• Many Australians woke up this morning to some unprecedented decisions that the National Cabinet has made, and find themselves in very difficult circumstances.
• For many thousands of Australians, they’ve never in their life sought assistance from government before, so it will be a very new experience for them.
• As a consequence, we’re seeing unprecedented demand across all Centrelink call centres, shopfronts and myGov.
• Due to that huge influx we’ve unfortunately seen long queues at shopfronts, on our phone lines and online but we’re working to help everybody as quickly as possible
• The best way to see what you are eligible for and apply for support is to visit

What are we doing to improve services?

• The Prime Minister has announced an extra 5,000 staff for Services Australia – to be employed and trained to assist immediately.
• We’re looking at increasing capacity for access to the myGov website – still the best way to apply for assistance.
• We’re introducing ‘intent to claim’ status for payments that will ensure payments are backdated to today (23 March 2020).

Was the myGov site down because of a cyber attack?

• Services Australia is constantly monitoring for cyber attacks
• Advice provided today was that warnings were raised due to the overwhelming number of visitors to the myGov site.
• The very high number of people accessing the site triggered the warnings, however, the Minister has advised there is no evidence of a specific attack today.
• This does not mean there is no need for heightened cyber security and we’ll continue to monitor the situation.
• Services Australia is working to ensure more people can access the website.

What should people do?

• Strongly encourage people to visit
• We ask Australians to be patient as we work hard to help them all

Current Centrelink customers:

• You do not need to do anything to receive the Economic Support Payment or Coronvirus Supplement.
• These will be paid automatically to you if you are on an eligible payment. Please do not call or visit Centrelink unless you have urgent or required business.

New Centrelink customers:

• If you don’t currently get an income support payment or don’t have a CRN and you need help because you’ve lost your job or had your income reduced, please start your claim online through myGov. The website ( has information about how to set up an account or link an existing account to Centrelink.
• If you need to provide proof of identity, this can be done this over the phone – you do not need to go into Centrelink. Your claim will still be processed whilst waiting for identity verification.