Are you a community worker wanting to know more about social security payments and how Centrelink works?
Our training sessions aim to increase your capacity to support clients to navigate the social security system, access correct payments and appeal incorrect or unfair Centrelink debts ... and they're free!
Regular events Our monthly training sessions are run via Zoom and are open to all. Jointly presented by a Solicitor and our Community Legal Education Officer, they include case studies and time for questions.
Please see our 2022/23 program below, with more 2023 sessions to come. To express interest in registering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tailored events We are sometimes able to deliver information sessions or training on specific issues to individual groups. Please contact us directly at email@example.com if you are interested in customised training for a specific group, organisation or interagency.
In 2021/22, we trained more than a thousand workers. Why not join us for one or more of our sessions during 2022/23.
Community Legal Education Program 2022/23
Want to gain a better understanding of the Disability Support Pension (DSP)?
In this session we’ll explain the complex DSP rules - working through the multi-layered assessment process, including eligibility criteria, evidence requirements, and key steps in the claim process. Speakers will cover manifest eligibility, Impairment Tables, Programs of Support and job assessment capacity. They’ll also explain temporary exemptions from mutual obligations to look for work for those struggling to gain access to DSP.
The session will cover important points about obtaining the right medical evidence, including who can be considered a medical expert and required content in letters and necessary forms. Finally, the session will outline what to do if your claim is rejected, including where to go for help.⠀
Target audience: Community workers and volunteers, disability advocates, social workers and lawyers⠀
Tuesday 9 August 2022, 2 - 4pm AEDT
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/367236593537
Want to gain a better understanding of Centrelink payments for people who are caring for others who are frail, ill, injured or have a disability?
There are a number of different Centrelink payments intended for people who have taken on a caring role. These include Carer Payment, Carer Allowance and Child Disability Assistance Payment.
This session will cover the qualification and eligibility requirements associated with each payment, including rules about levels of care and frequency of respite. We’ll outline the Centrelink assessment tools used and the type of medical evidence needed. We’ll also address the relevant residency rules, income and assets tests, and other factors that may affect each payment.
Finally, the session will include information about support services within Centrelink, particularly the role of Centrelink social workers, and outline what to do if your claim is rejected, including where to go for help.
Target audience: Community workers and volunteers, social workers and lawyers
Thursday 8 September 2022, 2pm - 4pm AEST
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/367245670687
Want to know more about access to Centrelink for Migrants and other Newly Arrived Residents?
Australia's social security system has strict residency criteria. Payments are usually available only to Australian residents, with most migrants subject to a Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period (NARWP) or other qualifying residency period. People from New Zealand who have lived in Australia for many years can be particularly harshly affected.
This session will take participants through a checklist to assess a client’s eligibility. It will cover key issues including residency criteria, waiting periods, Special Benefit, domestic and family violence, the impact of overseas assets and income, and a whole lot more.⠀
Speakers will explain the specific circumstances that may enable access to Special Benefit or other payments, and address the possible extension of the Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period rules.⠀
Target audience: Community workers and volunteers, social workers and lawyers
Tuesday 11 October 2022, 2pm - 4pm AEDT
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/367245450027
Want to know more about Centrelink payments for young people who are students?
This session will outline key issues determining young people’s access to Centrelink payments while studying, with a focus on JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Abstudy, Austudy and Youth Disability Supplement. ⠀
Speakers will cover the concepts of dependence/independence for people aged 21 or younger, and the way work rules and income from work can affect payments. It will also address study requirements including approved courses, approved education providers, and study load.
The session will include information about Centrelink payments for young people in crisis, and will explain how young people needing further support may access a Centrelink Social Worker. Speakers will also cover what young people can do if a claim is rejected, payment is stopped, or a debt is raised.⠀
Target audience: Community workers and volunteers, youth workers, social workers and lawyers⠀
Tuesday 8 November 2022, 2pm - 4pm AEDT
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/367250204247
Domestic and family violence is common and its impact far reaching. Social security provides a critical safety net for those trying to escape domestic violence or re-establish themselves after leaving a violent relationship. Accessed at times of greatest vulnerability, Centrelink payments can be critical to victims of violence rebuilding their lives and moving on.⠀
This session will outline income support available to victims and survivors of domestic and family violence, including Parenting Payment, JobSeeker Payment, Crisis Payment and Special Benefit. It will cover how to establish entitlement to payment, timeframes for claiming, residential qualifications, and presumptions of shared income under the Member of a Couple rule. ⠀
We'll tackle issues associated with demonstrating ‘care’ of children and removal of children by perpetrators which can impact both qualification and rate of payment. We'll also explain application of special circumstances in relation to debts.⠀
This session will include input from our Domestic Violence Community Worker and information about support services within Centrelink, particularly about how victims of violence can access a Centrelink Social Worker to obtain additional support navigating the Centrelink process.⠀
Target audience: Community workers and social workers who assist victims and survivors of domestic violence⠀
Tuesday 6 December 2022, 2 – 4pm AEDT
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/367255449937
This session will outline Centrelink payments targeting families with children, including Parenting Payment, Family Tax Benefit, Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay, Carer Payment and Child Care Subsidy.
Speakers will address eligibility requirements, income and assets tests, mutual obligations relating to work, and the way that the number and age of children affects different payments. The session will explain how relationship status (single/partnered) affects payment, and will outline Centrelink payments intended to support people trying to escaping domestic violence. It will also address how issues related to separation can have a major impact on social security payments, particularly child support and the amount of time a child is in the care of each parent.⠀⠀
Speakers will explain how people needing further support may access a Centrelink Social Worker, and what they can do if a claim is rejected, payment is stopped, or a debt is raised.⠀⠀
Target audience: Community workers and volunteers, social workers and lawyers⠀
Tuesday 28 February 2023, 2 - 4pm AEDT
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/367255610417
Want to know more about options when Centrelink raises a debt?
This session is designed to provide practical information for community workers and volunteers wanting to assist clients with Centrelink debt matters. Speakers will explain common reasons debts may be raised and give an overview of measures you can take to check that there really is a debt and/or the amount of the debt has been calculated correctly. ⠀
The session will cover how to appeal decisions that are incorrect or seem unfair, and the type of circumstances in which a debt can be waived. They will also address negotiating repayments, garnishee actions and possible criminal prosecution.⠀
Target audience Community workers, social workers and volunteers
Thursday 9 March 2023, 2-4pm AEDT
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/367261989497
Nearly two-thirds of Australians post-retirement age rely on government assistance as their main source of income.
This session will outline Centrelink payments and services available to people who are retired, planning for retirement, or wanting to keep working after reaching Age Pension age. It will cover common payments including Age Pension, Carer Payment, Carer Allowance and Bereavement Allowance. It will also outline special provisions for older people on JobSeeker.⠀
Content will address issues associated with residency, member of a couple rules, and incomes and assets. It will cover the implications of temporarily leaving a principal home, selling a principal home or one or both members of a couple moving into residential care, as well as the possible long term consequences of ‘gifting’ assets to family members.
Target audience: Community workers and volunteers, aged-care workers, social workers and lawyers
Tuesday 16 May 2023, 2 - 4pm AEST
Register at www.eventbrite.com.au/e/centrelink-payments-for-seniors-cle-tickets-568802352147
If you think ABSTUDY is complicated – you’re right. ABSTUDY is not a single payment, but a group of payments designed to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the costs of study or undertaking an Australian apprenticeship.
This session will provide an overview of ABSTUDY, covering the seven different awards payable under the ABSTUDY scheme, and how to navigate each award’s distinct criteria linked to high school, undergraduate university study and postgraduate degrees.
We’ll explain the claims process, eligibility criteria for each award, and the type of assistance a student or apprentice may receive. We’ll cover the allowances payable, the rules about study load, and the issue of reasonable time limits. We’ll also outline the appeals process – which is not the same as for most other Centrelink payments.
Target audience: First Nations community workers, community workers, secondary school support staff, tertiary First Nations student support services
Thursday 25 May, 2 to 4pm AEDT
Register at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/understanding-abstudy-tickets-590649066257
This year we’ve been able to scale up our community legal education and communications work thanks to the generosity and support of the Ecstra Foundation: a not for profit organisation dedicated to building the financial wellbeing of all Australians. Thank you Ecstra for making our CLE program and communications strategy possible. To find out more about Ecstra, click here.