JobSeeker Payments and Mutual Obligation requirements

  1. Activity requirement notifications
  2. Obtaining JobSeeker and other Centrelink payments
  3. Help with Centrelink and employment services issues
  4. Mutual obligation snapshots
  5. ACOSS advocacy on Mutual Obligations and New Employment Services
  6. Mutual obligations in the pandemic and other disasters

20 Dec 2022

Participants in Workforce Australia Services who began in July and August 2022 with a provider may receive notifications (SMS or email in Workforce Australia inbox) that there is an activity requirement due*. The notifications are intended to ensure you contact your provider and discuss the options for the activity requirements.

The activity requirements should only apply to participants who have not reported income in the previous fortnight and/or who have not completed 80% of approved activities such as training including SEE, AMEP, accredited training and Self-Employment or a minimum of 75 hours of other activities such as non-accredited training courses, counselling, non-government programs and voluntary work.

Your options

It is important that you speak to your provider about your options quickly. You may already be undertaking an activity that you could use to meet this activity requirement such as training, SEE, AMEP or Self Employment. If that is the case, you should speak to your provider about continuing in that activity.

If you do not find an alternative activity you may be required to undertake Work for the Dole.

If you began reporting income after the date of the notification of the activity requirement, discuss this with your provider as your employment may mean you don’t have to do an activity, and exempt you from doing Work for the Dole if it is ongoing.

A participant factsheet about this requirement is available on the DEWR website –

*This activity requirement is every 6 months and these requirements only apply to participants in Workforce Australia Services.


Obtaining JobSeeker and other Centrelink payments

If you lose employment, you can find out which payment applies to you on the Services Australia ‘How to get a payment’ page, and apply for income support online through MyGov. MyGov may have delays, please try again later if you cannot get through.
We know many people do not have online access – the phone number for accessing the JobSeeker Payment is 132 850.

Before applying in person at a Centrelink office, consider the COVID-19 health restrictions in your state/territory.

Help with Centrelink and employment services issues

There are organisations that can advise and support you if you’re having problems with your income support payment or employment service. Unfortunately, ACOSS is unable to provide advice and support in individual cases.

For legal help with Centrelink payments, visit Economic Justice Australia’s webpage.

If you’re facing financial hardship or mental health issues, there are services that can help:

Mutual obligations during the pandemic and other disasters

When communities are affected by extreme weather events, natural disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19, the federal Government suspends mutual obligation requirements for a period of time. These mutual obligation suspensions are listed  here.

Mutual obligation suspensions usually mean that penalties for not completing mutual obligation requirements under the Targeted Compliance Framework do not apply. However, it is always important to check what requirements apply to you on the job seeker dashboard, or by checking with your provider, the Digital/National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

When Mutual Obligation suspensions are lifted, regular job search and other mutual obligation requirements return.

If you are unable to attend an appointment, activity or meet a job search target, please contact your provider before the date it is due. Providers should be exercising COVID-safe practices and taking into account your situation and labour market conditions when setting requirements for you.

In particular, you should be able to practice COVID safety precautions such as attending COVID testing and self-isolating as required. However, it is important that you contact your provider if you are unable to attend or meet a requirement because of the impact of observing COVID safety precautions before it is due.

There are complex rules in every state depending on the Health Orders that employment services providers should be following in relation to the provision of face-to-face services. If you are unable to meet employment services requirements due to your vaccination status you may be eligible to apply for a medication exemption. Please read this fact sheet for more information. Job Seeker Participant – return to face to face servicing factsheet

Please let [email protected] know if you encounter any issues in this regard.

For updates, check this Government webpage: