I’m quite certain this Instructional will take the mantle as “Least Sexy Blog” I’ve done, but if you are reading this, you at least have internet access. This covers the basic process of how to actually set up Centrelink online access for your Age Pension or similar, assuming you have limited experience with internet related matters.
It should be easy, but most things with Centrelink never are… This is based on what my clients tell me to help those of you who don’t know where to start.
So. Here’s where you start:
You need a My Gov account: www.my.gov.au This is the website that allows one access to most of the Federal Government Departments; Centrelink, ATO, Medicare etc and actually quite handy to have.
To create a MyGov account, you must have an email address and ideally a mobile phone.
*Pause*: If you have no email account, you can open a gmail account or similar but remember this is where your Centrelink update emails will go in the future.
You also can’t use one email address for two people (i.e couples sharing an email).
Ok, now click on MyGov’s “Create an Account” and fill in the email details. MyGov are going to email you a code which you then need to type onto your MyGov screen. This is just to confirm the email is valid.
Then follow the prompts with the mobile (not mandatory) and lastly filling in your secret questions. Reasonably straight forward.
Now you have your MyGov account but you need to link it to Centrelink.
At this point you can either:
Tear your hair out trying it online and struggling to understand what you actually need, or
Call Centrelink as per below.
Good choice with option B, wigs are expensive.
Now call Centrelink on phone # 132307. This is the Online Services Support Line and the people here are far less stressed than the normal hotline. Wait times are usually fast too.
Your goal for this call is to hang up armed with two important details:
- Your Customer Reference Number (CRN) which you may already have
- Your Centrelink Linking Code
They will need to identify you, then they will let you know your CRN (if you don’t already have it), then they will generate a linking code.
Nice head of hair in tact, in your MyGov account, click on the Centrelink icon to Link a Service.
Conveniently, one of the options is to click on “I have a Linking code”. Now follow the prompts/questions and your MyGov account should link. If not, call back 132307.
So we’ve achieved the goal of Centrelink online access and by default a My Gov account. Not too hard.
Except, now you are on the Centrelink site and what a surprise, your information recorded is old. Some of this you can update online (addresses etc) but much of it won’t update.
*Pause* Trying to update these details will often cause technical issues like the screen freezes, or you get logged out, or it doesn’t update etc etc.
Just remember how much you like your hairdresser...
At this point, don’t bother online but PLEASE don’t lodge an application for Age Pension or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card with old data in their system.
Simply write down the incorrect info and call them on 132300 to give them the correct data.
This may involve a wait time of 1 hr so make a tea, coffee or Gin & Tonic and be pleasantly surprised if you get through in 45 mins.
Alternatively, call on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning at 8am sharp as I’m told these are the quieter days, but maybe a tad early for the G&T.
Well done. Gallant effort.
Now your data is up to date and you can apply for the benefit that you are entitled to having bravely fought for Centrelink’s online access.
One day I’ll write about how to complete an online application but I may need a G&T myself for such an endeavour.
I hope this has helped…!