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Covid-19 | Federal & State Governments Stimulus Measures banner. Updated: 20 November 2020

Government Stimulus Measure:

Additional Income Support for JobSeeker Payment Recipients

What is the stimulus/relief?

Expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement. This payment will be taxable and is available until 31 December 2020.

 Fortnightly Payment Rates
 Current Payment  From 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020  From 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021*
 $550 per fortnight  $250 per fortnight  $150 per fortnight

* The extension is subject to the passage of legislation.

What is the aim of the initiative?

Part of the Federal Government's commitment to provide financial assistance to those who are financially impacted by the Coronavirus.

Who is eligible?

This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories, and there will be temporary changes to the asset test and liquid asset waiting period.

JobSeeker Eligible Payment Categories before and after 25 September 2020.

Provided that at least $1 of benefits from the above table is provided in a fortnight, the full additional payment will be available.

These payments can apply to sole traders, the self-employed and casual workers. The Government has temporarily increased the partner income test threshold to $3,068 per fortnight, allowing the unemployed to receive JobSeeker payments when their spouse earns up to $79,762 per annum. 

How do I get it?

You need to apply with Centrelink in person, by phone or online via myGov. The payments will commence from 27 April 2020 and apply until 31 March 2021.

Those who are receiving sick leave or annual leave, and those receiving income protection insurance, may not receive JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance JobSeeker.

Income test for the JobSeeker Payment are as follows:

JobSeeker Payment before 25 September 2020.

JobSeeker from 25 September to 31 December 2020.

From 4 August 2020, mutual obligation requirements will return for JobSeekers.

More info: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19

Examples:

Example if you're a sole trader

Chris is a sole trader, running an architecture practice, specialising in home renovations. 

The economic downturn due to Coronavirus has adversely affected Chris' business, and his income has been reduced to zero.

Chris will be able to apply for the new JobSeeker / Coronavirus supplement and will not have his assets included as part of the eligibility assessment for the payment. 

He will also not be required to serve a Liquid Asset test Waiting Period, as that has been waived.

Chris is eligible for the Jobseeker payment and, as he is married, will receive:

  • JobSeeker Payment partnered rate of $510.80 per fortnight; plus
  • Energy Supplement of $7.90 per fortnight; plus
  • Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight
  • This brings Chris' total fortnightly income support payment to $1,068.70.

Example if you're an employee

Leonie is in her mid-30s, with two dependent children aged 10 and 12 and works as a telephone consultant for a travel agency. 

The economic downturn due to coronavirus has caused the travel agency where she works to close for a six-month period and resulted in Leonie's hours being reduced to zero. 

Leonie will be eligible to apply for JobSeeker Payment and the Coronavirus supplement under the new streamlined process.

Leonie can apply on-line and make a declaration about her identity, residency status, income and that she has had her hours reduced to zero as a result of the economic downturn due to Coronavirus.

Leonie is eligible for JobSeeker Payment and will receive $1,171.50 per fortnight, comprising:

  • JobSeeker Payment single, with dependent child rate of $612.00 per fortnight; plus
  • Energy Supplement of $9.50 per fortnight; plus
  • Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight.
  • Leonie will also receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B of $483 a fortnight.

Having recently left employment, Leonie is already job ready.

An employment service provider will look to match Leonie's skills with available opportunities (for example, in another call centre) so Leonie's skills can be used in another industry and Leonie can get another job quickly.

Closing comments

The Government is moving quickly, and things are changing daily with regards to the response to COVID-19. 

Should you have any queries regarding this measure, or any Government measure announced in relation to COVID-19, please contact our office for more information.

If you would like to print this information, please click here for our PDF format.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this information sheet does not constitute advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual situation. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. We recommend that you contact Brentnalls SA before making any decision to discuss your particular requirements or circumstances. 
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