Eligibility for income support payments are being expanded and will include a Coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight for the next 6 months commencing 27 April 2020. Income support applications will be streamlined and won't include income testing. The partner income test is also set to be relaxed to $3,068 a fortnight or around $79,762 per annum.
Eligibility for income support payments are being expanded to include sole traders, self-employed and casual workers who are unable to earn income due to the Coronavirus impact. Contract workers who meet income tests as a result of Coronavirus will also be eligible. This includes people required to care for someone affected by Coronavirus.
All new and existing recipients of eligible income support payments will also receive a Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight from April 27 2020. Anyone who is eligible will receive the full Coronavirus supplement.
The application process will be streamlined to assist those looking to access income support. This will including waiving of asset testing and certain wait periods. The partner income test is set to be relaxed to $3,068 a fortnight or around $79,762 per annum. The personal income test still applies.
From April Services Australia will also allow new applicants to call to verify their identity to reduce the need to visit a service centre.
Income support categories eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement:
- Jobseeker Payment (and all payments transitioning to JobSeeker Payment; those currently receiving Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension)
- Youth Allowance Jobseeker
- Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
- Farm Household Allowance
- Special Benefit recipients
For the period of the Coronavirus supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments listed above including those who are:
- Permanent employees who are stood down
- Sole traders
- self employed
- Casual workers
- Contract workers who meet income tests as a result of coronavirus downturn.
Anyone who is eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement will receive the full rate of $550.
Payments are still subject to partner income test but is set to be relaxed to $3,068 a fortnight or around $79,762 per annum.
Those who meet the new eligibility criteria can apply for income assistance now.
The Coronavirus supplement will be paid from the 27 April 2020 and will be applied for the next 6 months.
For more details around the streamlined application process and how to apply. Check out the links below.
Links to Government Resources
If you have been stood down by your employer; or your small business is unable to operate effectively due to social distancing or the economic climate, you should be able to access income support. The government has waived the liquid assets test but if you have a partner, their income will affect your eligibility.
You can start your application online through the MyGov website. You will need to create an account if you haven’t used MyGov previously before connecting it to the Centrelink service. When applying you will need to supply supporting documents including your tax file number, bank details and financial statements. Before starting you claim, register your intent to claim on MyGov and you will be paid from the day you registered you intention to claim.
In many cases you will be eligible to apply for income assistance without being stood down by your employer. If your income has been reduced significantly, you should still be eligible for assistance but your payments may be reduced in line with your employment income.