Media Release: Welfare system upgrade means student claims processed in half the time

6 March 2017

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

Improvements to the Youth Allowance and Austudy claims process has cut processing time by almost half. 

The average time to process a claim has reduced from 9 weeks last year to under 5 weeks in 2017. Claims on hand have reduced from 80,000 to 35,000.

These are some of the initial outcomes from stage 1 of the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Program (WPIT), the largest system upgrade in the federal government.

Over the next few years, WPIT will completely transform the way that welfare payments are claimed, processed and delivered, saving time and resources.

Key changes that WPIT has made to the Youth Allowance and Austudy claims process include the rejection of claims earlier in the process when they are incomplete or do not meet basic eligibility criteria.

Previously, around 40% of claims were rejected due to incomplete information or not meeting criteria. These claims had to be fully assessed before they were rejected which delayed processing of other claims.

There is also now an online ‘claim tracker’ which allows students to monitor the process of their application, saving thousands of calls to Centrelink.

Over 60% of students reported that they are finding the system easier to navigate and have less need to contact Centrelink to finalise their claim.

Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, said he was pleased to see these initial results from WPIT.

“WPIT is the most significant transformation to the way we process and distribute welfare payments in 30 years. It is pleasing to see these tangible results, saving time and money. 

“Over the years ahead, every part of the welfare payment system will be upgraded to make it easier for everyday Australians and cheaper for the Government,” Mr Tudge said.