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New Phone Support Line for Older Australians and their Families
Australia has changed a lot for Older Australians. Many new challenges have arisen, and coronavirus – or COVID 19 – is causing fear and confusion within the community. The Older Person’s COVID-19 Support Line has now commenced supported by funding from the Australian Government. Older Australians, their friends, relatives and supporters can call 1800 171 866 for any information or services they need.
Senior Australians, their families and carers can FREECALL 1800 171 866 if they:
would like to talk with someone about what COVID-19 means for them or a loved one
are feeling lonely or distressed or are worried about a loved one feeling the same
are caring for a someone and need some information or a listening ear about what COVID-19 means for your circumstances
are worried about what COVID-19 means for their usual aged care service
are worried about a friend or family member living with dementia.
If you already receive Newstart or another payment, you do not need to contact Centrelink to get the extra support announced.
If you are still getting paid, still have income coming in, if you can wait a few days, that may help. If you don’t need payments urgently, wait a day or two to connect.
For people who have lost their jobs and need to apply for a payment urgently:
Online: If you have digital access, try applying online through MyGov. Try again later if you cannot get through.
The Government has enacted Intent to Claim processes so people don’t have to lodge a full claim immediately, and they will be back paid to the day they lodged their intent to claim. In other words, people won’t miss out on income support because of delays to lodge a completed claim.
Phone: We know many people do not have online access. The phone number for Jobseeker Payment is 132 850.
In person: If you do decide to line up, please practice social distancing.
Healthdirect Australia has worked with the Department of Health to establish the Coronavirus Health Information Line (1800 020 080) to provide non-clinical information about COVID-19.
The Healthdirect helpline (1800 022 222) is triaging people calling with symptoms.
Both lines are receiving unprecedented call volumes, resulting in extended wait times for some callers, but they are expanding these helplines to be able to provide timely advice and support to everyone who needs it.
If you require any assistance to support people with a disability who are of a cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) background please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Barrett on Tara.Barrett@ndis.gov.au. Tara is Feros Care’s Community Development Co-ordinators working with CALD communities. Feros Care is the NDIS LAC community partner delivering the NDIS in the ACT.
1 800 RESPECT
1800RESPECT will continue to operate during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) health emergency, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For those in an unsafe environment, the pressures – financial, health and emotional and wellbeing – that have and will continue to come as a result of COVID-19, could increase the risk of violence and abuse. It’s critical that those impacted by domestic and family violence know that support is available.
In an emergency or if someone is in immediate danger, please call 000. If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. The 1800RESPECT website also contains information about the types of violence, how to support people impacted by violence and abuse, and an accessible directory of local support services.
If a person does not feel safe to call 1800RESPECT over the phone, they can speak with counsellors via webchat. The counsellors are very experienced in how to sensitively handle contacts from those who are in the same house as the person using violence. The caller’s safety is the main priority.
People can also download trusted safety apps that are designed by experts from the iOS App and Google Play stores. A list is available on the 1800RESPECT website. Some examples include Daisy and Sunny. Daisy app provides support to those experiencing violence or abuse and can connect them to services in their local area. Sunny app provides support for women with disability who have experienced violence and abuse.
Australian Energy Regulator – Statement of Expectation
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the Australian community. Many people are or will be affected by dramatic changes to their lives, businesses, income and working arrangements, and those of their friends, families and communities. Energy use and the ability to pay their bills may in turn be affected. Read the full statement here.
AER encourages you to stay informed about important AER developments by:
Subscribing to AER updates and media release; and following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
If you have an enquiry, please contact:
Call us on 1300 585 165; or email us at AERInquiry@aer.gov.au.