The Government is extending the payment period of its temporary Coronavirus Supplement from 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020.
The income support payment categories eligible to receive the Coronavirus Supplement are
- 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
Anyone who is eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement will receive the full rate of the supplement of $550 per fortnight.
From 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, the Supplement amount will be $250 per fortnight.
For the period of the Coronavirus Supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments. Expanded access include:
- Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment.
- The expanded eligibility applies to:
- sole traders
- the self‑employed
- casual workers
- contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the coronavirus. Also includes a person required to care for someone who is affected by the coronavirus.
Reduced Means Testing
Asset testing for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Parenting Payment will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus Supplement. Income testing will still apply to the person’s other payments, consistent with current arrangements.
To ensure appropriate targeting of income support, from 25 September 2020 the following will apply:
- Means testing
- Asset testing for all payments will be reinstated, for both existing and new recipients.
- The Liquid Assets Waiting Period (LAWP) for all payments will be reinstated.
- Partner income testing
- The partner income test cut-out will increase to $3,086.11 per fortnight, or $80,238.89 per annum, for individuals with no personal income.
- The taper rate will increase from 25 cents to 27 cents, with the higher income cut-out a result of changes to income testing for JobSeeker Payment.
How to Apply
If you’re already getting one of the eligible payments, you don’t need to do anything. You will be automatically paid from 27 April 2020 and will continue to receive the supplement each fortnight if you’re eligible for up to 6 months.
If you’re not already getting one of the eligible payments, you'll need to apply to Services Australia.