COVID-19 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your office still open?

Yes our Office is open, however in the interests of community health, we are not accepting face-to-face appointments.

Can I still make a complaint to the Ombudsman?

Yes, you can make a complaint using our online form. If you're unable to complete the online form, see our Contact us page for further options.
Please note that due to the impacts of COVID-19 our phone service is now limited to 9am to 12pm Australian Eastern Time Monday to Friday.

Will my complaint be responded to?

We will respond, although it may take longer than usual to contact you regarding your complaint, and for us to assist you to resolve it. This is because government-wide resources are focused on the delivery of essential services to the Australian public.

Can I complain to the Ombudsman about Centrelink/Services Australia?

You should try to resolve the complaint with Centrelink before you contact us. This is usually the fastest way to resolve a complaint.  If you cannot get through to Centrelink on the phone, we suggest contacting Centrelink online.

Allow Centrelink 10 business days to respond to your complaint. If you are not satisfied with Centrelink’s response to your complaint, you can contact us.

Always ask for a Centrelink ‘complaint reference number’. We will ask you for this if you contact us again about your complaint.

For further information about Centrelink complaints click here.

Why haven’t I received my core payment from Centrelink?

We are aware people are experiencing delays with receiving their core payments from Centrelink. Please be advised we are monitoring this issue.

Why am I not eligible receive the JobSeeker payment?

The Ombudsman cannot look at the eligibility criteria for the JobSeeker or other payments. Please visit Services Australia for criteria and information around Centrelink payments.

We are able to look at the process by which Centrelink determined that your personal circumstances meet or do not meet these criteria, and you can contact us if you believe there has been an error in this process.

However, as noted above, we encourage you to try to resolve the issue with Centrelink before contacting us. If you disagree with a Centrelink decision, you may also have internal review rights within Centrelink. For more information about your review rights, click here.

Where do I go to find out information about COVID-19 and what I need to do if I think I have symptoms?

Remember if you're feeling unwell, need to isolate yourself at home, or if you’re worried you may have coronavirus (COVID 19), call your doctor and let them know.

You can also:

If you’re a health professional or business there is information specific for you.

Information for your state/territory health department can be found below.

Where do I go to find out information about the JobKeeper payment and how this can help my business?

Visit the Australian Taxation Office for information about the JobKeeper payment. You can also register for regular updates here.

Where can I found out information about the enforced quarantine period now in place if I am returning to Australia from overseas?

The Australian Border Force can provide information regarding travel restrictions and the quarantine process for those returning to Australia:

https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions

If you are in quarantine and would like to make a complaint about those arrangements, you should speak with staff at your location in the first instance. If you are still unhappy, you should contact your local state ombudsman:

State and Territory Ombudsman

Australian Capital Territory:

https://www.ombudsman.act.gov.au/

Victoria:

https://www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au/

Queensland:

https://www.ombudsman.qld.gov.au/

New South Wales:

https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/

Western Australia:

http://www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au/

Northern Territory:

https://www.ombudsman.nt.gov.au/

South Australia:

https://www.ombudsman.sa.gov.au/

Where can I find information about government alerts and services?

Visit https://www.australia.gov.au/ for the latest information on:

  • Health advice and alerts
  • Financial support
  • Restrictions and safety advice
  • Education and child care support
  • State and Territory Government information

Are Ombudsman staff still visiting immigration detention centres?

To protect the health of detainees and our staff, the Office has temporarily suspended its physical inspections of detention facilities. However, we are remotely monitoring the operations of detention facilities and are continuing to prepare assessments of the circumstances of individuals in long term immigration detention. We are also continuing to handle complaints from detainees.