General public phone information and support
Social Security Rights Victoria Inc. provides legal information and assistance in relation to social security law that is, issues to do principally with Centrelink.
Our phone general advice service is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays (except Melbourne public holidays) between 9.30am and 12.30pm.
Our phone numbers are:
(03) 9481 0355 or
1800 094 164 from outside the Melbourne or Geelong areas.
SSRV provides independent information and support in relation to social security law/Centrelink issues. The types of issues people contact us in relation to includes (but is not limited to):
- Eligibility for a payment;
- Circumstances where someone would normally not be eligible;
- Cancellation or refusal of application;
- Membership of couple issues;
- Income and assets;
- Debts and repayment issues.
Initial information and support is usually provided by telephone.
9am-5pm Mondays to Thursdays.
Are you assistang a client with a Centrelink problem?
The SSRV Worker Help Line offers free and accessible services to social, community and health workers (such as financial counsellors , disability advocates, social workers, doctors and community lawyers) to help support your client.
We can provide specialist information, advice and legal support in relation to matters such as:
- Eligibility for pensions and allowances
- Centrelink overpayments and debts
- Suspension or cancellation of payments
- Appealing Centrelink decisions.
We may also invite you to make a warm referral of your client to SSRV.
- Offer resources and training to you and your colleagues.
The Worker Help Line Service is supported by the Victoria Government.
Casework and Representation
SSRV lawyers provide a range of legal assistance services such as assessment of documentation, negotitation witg Centrelink and providing representation at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearings. This assistance is subject to guidelines and availability of assistance.
Community Legal Education
SSRV provides community legal education including talks and publications. The talks are usually given to community groups and other community organisations. Please contact SSRV if you would like to arrange this.
Law Reform and Legal Policy
SSRV contributes to public debate about social security law in Australia. It seeks to change unfair laws and practices.
Family Violence Project
This project explores the intersection between family violence and social security issues. Areas of focus include:
- Working in the community legal centres to document and indentify relevant issues and cohorts
- Provide specialist social security law advice and assistance
- Offer secondary consultation and legal support to workers assisting clients with relevant issues
- Sharing learnings, identifying and responding to relevant issues.
The project is supported by the Victorian Government.
Integrated Service Project
Social Security Rights Victoria Inc. (‘SSRV’) and Financial and Consumer Rights Council Inc. (‘FCRC’) have established a partnership to design, implement and evaluate an integrated service bringing together social security law specialists and financial counsellors.
The overarching objective of this project is to enable financial counsellors and social security rights experts to work together more effectively to improve client outcomes. The project will build the capability of financial counsellors and community lawyers to identify and respond to social security law and related issues.
Activities of the project will include:
• Dedicated resourcing within SSRV to assist and work with financial counsellors who are assisting clients with Centrelink issues;
• Training and professional development for SSRV staff regarding financial counselling services to improve integrated service provision and referrals;
• Training and professional development for financial counsellors regarding social security law and Centrelink issues;
• Relationship building between social security experts and financial counsellors across Victoria; and,
• Identifying and addressing relevant systemic issues facing clients, primarily through the FCRC Centrelink Working Group.
The project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Justice and Community Safety for one year, with this funding administered by the Federation of Community Legal Centres.