• Deborah Roscoe

Coronavirus Impact - Extending Access to Govt Support Payments

Extending Access to Government Support Payments:

The Federal Government has extended the eligibility requirements for income support payments being the JobSeeker Payments and Youth Allowance for Job Seekers Payments (of up to $550 per fortnight) AND has created a new, temporary coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.

Coronavirus Supplement Payments

This payment will be paid for the next six months (provided you remain eligible for the payments).

What this means is that:

- Employees – who are stood down or lose their employment;

- Sole Traders;

- Self Employed;

- Caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus;

- Casual Workers; and

- Contract Workers;

will be able to access the new coronavirus supplement via the JobSeeker (formerly known as Newstart) Payment or Youth Allowance for job seekers.

How to access this?

For people who are not receiving income support already from the Government, you will need to apply for one of the eligible payments* eg the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for job seekers, which the Government has temporarily extended the eligibility rules for these payments.

Ordinary Waiting Period Waived – From 12 March 2020 the ordinary waiting period requirements were waived for 3 months.

Asset Test Waived - This means that the JobSeeker/Youth Allowance payments are temporarily not going to be asset tested. The asset test exemption will apply from 27 April for 6 months.

Income Test Still Applies - The normal income testing requirements will still apply.

If you are eligible to receive the Coronavirus Supplement, the liquid asset test waiting period, newly arrived residents waiting period and seasonal work preclusion periods are waived.

It is important to note that you can not be able to access annual leave or sick leave entitlements from your employer, or income protection insurance payments at the same time as getting the JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance for job seekers.

The JobSeeker Payment amounts to $550 per fortnight, so with this and the coronavirus supplement of $550, a total of $1,100 would be received each fortnight while you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

To Apply:

You will need to claim online through myGov using a Centrelink online account or contact Service Australia (for Centrelink).

Already Receiving Income Support?

People who are already receiving income support (ie being eligible payments

JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance for job seekers, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefits), will receive the full $550 coronavirus supplement on top of their usual payment each fortnight and will automatically be paid, so nothing further is required to be done. The payment will be made from 27 April 2020.