The Government is extending the Coronavirus Supplement to eligible recipients to 31 December 2020. The amount of the Supplement will be adjusted to reflect the gradually improved economic conditions and improving labour market.
Both existing and new recipients eligible for the Coronavirus supplement will continue to be $550 per fortnight up to and including 24 September 2020. From 25 September, the $550 per fortnight coronavirus supplement, which effectively doubled the fortnightly income support payment, will be reduced to $250 per fortnight.
New eligibility testing
From 25 September 2020, new eligibility testing and access to payments for new and existing JobSeeker and other income support recipients will also be introduced. These include;
- Income free threshold increase: from 25 September 2020 until 31 December 2020, the income free threshold for the JobSeeker Payment recipients will increase from $106 per fortnight to $300 per fortnight. The threshold for other income support payment recipients will increase to $300 from $143 per fortnight.This means recipients can earn up to $300 per fortnight and continue to receive the maximum payment rate for the JobSeeker Payment and other income supper payments. If recipients earn over that threshold, they will still see their JobSeeker allowance tapered down.
- Means testing: the government will also re-introduce an asset test for eligibility for all payments and 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, from 25 September 2020. The partner income test taper rate will increase to 27 cents on 25 September 2020 until 31 December 2020.
- Reinstated job-seeking requirement: from 9 June 2020, the mutual obligation requirements were reintroduced including;
- voluntary job searches;
- at least one phone or online appointment with a jobseeker’s employment services provider;
- voluntary participation in activities, either online or in person; and
- no payment suspensions or penalties for failure to comply.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about how the changes to the JobSeeker Payment will impact your financial situation.
Information in this article has been sourced from the Treasury website: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/Fact_sheet-Income_Support_for_Individuals.pdf