,075 if you’re single and not a principal carer? Note: For those who were told to take leave by their employer and are still getting paid, you cannot apply until your threshold is lower than the above limit.
    • The assets test and waiting period have been waived, so there is no need to worry about them.
  1. If you meet the above criteria, register for a myGov account. You will need an email address to do this.
  2. Login to myGov and go to your Centrelink online account. If you don’t have a Centrelink account, set-up your account through myGov using these instructions here.
  3. You may need to confirm your identity before you are able to set-up an account. This can now be done over the phone as a result of recent changes.
  4. Link your Centrelink account to your myGov account
  5. Go to your Centrelink account in myGov and select ‘make a claim’
  6. Under ‘looking for work’ select ‘get started’
  7. Note: you will need some supporting documents including an employer separation certificate from every employer you’ve finished working with in the last 12 months, bank account details, tax file number, income and assets, superannuation, PAYG certificates, pay slips and others.
  8. Answer the relevant questions and select ‘claim now’
  9. Lodge the claim and book your phone appointment
  10. Submit the claim.
  11. You can track the progress of your claim by going to MyGov and going to Centrelink.

NOTE: The government’s $550 coronavirus supplement will not be paid out until late April.