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You might be eligible to receive the Centrelink Telephone Allowance to help you pay for your phone and internet connection.

If you are eligible you can receive a payment from the Government of either $28.20 or $42.00 every three months.

You can read more information about whether you can get the Centrelink Telephone Allowance by clicking here.

How can I claim the Centrelink Telephone Allowance?

If the Centrelink Telephone Allowance is not already paid to you as a part of your Centrelink payments, and you would like to receive it, or if you are unsure whether you are eligible, you should contact Centrelink.

You can contact Centrelink:

 

Contacting a financial counsellor

Call a financial counsellor for free on 1800 007 007

For more helpful information visit the website for Financial Counselling Australia’s National Debt Helpline.

How talking to a financial counsellor can help you

If you're having difficulty paying your bills, you can call a financial counsellor. Their services are free and confidential.

They can help you figure out:

  • how to organise your money
  • how to pay your bills
  • how to get the support you need.

Even if you feel you are coping, a fresh set of eyes may help you sort things out more quickly, or identify other forms of assistance you weren't aware of.

A financial counsellor can talk to your service provider for you

Often, phone, mobile and internet providers do not give out financial hardship contact details directly to customers.

However, many financial counsellors know the systems well and who to talk to. If a financial counsellor calls your provider on your behalf you are more likely to get the help you need.

Financial counsellors may also know other services you can use as well as other forms of assistance you could be eligible for.

 

Young man talking on his phone at the computer

Experiencing Financial Hardship

Welcome to ACCAN’s financial hardship portal. Here you can find useful information about what you can do if you are struggling to pay your bills.

Financial hardship happens when you are unable to meet repayment obligations for services that you’re using.

If you find yourself unable to pay a bill you will need to tell your service provider that you are experiencing financial hardship so that they can help you.

You can also talk to a financial counsellor for free and anonymous help.

Click on ‘How Can I Get Help’ to see the contact details for your service provider, and for more information about financial counsellors.

If you're finding it hard to pay your phone or internet bill, you are not the only one. Lots of people face unexpected circumstances at different times in their lives – like losing a job, having a relationship breakdown, becoming sick or even after bushfires, floods and cyclones.

The contact details of Optus, Vodafone and Telstra can be found on the Get Help page.

 

Subcategories

This page contains information about the people and services that can help you if you are struggling to pay a bill. You can get help from your service provider, a financial counsellor, and a range of other free services.

If you find yourself in a position where you cannot pay a bill:

  • Do not ignore the bill. Contact your service provider to discuss your options. You can agree on a payment plan or come to another arrangement.

  • Ask your service provider to waive late payment and other penalty fees.

  • Your provider can disconnect, suspend, or restrict your services if you do not pay. In most cases, they must warn you in writing at least twice, and at least five days before your service is disconnected.

  • If your service is disconnected, suspended, or restricted, you can ask your service provider to review the decision.

  • If you cannot reach an agreement with your provider about a payment plan, you should contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).