Please take note that you should consult your adviser first before taking some action from this article.
Losing your job is one of the difficult things anyone can face. Fortunately, the Australian Government Department of Human Services can help you immediately following your job loss, firing, or retrenching. Centrelink is responsible for helping unemployed and low-income Australians sustain themselves until they are able to regain employment.
Do You Qualify for Australian Unemployment Benefits?
To receive benefits after a job loss, you need to be a citizen of Australia or a permanent resident. New residents must have 104 total weeks of residency before they can claim benefits. These weeks do not have to be continuous.
File for Benefits Immediately
If you’ve lost your job, do not delay in contacting Centrelink. Centrelink requires notification by phone or, more formally, by writing. This is known as your “intention to claim.” Once Centrelink receives your intention, they will offer you an appointment for an interview.
To register your intention and make an appointment with Centrelink, visit a customer service centre or call 13 28 50.
What to Bring to Your Appointment
When you have your appointment with Centrelink at one of their 300 customer service centres throughout Australia, you should bring the following documentation:
- Start and end dates for your job
- Recent pay stubs, cheque receipts, or electronic banking deposits
- Official government-issued identification listing your current address
- Listing of current assets
- Any additional income you may be bringing in, and proof of it
Newstart Allowance is specifically reserved for individuals committed to gaining sustainable full-time employment during a period of unemployment. Newstart relies on an assessment which includes an evaluation of your skills and other professional positions you may have recently held.
To qualify for a Newstart Allowance, you must be:
- Too young to qualify for a pension
- 22 years of age or older
- Seeking full-time employment
If you don’t have your Year 12 school certificate, you may be required to pursue a course of study to qualify for Youth Allowance.
To get Youth Allowance, you must be:
- Age 16-21
- Actively looking for full-time work
- Up to age 24 (if in an Australian Apprenticeship or studying full-time)
If you’re a single parent with a child eight years or younger or a parent with a partner and have a child six years or younger, you may qualify for a Parenting Payment. This provides financial assistance to you, as your child needs your care and attention. If you qualify, a Parenting Payment can help you get by.
Remember, Newstart Allowance exists to pay your expenses while you focus on finding new employment. Once you get your Allowance set up, it’s time to get to work. Utilise Centrelink’s additional resources to find new opportunities.
Job loss is one of the most difficult things you can face – with some resilience and a bit of help, you’ll be back on your feet in no time. In addition to government assistance, there are potential finance options available to help with bills as you look for work.