Phone information and assistance
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 advice service operates weekdays (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.
Note that the Barwon Community Legal Centre provides a ‘welfare rights’ service to those in the Barwon (Geelong) region. Their phone number is (03) 5221 4744.
SSRV provides independent information and assistance in relation to social security law. Social Security Law is principally issues related to Centrelink and its benefits. The issues people contact us in relation to includes (but is not limited to):
- Whether someone is or could be eligible 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.
SSRV begins its work with telephone or email intake and then further assistance may be provided depending on people’s situations. This includes assistance with the preparation of both internal appeals (at Centrelink) and external appeals (at the Social Security Appeals Tribunal).
JobVoice is a project of Social Security Rights Victoria, a community legal centre helping social security recipients with legal advice and representation to challenge decisions made by Centrelink.
Over recent years, many clients of SSRV have expressed frustration with the support provided to them to find employment. SSRV created JobVoice, as a way for jobseekers and social security users to document the stories of good and bad experiences with Centrelink or job service agencies.
SSRV believes in the power of consumer reviews to make change in the social security system. If you’ve ever used UrbanSpoon or TripAdvisor, you’ll know that peer reviews by other consumers enable people to choose the best service, and to pressure services to improve!
Other SSRV services
SSRV also provides community legal education including talks and publications. The talks are usually given to community groups (such as Carer’s groups) and other community organisations. Please contact SSRV if you would like to arrange this.
SSRV produces two regular publications: “Red Tape” a quarterly news sheet available in soft or hard copy (subscriptions are free) and ‘Red Tape Alert‘ an email bulletin sent usually once a month.
SSRV is involved in the law reform program of the National Welfare Rights Network (welfarerights.org.au) which includes regular submissions on issues related to social security law and reform in Australia.
SSRV also contributes to the public debate about social security law in Australia, with special focus on Victorian issues. Please contact SSRV if you wish to have a representative contribute to your publication or news story.