Newstart Allowance

Your commitments

You need to be actively looking for work while you’re getting Newstart Allowance.

What you need to do

There are a few things that you’ll need to do for Newstart, including:

  • look and apply for jobs as part of your Job Plan
  • attend relevant training
  • report any income for you and your partner
  • tell us about any change to your circumstance

You need to report these things to us every 2 weeks.

How to report

You need to report to us using the Express Plus Centrelink app or through your Centrelink online account. This will keep us up to date on your situation and job search.

Job Plans

Your Job Plan is a record of the things you have agreed to do to give you the best chance of getting a job.

You’ll negotiate your Job Plan with us, or the employment services provider you chose.

Job skills

We run a Skills for Education and Employment program to improve your speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills to help you get and keep a job.

Commitment exemptions

You may have different rules and exemptions based on your situation.

These are usually if you’re:

You can also get temporary exemptions if:

  • you have a major personal crisis, such as the death of an immediate family member, domestic violence or homelessness
  • there’s a major disruption to your home, such as a fire or flood
  • you have temporary caring responsibilities for an adult or child

Not keeping your commitments

If you don’t continue to look for work your payment might be reduced or stopped. Read more about penalties for not meeting your Mutual Obligation Requirements.

If you don’t report changes to your situation, this may result in a debt you’ll need to repay.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017