There will be changes to payments and services over the Christmas and New Year period for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support customers.
There will be changes to payments and services over the Christmas and New Year period for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support customers. TRACEY NEARMY

Holiday closures for Centrelink and Medicare

THERE will be some changes to payments and services over the Christmas and New Year holiday period for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support customers.

All service centres and most phone lines providing Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services will be closed from December 26 to 28, and on Monday, January 2, 2017.

Department of Human Services General Manager, Hank Jongen, said self service options would continue to be available during the holiday period.

"The department's Express Plus mobile apps, phone self service lines and online accounts through myGov, are the easiest way to do your business with us over the Christmas and New Year break," Mr Jongen said.

"You will be able to check your reporting dates, update your details and report your earnings quickly and easily with these options. You can also lodge some Medicare claims this way."

Mr Jongen said automatic payments would not be delayed by the holidays, but some people may receive their payments earlier than usual.

"It's important to remember that an early payment is not an extra payment - it's just your normal payment paid early. You may need to budget carefully so this payment lasts until your next payment is due," Mr Jongen said.

"If you are due to report on a holiday closure date, you may need to report early. Your payment will be made after you have reported.

"You can check your reporting date on your reporting statement, which is displayed on your myGov and Centrelink online account or phone self service. We would have also sent you a reminder.

"While your reporting date may be different, the assessment period remains the same. You still need to report estimates of earnings and other changes for your normal 14 day assessment period.

"There are no changes to child support arrangements, however payments made after 22 December may be delayed by public holidays.

"People can continue to lodge Medicare claims at their doctor's office or using self service. Critical services for Medicare providers such as organ donor and PBS authorities will remain available over the Christmas/New Year period."

People can transfer funds to their BasicsCard throughout the holiday period by using self service or calling 1800 132 594 between 8am - 5pm.

BasicsCard balances can be checked at any time by calling 1800 057 111.

To find out more about holiday period reporting and payment dates at humanservices.gov.au/holidays.


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