Many Australians are being stood down during this pandemic and will need to apply for Centrelink benefits, possibly for the first time in their lives. Here are some tips on how to get your Customer Reference Number (CRN).

How to

  • If you have never had a Centrelink benefit before, you need to be able to input your CRN. Everyone born in Australia automatically has a CRN even if you have never received Centrelink payments.
  • To obtain your CRN you will need to phone Centrelink or go into a Centrelink office. You can phone Centrelink Online Services Support Hotline on 132 307 or click on the button below for a full list of numbers.
  • If you don’t already have the MyGov app set up on your smart phone – please get this set up as soon as possible.  Click on the button below for instructions on how to set up the app.

Advice from Centrelink

When you speak to Centrelink, they will ask you a series of questions to identify you. If you can successfully identify yourself, they will give you your unique CRN over the phone. You should then also ask for a Linking Code so that you can then link your CRN to your MyGov account.

Centrelink have announced that they have put on 5,000 additional call service operators, so although you may have a wait, your call will be answered.  Don’t give up at 5pm because your call will be directed to call centres in other states that will still be open.

You may have seen queues for Centrelink on the news – the queues are only occurring because Centrelink are limiting the number of people in their office at any one time.  The line outside is not indicative of the wait time.  (NB If you have recently returned from overseas, or are showing symptoms of Coronavirus you will not be allowed in a Centrelink office and will need to deal with them online or over the phone.)

You may also find this link helpful if you need to try and claim a payment from Centrelink.



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