At AimBig, our mission is to empower job seekers in finding meaningful work. In the current climate, there are challenges in finding or maintaining employment. This process can be challenging for individuals who are unsure of how to navigate the Centrelink website or what allowances they qualify for.

Kellie, the Regional Manager and now Best Practice Manager at AimBig, hosted a Facebook Live where she discussed concerns and helpful navigation techniques when using Centrelink, covering Job Seeker and Job Keeper payments.

Where do I start?

To start the process of claiming allowance, you will need a customer reference number or CRN, which comes in the form a 9-digit identification number in order to receive payment.

Claiming a payment? What am I eligible for?

On the Centrelink website, the eligibility criteria is outlined to help navigate what payments you might qualify for. The main type of payments you would be looking to receive are the Job Seeker and Job Keeper payments.

The Job Seeker Payment is financial help if you are between 22 and Age Pension Age. This also includes when you are sick or injured and cannot do your usual work or study. There are some eligibility criteria you must meet, which can be found on the website under this link: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/jobseeker-payment/who-can-get-it

This program offers an allowance as part of the government stimulus package. There are a range of bonuses that have come through which you may also be eligible for.

Job Seeker – Job Keeper: What is the difference?

Job Keeper differs from Job Seeker as it is a wage subsidy program to support employees and businesses designed to assist businesses affected by COVID, whereby it supplies funds to pay wages and keep employees in their jobs. To become eligible, your employer will need to contact the Australian Taxation Office.

A great part about this program is it is available to a variety of workers, including casual, part time, full time and stood down. However, for casual, you must have worked on a systematic basis for 12 months.

I am still not sure if I am eligible, but I require an allowance, what do I do?

This is an incredibly challenging time and most people have not dealt with Centrelink before and are now in a situation where they need to.

Here is the recommended course of action:

  1. Create a MyGov Account
    This is a secure way to access government services such as Centrelink, Medicare and the Australia Taxation Office. To create an account, open the website and create an account with your email address.

 

  1. Log into MyGov Account
    The next step is to log in and register your intent to collection payment. Once this intent has been lodged and the application has begun, it can take up to 2 weeks to be contacted by Centrelink to formally start the process. An alternative is to directly apply for Job Seeker.

 

  1. Service Eligibility
    The MyGov website offers a fantastic service where individuals can fill out criteria and find out what payments they are eligible for.

A handy tip is to have some documents together before starting an application as you may need them through the process. These include:

  • Proof of ID
  • A separation certificate if you have been let go
  • Bank statements (you will be required to disclose worked hours and what your situation is to receive an allowance)
  • If you are a parent, please have your child’s birth certificate ready.

On average there is a 3-day response time, but a great idea is to touch base after this period to make sure they have everything and to ensure the claim is progressing.

Centrelink may also require you to meet with an employment services provider before receiving an initial payment.

What is an employment service provider?

An organisation like AimBig will work with clients to assist them back into employment. Most of the individuals receiving payments will be required to meet with an employment services provider.

If you do not disclose that you are living with a disability, such as a mental illness like depression or anxiety, or a musculoskeletal disability, you will be referred to a mainstream Job Active provider. Employment services providers are bound by a code of practice and service guarantee and will likely require you to attend regular appoints and seek out jobs.

Ultimately, it is your decision which provider you choose for this service and there is the ability to transfer service providers within a time period if you are not happy with the service you are receiving.

What is the difference between Job Active and Disability Employment Service Providers?

AimBig is a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider which means we only service people with disabilities. If you are eligible, we suggest registering with AimBig or a similar provider to ask the right questions.

Advantages:

  • Job coach: Supporting people with disability throughout the process.
  • Case load: Lower than standard employment providers in Job Active. This allows us to offer a more individualised and tailored service.
  • Large Pool of Potential Employers: Employers can gain access to government wage subsidies and assistance funds, which can help pay for modifications and equipment changes that an organisation will have to make to ensure the needs of the individual with disability are met.
  • Post placement services: We offer support beyond finding employment and help support you.

Why AimBig?

AimBig is a fantastic Disability Employment Services Provider as we walk national and talk local across 58 employment services and 96 offices across the land. We are also backed by over 20 years of experience.

We have unique access to a range of Allied Health providers across our businesses, whereby we are sister companies to LiveBig and Rehab Management.

Selecting AimBig as your provider has a variety of benefits, but a main selling point is our quick adaptation to the current climate. This has allowed us to support our staff and their families with little disruption, whereby we have innovated and have implemented revised services such as RM Reach and Conferencing.

Above all else, we are people-centric and want to ensure that all our clients remain safe and healthy during COVID.

How to register with a DES provider?

To register with AimBig, follow the “Looking for Work” process on the website.

A misconception is that you must wait for your application to be approved to begin working with a DES provider. This is not the case, as you are able to proactively reach out to provider. It is beneficial to reach out before the process begins as these providers can offer guidance in the process.

We also have a national development team that works to secure contracts with employers nationally in a range of industries seeing high demand for workers, such as call centres.

In order to register with a DES provider, you will need to highlight in your application to Centrelink that you have a disability. Centrelink will then flag your application and send you in the direction of a DES program rather than Job Active to receive the support you need. As part of this process, you will need medical evidence of your disability, which medical services are now offering virtually due to COVID.

What courses can I do?

There are a variety of course offered with AimBig.

When determining what courses are right for, there are certain eligibility requirements such as previous study undertaken. However, many employment service providers have access to training courses in industries with high demand and are hiring. These include warehousing, admin and logistics.

What are the mutual obligation requirements with an Employment Service Provider?

I recommend with engaging with your provider as much as possible, whereby you will maintain a great relationship with them, and they have a better opportunity to find employment that is suited to you.

Most providers are delivering virtual services over the internet and phone, so it is easier to speak with your provider despite there not always being obligations for meetings.

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We wish you luck in this difficult time and feel free to contact AimBig if you need guidance or are looking to select us as your disability employment services provider.

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