Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Centrelink arrangements for Christmas and New Year

Centrelink has made special arrangements over Christmas and New Year to ensure customers are not disadvantaged by the holidays, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today.

“Payments that are made automatically to customers who are not required to return a form or report their earnings over the phone will not be delayed by the holidays.

Some payments may be paid earlier than normal if the customer’s pay day falls on a public holiday.

“Customers who have to return forms will be sent a yellow form, instead of their regular white copy. They should check the date on the yellow form for the earliest date it can be returned.

“Most Newstart and Youth Allowance customers, and others who need to return forms prior to payment, will be able to return their forms earlier than usual. Payments are usually available the working day after a form is received by Centrelink.

“Some Pension and Parenting Payment customers who need to report their employment income fortnightly to receive payment, will also be able to report early. Payments are usually available two working days after a customer has reported their employment income to Centrelink.

“Customers reporting earnings to Centrelink Customer Service Centres will be advised in the fortnight before the holiday period if their arrangements have changed.

“Customers calling any of Centrelink’s ’13’ numbers will also be given details of any changed arrangements.

“To minimise the disruption to customers, payments that are made early will be advanced for as few working days as possible. However, customers should be aware that the next payment will be paid on the customer’s normal payment day. They need to budget carefully so the early payment lasts for one or two days extra,” Mr Anthony said.

All Centrelink offices will be closed on Thursday 25 December, Friday 26 December and Thursday 1 January 2004.