Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Media release: Update on Government Services

25 March 2020

The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services
  • myGov available with increased capacity.
  • New simple online ‘intent to claim’ process for JobSeeker Payment through myGov.
  • Please, do not go to a Services Australia service centre – apply at my.gov.au
  • More staff to process claims – redeployed more than 1,500 staff within Services Australia to assist with taking calls and processing claims – and we’re training new staff.

In response to unprecedented demand to myGov and Centrelink services, Services Australia has been continuing to bolster capacity to help more Australians access government support payments.

We urge people who are already on a payment not to contact Services Australia at this time so we can focus on supporting people who are now out of work.

If you’re already on a payment that is eligible for the Economic Support Payment or the Coronavirus Supplement you do not need to do anything – you will get paid automatically.

myGov

myGov has been continually upgraded from around 6,000 concurrent users last week to 40,000 over the weekend to 150,000 yesterday. We’re adding more capacity where we can. myGov has been accessible throughout the day today.

We’re upgrading myGov capacity by creating more load space in our ICT systems to accommodate the surge in demand. We are continuing to monitor the situation and adjust so we can allow as many people to use myGov without compromising overall systems stability.

Today, we have facilitated 2.6 million logins to myGov. We will continue to run the myGov service 24/7 and progressively increase its capacity as required, as we have over recent days and months.

To put this in perspective, the previous busiest day for myGov was during the July 2019 taxtime period, where the peak was 1.8 million logins in one single day.

New ‘intent to claim’ process

Services Australia has launched an online ‘intent to claim’ function through myGov, making it easier to register for much needed financial support in minutes, eliminating the need to call or come into a Services Australia service centre to get the claim process underway.

To access the online intent to claim you just need a myGov account linked to Medicare or Australian Taxation Office services. Once you’ve linked either of these services, you will see a prompt on your myGov welcome page to register your intention to claim.

Once someone lodges an intent to claim through myGov, Services Australia will contact them as soon as possible to talk through the next steps. For new customers this will include support setting up a Customer Reference Number (CRN).

People no longer have to provide separation certificates to claim JobSeeker Payment

Claims will be backdated to when someone first tried to contact Centrelink or lodged an intent to claim. If someone tried to apply for a payment in recent days and were unable to access either myGov, a Services Australia service centre or call centre to make the claim, they will be backdated to Monday 23 March 2020 at the earliest. Confirmation of backdating will be via phone if their claim is approved.

More than 280,000 people have already lodged an ‘intent to claim’ as at 2.30pm AEDT today.

Service centre queues

We’re both discouraging people from visiting service centres while also providing information to people in queues about the other ways to access support.

Mutual obligation requirements for JobSeeker Payment have been lifted until 31 March 2020, which means no one will be penalised for not being able to report their attendance at appointments or activities – no one’s payments will be suspended and no compliance action will be taken. Further extensions will be considered as required.

People also don’t need to visit a service centre to make a claim

People can lodge an intent to claim through myGov in minutes and Services Australia will contact them to help finalise their payment. They do not need to come into a service centre to obtain a CRN or provide Proof of Identity documents.

If people have any trouble claiming JobSeeker Payment, they should call us on 132 850 and we can help finalise details over the phone, however, there may be a delay.

We’ve extended Services Australia phone line hours (all times local): Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and on weekends from 9am to 5pm.

More staff to process claims

Services Australia is rapidly redeploying existing staff to call centres and to processing, and hiring staff as quickly as they can.

As at today Services Australia has redeployed more than 1,500 agency staff to call centres and to processing.

The Prime Minister announced 5,000 extra staff for Services Australia on Sunday and we have commenced training for these to come on board from Monday, 30 March 2020. More than 1,500 new staff are currently being trained and will start to come on board from Monday.

 

Page last updated: 26 March 2020