What to Say to Get an Urgent Payment from Centrelink And Real-Life Examples

March 1, 2024
what to say to get an urgent payment from centrelink

Key takeaways:

    • Understand the criteria for urgent payments due to severe financial hardship, exceptional and unforeseen circumstances.
    • We’ll include some real life examples of what is considered a necessary urgent payment.
    • Submit all necessary documentation with a compelling case when applying for an urgent payment.

Imagine facing a financial crisis, and you desperately need funds to tide you over. Centrelink can be your lifeline during these trying times, providing urgent payments to help you stay afloat.

While there is no standard explanation to get an urgent payment from Centrelink, the process is made significantly quicker and smoother using our guide on preparing your statement, documents and communicating properly.

In this blog post, we’ll share actionable steps and insights on what to say to get an urgent payment from Centrelink.

We’ll guide you through the process, assess whether the payment you require is urgent or a crisis payment, offering tips for effectively communicating your circumstances.

How to Apply for an Urgent Payment

Whether you’re applying for a rent assistance claim or other payments, applying for an urgent payment can be a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that there are resources available to help you. Services Australia offers two types of urgent payments: crisis payments and advance payments.

Crisis payments or urgent payments are one-time payments for individuals in extreme financial distress, while advance payments are recurring payments paid ahead of time. You may also apply for a bond loan application if you are struggling to come up with the funds for a rental bond.

To apply for an urgent payment:

  • Sign in to your myGov account
  • Select Centrelink
  • Proceed to Payment and claims
  • Then Manage payments

You may also contact Services Australia via telephone or online to discuss your circumstances and determine if you’re eligible for an urgent payment.

Crisis Payment vs. Advance Payment

what to say to get an urgent payment from centrelink

Crisis payments are designed to provide financial assistance in extreme situations, such as natural disasters or personal crises. To be eligible for a crisis payment, you must meet specific criteria depending on the type of payment and be undergoing a qualifying situation.

It’s possible to claim a crisis payment even if you’re currently receiving assistance from other agencies or charities. However, if you have already received a disaster relief payment, you cannot obtain a crisis payment.

On the other hand, advance payments are money paid in advance from an existing Centrelink payment. Advance payments are for existing Centrelink recipients who need funds earlier than their usual payment schedule.

Visit Services Australia For Assistance on Making Urgent Claims

Services Australia provides Centrelink social security payments and services to Australians, including payments for ABSTUDY Living Allowance, child support assessment, and other payments and services. They can provide guidance and support when applying for urgent payments.

Services Australia website has all necessary information about crisis payments. Visit their website to know more. They can help you understand your eligibility, guide you through the application process, and provide assistance in managing your payments.

Communicating Your Circumstances to Centrelink

what to say to get an urgent payment from centrelink

Effective communication is vital when applying for an urgent payment, as it clarifies your circumstances and rationale for the request, helping to establish trust and credibility with Centrelink staff.

It’s essential to be transparent and honest while explaining your situation, ensuring that all relevant information is provided.

When submitting an application for an urgent payment, it’s crucial to provide documentation that supports your claim, such as proof of identity, proof of income, and proof of expenses.

The more comprehensive and convincing your case, the better your chances of obtaining an urgent payment.

Documentation and Verification

Proper documentation and verification are crucial when applying for an urgent payment. Documents required may differ depending on the rationale for the urgent payment, but typically include evidence of financial hardship, evidence of immediate necessity, and proof of identification for the applicant.

Financial hardship evidence may include bank statements, pay slips, bills, and other documents that illustrate your current financial situation. Immediate need evidence may include:

  • Medical certificates
  • Letters from employers
  • Any documents that attest to your current circumstances

Proof of identification can be established through a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification document.

Crafting a Compelling Case

Creating a compelling case for an urgent payment involves the following steps:

  1. Clearly explain your situation and the reasons why you need financial assistance urgently.
  2. Demonstrate the urgency of your need for financial aid.
  3. Furnish pertinent documentation and evidence to substantiate your request.
  4. Be candid and amicable when making the request, as this can help build rapport and trust with Centrelink staff.

In addition to providing evidence, it’s essential to be well-prepared and organized when presenting your case. This includes being aware of the relevant policies, procedures, and eligibility criteria, as well as having all necessary documentation readily available.

Real Life Examples of Getting An Urgent Payment From Centrelink

Still unsure about what to say to get an urgent payment from Centrelink? We’ve gathered a few recent messages from Reddit users on their experiences:

Understanding Urgent Payments

Urgent payments are early financial support provided by Centrelink for those experiencing severe financial hardship due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances.

These payments are intended to alleviate financial stress and ensure that individuals can meet their basic needs. However, it’s important to note that there’s a limit of two urgent payments within a 12-month period.

Obtaining an urgent payment may seem like a lifesaver, but it’s crucial to understand that it’s not without consequences.

“Urgent payments affect the delivery day of subsequent payment for the recipient, resulting in a lower subsequent payment.”

This means that while urgent payments may provide short-term relief, they can also affect your future Centrelink payments, and the urgent payments result in financial adjustments.

Criteria for Urgent Payments

  • Frequency: Generally, a person can only receive a maximum of 2 urgent payments within any 12-month period.
  • Exceptions: There are limited exceptions to the above rule, which include:
    • Extraordinary Circumstances: This is to ensure the protection of vulnerable individuals, especially when these extraordinary circumstances can be verified.
    • Funeral Expenses: Expenses related to the funeral of an immediate family member, which also includes extended family members for Indigenous individuals.
    • Departmental Delays: Delays caused by Services Australia’s action or inaction, which resulted in the delay of income support payments, causing the individual to be in severe financial hardship.
    • Holiday Processing: Delays due to the timing of a national public holiday can also be considered.

what to say to get an urgent payment from centrelink

Severe financial hardship

Severe financial hardship is a key requirement for urgent payment eligibility. It is defined as a situation where an individual’s living and family expenses exceed the amount of money received through government support, such as via Centrelink.

This implies that the person is “incapable of meeting reasonable and immediate family living expenses” under extreme circumstances.

To demonstrate severe financial hardship, you’ll need to provide evidence of your situation. This may include bank statements, bills, and other documents that illustrate your financial status.

In cases of domestic violence, additional evidence may be required to support your urgent payment request.

Exceptional and unforeseen circumstances

Urgent payments are granted for exceptional and unforeseen circumstances that create financial distress. Relocation can be necessary due to family breakdown and separation. Examples of such circumstances are removal expenses or bond money.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has recommended amending the Guide to Social Security Law to explicitly refer to family violence as a distinct instance when an urgent payment may be given, so that the reference to ‘unforeseen’ is not a factor in deciding whether to provide an urgent payment to a person who is enduring family violence.

Comparison: urgent payments vs. advance payments

Understanding the difference between urgent payments and advance payments is crucial. Here’s a brief comparison to help you navigate Centrelink’s offerings:

CriteriaUrgent PaymentsAdvance Payments
DefinitionAn early delivery of a recipient’s entitlement due to severe financial hardship from unforeseen circumstances.A portion of your future payment that you can get in advance, which you’ll pay back later out of your payments from Centrelink.
EligibilityMust be in severe financial hardship due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances.Regular recipients of certain Centrelink payments may be eligible.
RepaymentResults in a lower subsequent payment on the usual payment delivery day.Deducted from future Centrelink payments over an agreed period.
FrequencyGenerally, a maximum of 2 urgent payments in any 12-month period.Depending on the type of payment you receive, you might be eligible for an advance once a year.

By understanding the distinctions between these two options, you can make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.

Comparison: Crisis Payment vs. Urgent Payment

Both Crisis Payment and Urgent Payment are financial aids provided by Centrelink to assist individuals in challenging situations. However, they cater to different circumstances and have distinct eligibility criteria. Here’s a comparison to help you understand the differences:

CriteriaCrisis PaymentUrgent Payment
DefinitionA one-off non-taxable payment for those who’ve experienced an extreme circumstance and are in severe financial hardship.An early delivery of a recipient’s entitlement due to severe financial hardship from exceptional and unforeseen circumstances.
Circumstances– Family and domestic violence forcing one to leave home.<br>- Staying home after domestic violence and the responsible family member leaves.<br>- Leaving home due to a natural or other disaster not covered by a disaster relief payment.<br>- Arrival in Australia as a humanitarian entrant for the first time.<br>- Release from prison or psychiatric confinement for at least 14 days.Severe financial hardship due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances.
FrequencyOne-off payment for specific extreme circumstances.Generally, a maximum of 2 payments in any 12-month period.
RepaymentNo repayment required as it’s a one-off payment.Results in a lower subsequent payment on the recipient’s usual payment delivery day.

Key Differences:

  1. Purpose: While both payments aim to assist individuals in financial hardship, Crisis Payment is specifically for those who’ve experienced extreme circumstances, whereas Urgent Payment is for unforeseen situations causing financial strain.
  2. Eligibility: Crisis Payment has specific scenarios, such as domestic violence or natural disasters, under which one can apply. In contrast, Urgent Payment is more about the severity of financial hardship due to unexpected events.
  3. Payment Frequency: Crisis Payment is a one-time payment for a particular crisis, while Urgent Payment can be availed up to two times in a year.
  4. Repayment: Crisis Payment doesn’t need to be repaid, but an Urgent Payment will affect the subsequent regular payment amount.

Additional Support and Resources

what to say to get an urgent payment from centrelink

Beyond Centrelink urgent payments, there are additional support and resources available for those in financial crisis. These include emergency relief services and temporary housing assistance, which can help you manage your situation and regain stability.

By exploring these options and staying informed about the various assistance programs, you can better cope with financial hardships and navigate through challenging times with confidence and resilience.

Emergency Relief Services

Emergency relief services are provided by charities and community organizations to assist with food and bills during a financial crisis. These services can offer immediate financial and/or material assistance to individuals in financial difficulty, helping to meet their fundamental needs such as food, medicine, or shelter.

The Department of Social Service Grant Services Directory contains a list of emergency relief services. You can find this information within the directory. By reaching out to these organizations, you can access valuable support and resources that can help you manage your financial challenges and work toward a more stable future.

Temporary Housing Assistance

Temporary housing assistance is available for those experiencing homelessness or housing crises, providing emergency and temporary accommodation options. This assistance can be accessed through the relevant state or territory housing department.

In addition to temporary housing assistance, there are other resources available to assist those experiencing homelessness or housing crises. These resources include emergency relief services, crisis payments, and advance payments.

By exploring all available options and seeking support from various sources, you can better navigate your financial challenges and work toward a more stable future.

Centrelink Payments After Receiving an Urgent Payment

After receiving an urgent payment, it’s important to understand how it impacts your Centrelink payments moving forward. This includes understanding repayment plans and monitoring changes to payment eligibility, as these factors can impact your financial stability and access to support.

Repayment Plans

Repayment plans may be required for advance payments, and understanding your obligations is essential. Centrelink repayment plans offer the option of making payments in regular instalments or as a lump sum, and individuals can select a payment period that is suitable for them.

It’s imperative to ensure that your repayment plan payments are within your financial means and that you can adhere to the plan. Additionally, it’s essential to comprehend the terms and conditions of the repayment plan, as this can help you avoid any penalties or interest charges that may be applicable to the debt.

Monitoring Changes to Payment Eligibility

Regular monitoring changes to payment eligibility can help ensure continued access to financial support from Centrelink. To monitor alterations to payment eligibility, you must inform Centrelink of any changes to your circumstances online via your Centrelink online account linked to myGov within 14 days after your circumstances have changed.

Failing to monitor changes to payment eligibility may result in not receiving the full amount of financial support that is due from Centrelink or receiving an excessive amount, which would need to be repaid. By staying informed and up-to-date, you can better manage your financial situation and ensure that you’re receiving the appropriate level of support from Centrelink.


In conclusion, obtaining an urgent payment from Centrelink during times of financial crisis is a crucial lifeline for many Australians. By understanding the requirements, navigating the application process, and effectively communicating your circumstances, you can secure the support you need during these trying times.

Additionally, exploring additional resources such as emergency relief services and temporary housing assistance can further help you manage your financial challenges. Stay informed, proactive, and resilient, and you’ll be better equipped to navigate the financial hurdles life may throw your way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Centrelink help with bond in Victoria?

Yes, Centrelink can help with bond assistance in VIC.

There are a number of bond assistance programs available in VIC, including the RentAssist Bond Loan, which is a government-funded program that provides eligible low-income earners with a loan of up to 2 weeks’ rent, which can be used towards a rental bond.

Other programs include help with bond and rent in advance in VIC, which can provide financial assistance to cover the cost of rent and bond upfront.

You might also like to know that there will be a Centrelink payment increase in 2024 which is additional help for those receiving assistance.

How can I speed up a payment from Centrelink?

To speed up a claim from Centrelink, Complete your claim as soon as possible. The sooner you submit your claim, the sooner Centrelink can start processing it.

What is a valid reason for urgent payment Centrelink?

If you or your family are in a situation of financial crisis, Centrelink’s Crisis Payment can provide urgent help. This payment can cover essential expenses such as food and medical care for those affected by family or domestic violence.

It can also cover emergency housing costs resulting from unforeseen extreme circumstances.

How do I get immediate payment from Centrelink?

To access immediate payment from Centrelink, you must create a myGov account and link it to Centrelink services. Once your account is set up, you can make a claim or view claim status.

Select Crisis Payment, and be on your way to receiving funds quickly.

How do I get a third urgent payment from Centrelink?

To obtain a third urgent payment from Centrelink, you may need to contact their hotline at 136 150.

You may also be eligible for special advance payments or special benefits if you are in extreme financial hardship.

Can I get an urgent payment from Centrelink?

You may be eligible to receive an urgent payment from Centrelink depending on your circumstances. This could include a Crisis Payment, a one-off payment for humanitarian entrants, or a one-off payment for those released from prison or psychiatric confinement.

To find out if you are eligible, please contact Centrelink.

What is the maximum number of urgent payments allowed within a 12-month period?

Based on the most common advice, two urgent payments per 12-month period is the maximum limit.

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