What is an approved money management course?
Approved money management courses are free courses that can help you improve your financial skills. They can teach you how to budget, how to develop a savings plan and to understand debt and credit.
Completion of an approved money management course is an eligibility requirement for the Matched Savings Payment, available through Centrelink.
Approved money management courses can be delivered by money management services, some Commonwealth Financial Counselling Services and Emergency Relief organisations as well as some non-government funded organisations.
If you completed a money management or financial literacy education course on or after 1 July 2009 you can check with Centrelink to see if it is an approved money management course. If it is, you may not have to undertake another approved money management course. If it is not, but the topics covered appear to be similar to the requirements of an approved money management course, you can speak to Centrelink about providing the course details to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs [FaHCSIA] so they can determine whether or not the course meets the approved money management course requirements. For information on approved money management courses speak to your local money management or financial counselling service or contact Centrelink for a list of available courses.
Signing up for a course
When you contact a course provider to sign up for a course, the provider will register you and send you some pre-course material, including details of the dates for your face-to-face sessions.
The date you register for your course is the earliest date you can start your qualifying savings period if you are claiming the Matched Savings Payment.
For more information on the registration process, see the participant registration for approved money management courses fact sheet.
Participating in a course
Most approved money management courses will be run through a series of workshops or lessons over several days. Some course providers will run their course over two or three consecutive days, while others may deliver workshops over a longer period of time, to coincide with visits to remote communities for example.
You must participate in all course lessons or workshops to complete your course. Approved money management courses will be delivered in small groups or on a one-onone basis. Some providers may offer courses that include lessons delivered through online training, however all courses must include at least six hours of face to face workshops.
Claiming the Matched Savings Payment
Once you have completed the approved money management course you will receive a Certificate of Completion. The certificate will include the name of the course and the provider and the dates you started and completed your course.
You must keep your Certificate of Completion as you will be required to provide your certificate to Centrelink when you claim the Matched Savings Payment. Centrelink will also need you to show evidence of your savings pattern and savings amounts from your non income managed money. You can usually do this by providing copies of your bank statements, deposit book or passbook covering the period from the start of your savings period [which can be the day you registered for your course] through to the end of your savings period, which must be 13 weeks or more.
You cannot receive the Matched Savings Payment unless you have saved for at least 13 weeks, from the time you registered for your course, and you have completed your approved money management course.
Only people on the Child Protection Scheme of Income Management (excluding Voluntary Income Management) are eligible to receive the Matched Savings Payment. For more information on income management or the Matched Savings Payment call the Centrelink Income Management Line on 13 25 94*.
The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide. The information is accurate as at August 2010. If you use this publication after, please check with FaHCSIA that it is correct.