The Government and Parliament has amended the Income Support framework, to temporarily expand eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months. We encourage the below summary as well as the attached fact sheet be shared to your team members.
Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. This importantly fixes the problem of casuals not requiring a separation certificate to claim Jobseeker payment etc.
For the period of the Coronavirus supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments listed above.
- Expanded access: Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. This could also include 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.
- Reduced waiting times: The one week Ordinary Waiting Period has already been waived.
- Accelerated claim process: To ensure timely access to payments, new applicants are encouraged to claim through on-line and mobile channels. If applicants do not have internet access, they can claim over the phone.
Streamlined application process: A number of simplified arrangements will be put in place to make it easier to claim, including removing the requirements for:
- Employment Separation Certificates, proof of rental arrangements and verification of relationship status;
- Job Seeker Classification Instrument assessment for those people who have recently left jobs, recognising they are job ready; and
- Job seekers to make an appointment with an employment service provider before they can be paid.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.
Businesses can visit business.gov.au to find out more about how the Economic Response complements the range of support available to small and medium businesses.