Bundaberg Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support customers could receive early payments.
Bundaberg Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support customers could receive early payments. Mike Knott BUN101214CENTRE2

Changes to Centrelink payments over the break

BUNDABERG Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support customers can expect changes to payments and services over the festive period.

All service centres and most phone lines will be closed from December 25-27 and on Monday, January 1.

Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said self-service options would continue to be available.

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

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

Mr Jongen said automatic payments would not be delayed 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 the normal payment paid early. People may need to budget carefully so this payment lasts until their next payment is due,” Mr Jongen said.

"People who are due to report on a holiday closure date, may need to report early. Their payment will be made after they have reported.

"Reporting dates are on reporting statements and people can check them through their myGov and Centrelink online accounts or phone self-service. We have also sent reminders.

"While reporting dates may be different, the assessment period remains the same. People still need to report estimates of earnings and other changes for their 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.”

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