Many Australians who are relying on Centrelink welfare payments to keep themselves and their families afloat are being met with technical issues by the government department, 9News reports.
While Services Australia has finalised more than 200,000 welfare claims over the past few weeks for the Government’s JobSeeker payment plan (formerly known as Newstart), many are finding their registrations met with silence or — even more aggravating — disconnected phone calls.
Dean Fletcher is one such Australian who had registered to receive the welfare payments and been met time and again with technical glitches.
“Between the queues outside of Centrelink and the MyGov website constantly crashing, it’s led to me and many others that I know having to try to access the system in the middle of the night. I’ll have to be up at 1am to process anything,” he said.
“But when I need to call Centrelink, I’ll be met with an automated message, be asked to put in my information, and then it turns around and says ‘all the lines are busy’ and just cuts out.
“And that happened over and over and over. You can start calling at 10am and still be calling at 2pm or 3pm and it’s still doing the same thing.”
And while the system has recently been flooded with applications from those who have lost their income due to the COVID-19 crisis, this is not a new issue for the department.
“There have been times where I’ve called 40 plus times in a day and it just won’t answer. And this is something that was happening before the coronavirus happened as well. It’s been constant for almost as long as I’ve been on Newstart,” Dean said.