Dealing with Centrelink is a full-time job itself, so I have tried to provide resources, tips and more here (scroll to the bottom for some links or click here for all articles with tips for living on Centrelink).
I’m grateful we have a safety net I have accessed when needed (as a youth when I had to leave the family home, as a single mum and as a parent of special needs kids requiring extensive extra care when I was single). I’ve been homeless, a single parent, I’ve had major health issues including paralysis and have had the ‘joy’ (insert complete sarcasm!!) of dealing with them. It’s a minefield and can leave you feeling depressed, worthless, owing them money despite doing everything right and for some reason, you can never get a straight answer about anything!
That said, I’ve read the stats, I ran my own survey to see what people living on Centrelink needed, problems they faced, what they spent their money on, what they need help with etc. Statistically, over 50% of Australians derive some income from Centrelink (you can get the stats on government sites like this if you want). Despite what the government and media like to say, the majority of Australians on Centrelink are aged pensioners or veterans, followed by those on disability, then Newstart then parenting payment and other payments. In my opinion, it is hard to live on Centrelink and the majority of those accessing it have no choice and would happily come off payments, if they could. The results from the survey I did reflected this too. Most people would willingly come off it, the biggest issues facing people were medical expenses, debt, getting a job and childcare.
Once you are in a position to come off Centrelink, it is a difficult transition and quite expensive. You go from payments and the discounts associated with it to having to pay full price for everything, often needing to foot the bill for new work clothes, childcare etc. before getting your first pay!
I get it. I understand and I don’t judge. The purpose of the resources and articles I have linked to below are to help you survive, thrive and where possible, come off Centrelink. At the very least, you should be able to have a higher quality life.
This page will be a constant work in progress, with new resources being added all the time. If you want to be emailed each month with the latest resources, posts with tips and more, sign up to this newsletter
Which Centrelink payments are you eligible for?
51 ways to make money from home (takes you to The Thrifty Issue with a free eBook you can download and share with anyone).
How to create an unbeatable rental application
Ways to make extra money while living on Centrelink
How to get money to leave an abusive relationship
How to rebuild after leaving an abusive relationship
How can I budget and survive with no child support?
What to do if you become or are close to becoming homeless