Centrelink And Medicare Claims Slashed

Dept of Social Services

Services Australia has halved its claims backlog and reduced congestion messaging on its phone lines, getting nearly 700,000 outstanding Centrelink and Medicare claims to Australians in need.

Minister for Government Services, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP announced the service improvements today at the official opening of the new Butler Service Centre in the northern corridor of Perth.

Minister Shorten said the recruitment of 3,000 new permanent staff – including almost 200 in Perth – had halved the Agency’s backlog in 13 just weeks.

The Agency has also halved congestion messaging since January. Congestion messaging is only activated in periods of high demand and provides detail of the digital services available to customers.

“Services Australia has focussed on getting claim levels back to normal levels as quickly as possible after recruiting and training these 3,000 staff to process critical Centrelink and Medicare claims,” Minister Shorten said.

“A few weeks ago I announced the Agency had slashed 500,000 claims in 10 weeks and since then we’ve cut a further 200,000.

“The backlog is now around 660,000 and the Agency remains on track to reach normal claim levels by mid-year.”

The new recruits have processed over 823,000 claims and answered more than 1.1 million calls from customers.

“The new staff are highly motivated, and Australians will continue to see improvements as the new staff increase their skills and experience.”

The Australian Government has committed $1.8 billion in the 2024-25 Budget over 3 years for staffing, to continue to reduce claim processing times.

Officially opening the Butler Service Centre, Minister Shorten said locals are now finding it easier to access the services they need and have support tailored for their circumstances.

“This welcoming and contemporary space reflects the Agency’s commitment to delivering services that are simple, helpful, respectful and transparent.”

The Butler Service Centre provides the ability to book Centrelink appointments, access digital coaching appointments for help with using digital services, and provide real time feedback.

The National Disability Insurance Agency is also available at the Butler Service Centre, making it easier for local residents to access government services in one convenient location.

The Butler Service Centre is located at 8 Butler Boulevard and open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 4.30pm.

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