Dear Abe,

I am receiving youth allowance and working part-time. I am trying to declare my income to Centrelink each fortnight, but the Centrelink working days used each fortnight don’t match the fortnight I get paid. I don’t know which days I should use.


Dear Confused,

If you are a student receiving a Centrelink payment and earning income, you must declare the amount you earn for all the days you worked in the last 14 days up to the Centrelink reporting date. Work out what your gross income (before tax) would be for those 14 days. You can do this by keeping a record of the amount of hours you have worked during your Centrelink fortnight and multiply this by your hourly rate.

Do not interpret ‘income’ as when you actually received the money or the amount on your payslip. Even if you get paid on the same day that you have to report to Centrelink, the working days may be different. Use Centrelink working days even if you have not been paid yet. This means you might be out of pocket until the day you actually get paid by your employer. It is important to report your income correctly so you do not end up with an overpayment or underpayment.