Centrelink warns early pension payments 'not a bonus'

Centrelink is gearing up for a busy Easter period.

If you’re expecting a pension payment next week, you might be in for a surprise next time you check your bank account.

Centrelink says some people will receive their payments earlier than usual ahead of the Easter break, but is warning it is not a bonus and that people should budget carefully over the holiday period.

“If you receive an early payment it’s important to remember that this is not an extra payment,” they said in a statement.

“Payments are made as close to your regular payment date as possible, but you may need to budget carefully to ensure this payment lasts until your next payment is due.”

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said some reporting dates have also changed due to the four-day holiday and that people should check online or over the phone to make sure they are reporting on time.

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“If you are due to report, you must do so before your payment can be processed. Reporting dates can be checked on your reporting statement using myGov, the department’s online options, or phone self-service. We would have also sent you a reminder.

“Changes to reporting dates do not affect the assessment period, and earnings estimates will still need to be reported for your normal 14-day period,” he explained.

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Centrelink offices and phone lines will be closed on Good Friday, Easter Monday and Anzac Day, but customers will still be able to use online services to report their income and make Medicare claims.

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“You can still use your myGov account, Express Plus mobile apps and phone self-service to complete your business with us during the holiday period,” Jongen said.

“People will be able to quickly and easily check their reporting dates, update their details, report their earnings, and even lodge some Medicare claims this way.”

Will you be affected by this change? Do you receive the pension or a welfare payment?

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