I thought I'd bring you up to speed with Centrelink and what it's really like to deal with.
So 23 years after walking out of a Centrelink office following graduation from uni, I’m walking back in. Why do I feel embarrassed and slightly scumbaggy (ok – not a word)? ‘You have a job, just a new one starting Divvito, so don’t be silly Wendy’, my mind kept telling me as I headed to the entrance, ‘you just need to see what other assistance is available as a broke single parent’.
Well times have changed. It was a beautiful office, and a lady greeted me at the door with iPad in hand to find out why I was there. After taking my details, I’m offered a seat in a comfy armchair and advised someone will be with me soon. I was sure I was going to be served coffee too; that’s how blown away I was with the service. It was 1:56pm so let’s see how long I'd have to wait … at least the armchair was comfy! So 25 minutes later and my name was called. I was greeted by Sean* behind the counter and he was very friendly, very helpful and after updating my details he directed me over to Colin who looked after the self-service area. Colin advised he would help with any questions and directed me to a computer. After logging onto to my.gov.au, I was guided online through the process to determine what services I had access to, and I didn’t realise how many there were! Within 30 minutes I was finished! Easy peasy and a very different experience to that of 23 years ago.
So if you already have an account with myGov (or don't) then jump online and see if you can get assistance – it’s better than nothing at all! Or if you want to get wowed by government services head to your local Centrelink.
Ps. Make sure you know your taxable income from the past two years, plus have your tax file number if you've not registered it with them already. Good luck!
*Names where changed in the article but a big shout out to the team at Centrelink Stones Corner – you were great!