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Centrelink apologises for web welfare shutdown

A screenshot of the Centrelink website.
A screenshot of the Centrelink website. 

Centrelink clients around Australia are furious over missing payments after the welfare agency's website stopped working on Monday and Tuesday.

Centrelink's parent department, Human Services, has apologised to clients over what it says are "intermittent issues" and encouraged users to log on to its mobile apps, which have been working normally.

A DHS spokesmen said on Tuesday that services were improving and customers would be told when full service had been restored.

Centrelink is pushing to move more and more of its service delivery online, using its website and specially designed mobile applications, and away from its overstretched telephone lines, which have been the subject of serious criticism.

Frustrated clients took to online forums to vent their anger on Monday and Tuesday, complaining of missing out on payments or having to make long journeys to Centrelink shopfronts after being unable to log on.


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One user told of days of frustration trying to log on to the site.

"[The website] has been down since Friday for me," the woman wrote.

"Have tried multiple computers and have received a letter because I did not report and have not been paid.

"I have nothing.

"This is ... awful."

Another Centrelink client tried getting up in the small hours of Tuesday morning to log on, to no avail.

"Centrelink is down been trying all day to contact the site even thought that if I got up in the middle of the night and tried things may be easier ... disgraceful ... trying to get on for days," she wrote.

"I need to report my earnings which are zilch or face losing payments."

A DHS spokesman conceded there had been problems but said that work was under way to get the site functioning normally again.

"People using Centrelink online services have been experiencing intermittent issues," he said on Tuesday.

"However, service availability is improving. We will advise customers when full service availability is restored.

"Mobile apps are not affected and customers can still use the Express Plus mobile apps and phone self-service to complete their business with us.

"We apologise for the inconvenience to our customers."


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