Change of circumstances for Newstart Allowance

You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:

  • your personal circumstances change
  • you change your address
  • your income changes
  • you do not have to lodge a tax return
  • your care arrangements change
  • your work or study load changes
  • you leave Australia

If you do not tell us about the changes within 14 days your payment may be affected because:

  • you may find yourself in debt
  • you may be overpaid benefits, and you will probably have to pay the money back
  • you could be charged with fraud if you deliberately do not tell us about changes
  • a recovery fee may be imposed if you give us incorrect information about your employment income

You can continue getting Newstart Allowance if you get sick or have an accident and are temporarily unable to work. You will need to get a medical certificate from your doctor that states you are unfit to do at least 8 hours’ work a week.

You will not have to meet the activity test or hand in your fortnightly application form in person while you are unfit for work and have a medical certificate.

How to report your changes

You can report changes to your circumstances using our self service options.

Are you moving to another location?

Use the Moving to an Area of Lower Employment Prospects (MALEP) Test to find out the employment prospects of the area you are moving to. Your payment could be affected if you choose to move to an area with significantly lower employment prospects without a good reason.