Booking a new claim interview
Booking an interview in advance will give us time to arrange an interpreter to be present in person or over the phone. Without an appointment, we can usually provide an interpreter over the phone, but there is no guarantee that one will be available.
If you have arrived in Australia with a Refugee or Humanitarian Visa, or you were granted a Permanent Protection Visa in Australia, you can get assistance from us to help you settle into your new life in Australia.
Our refugee services can:
- help you get the financial assistance you need
- provide you with interpreters and translations
- get you an interim Medicare card
- provide information about the range of payments and services available to you
- assist you with applications for payments and exemptions
- make referrals to our Health and Allied Health Assessors for you
- provide information about and refer you to local employment and community-service providers.
Your Humanitarian Settlement Service Provider or proposer will assist you to access specialised services through our Refugee Servicing Network. You can also visit any DHS Service Centre to claim payments or services.
You need to know
Department of Human Services Refugee Servicing Network
Our Refugee Servicing Network helps provide timely payments, referrals, assessments and ongoing support.
The services provided by the Refugee Servicing Network may include:
- giving you a new claim interview as soon as possible after arrival / grant of visa
- liaising with your Humanitarian Settlement Service providers and/or proposers, and
- inviting you to an information seminar on our payments and services and what you need to do.
We also work with other settlement and mainstream services to help you with your settlement needs.
To access settlement services in your area, contact your Humanitarian Settlement Service provider or visit a DHS Service Centre.
Financial support for refugees and humanitarian entrants
Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for a range of payments and services:
- Crisis Payment, a one-off payment that helps those who have arrived in Australia for the first time on a Refugee or Humanitarian visa;
- Rent Assistance, which provides extra financial help if you rent privately and receive a Centrelink payment;
- Child Care Benefit, which helps cover the cost of approved child care, including long day care, family day care, occasional day care, and before and after-school care;
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance, which provides help with the cost of approved child care if you are an eligible parent and you are looking for work, studying, training, or undertaking rehabilitation to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Refugee health services
If you have a permanent-resident visa or have a valid visa with permission to work in Australia, you can get medical benefits and services such as Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.
Being enrolled in Medicare means that visiting a doctor will cost you less, or may even be free. You can also get prescription medicines cheaper.
If you need to see a doctor often, have regular tests, or take a lot of medication, you could end up with large medical bills. The Medicare Safety Net and PBS Safety Net can help you with this. Once you reach a safety-net threshold, visiting your doctor or buying PBS medicines will be less expensive or free.
Children who are under seven years of age and who are enrolled in Medicare are automatically included on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register so that they can get immunised against some diseases.