Hank Jongen is General Manager at the Department of Human Services.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of planning travel, so make sure to remind your clients to set up a myGov account before they go.
If your client needs to access myGov overseas to report income, update contact details or respond to a letter from the Department of Human Services, they can use a mobile or tablet device they normally sign in to their account, by using a SMS code that will be sent to them.
To continue receiving text messages, your client can either take their registered mobile phone with them overseas and set up mobile roaming with their Australian phone provider, or they can connect with a network compatible to their phone provider. However, remember, the cost of using a phone overseas for calls and texts can quickly add up.
myGov Code Generator app
Another option is to use the myGov Code Generator app, which can provide your client with a code to sign in to their myGov account, rather than receiving an SMS. Your client should use the myGov Code Generator app if they can’t receive text messages overseas.
Before travelling overseas, download the myGov Code Generator app from either the App Store or Google Play, depending on their device, and set it up.
It’s also a good idea to create a back-up to their preferred sign-in option, in case your client runs into any difficulties logging into their myGov account. A back-up will let your client sign in to their account if they can’t use the app. They can simply jump into their ‘Account Settings’, select the mobile number, then ‘Sign in Options’, and turn on ‘Answer a secret question’. The myGov Code Generator will stay on as well.
When your client wants to access myGov while away, they can simply open the myGov Code Generator app on their mobile device to get the access code, and then use this code to log into the myGov website. Your client won’t need wifi or internet access to use the app itself. However, they will still require wifi or internet access to open the myGov website on an internet browser, whether using their phone or tablet device, or a computer.
Travel rules vary outside of Australia
The most important thing to add to their ‘to do’ list is to inform the Department of Human Services if they’re going overseas. The rules for travelling outside Australia vary according to the type of payment or concession card they receive. Your client can click here to check if their payments may be affected and what they need to do before they go.
If your client receives the Age Pension, they generally don’t need to tell the Department of Human Services if they’re travelling overseas for less than six weeks. However, it’s important to let the Department know if they’ll be travelling for longer than six weeks, as their supplements and concessions could be cancelled.
Your client can notify the Department of their travel through their Centrelink online account on myGov, or by calling the older Australians line, or visiting the Department at a service centre.
Similarly, if they’re due to report earnings on the day of or after they leave Australia, they should report on the business day before they go, to avoid any delays receiving their payment. This also applies if they will be receiving employment income, including leave payments, while overseas.