Centrelink closures and altered services that could affect you over the holiday period

Centrelink sign

With Christmas approaching, Services Australia has released its seasonal payment program for the next few weeks.

Services Australia offices and most call centres will be closed on the following dates: 25-27 December and 1 January.

Smaller rural and regional centres will close from 22 December to 2 January.

The changes affect the Age Pension as well as many other payments including the Carer Allowance, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension and any family payments.

Services Australia general manager Hank Jongen says the date that some customers report or receive their payment will change, but that customers can be assured those payments will still occur.

“If your regular reporting or payment date falls on a public holiday, it will be changed to the day beforehand,” Mr Jongen said.

Not an extra payment

“It’s important to remember this is not an extra payment, it’s your regular payment made early. You may need to budget carefully so this payment lasts until your next payment is due.”

If you are reporting to Centrelink regularly about your income, you’ll need to report early. These early report dates will be available on your online Centrelink account.

According to Services Australia, if your reporting dates change due to the public holidays, you should include what you expect to be paid for that reporting period. You have 14 days to correct any mistakes.

Recipients can report online through their account even when Centrelink is closed for public holidays, but you will not be paid until a normal working day.

You can report after your reporting period if:

  • you’re unsure of your employment income
  • there are changes to your circumstances during your reporting period.

If you don’t need to report to Centrelink, your payments will not be delayed. Centrelink may pay you early if your payment date falls on one of the above closure dates. The payment will be as close as possible to your usual payment date.

The following are the expected payment dates if you don’t have to report your income:

You can find more information about centre closures here.

As well as your online Centrelink account, you can also use the Centrelink Express Plus mobile apps or phone self service. These services are available 24/7 and you can also find your reporting dates for the next three months, change appointments or request a document.

Will these closures affect your payment? Will you need to budget? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Also read: Centrelink backlog causing massive Age Pension delays

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

3 Comments

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  1. Perhaps some of the public servants who are paid mega bucks for sitting on their proverbial backside and do nothing could be redirected to assisting at Centrelink – it will not be below their dignity, it will be helping others..

    • They are not paid “mega bucks”, in fact many are underpaid. On average public servants are paid less than private sector employees with the same qualifications. Some federal departments such as Centrelink or the ATO lose half their graduates within 3 years to much higher paying jobs in the private sector. This is the reality.

  2. I submitted a financial update to Centrelink in October. It still has not been reviewed, so I cannot update for more recent changes. Centrelink management are not doing their jobs. Despite Bill Shorten’s assurances, Centrelink is still an absolute nightmare to deal with.

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