Extension of temporary income support measures

The Morrison Government has put in place a series of temporary support targeted to individual circumstances through JobKeeper Payment and JobSeeker Payment as the country transitions to a post-COVID economy.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the two programs worked together to ensure people could maintain connection with the workforce and, where required, be supported to seek additional or alternative employment.

“I would encourage anyone who is concerned about changes to their employment or has had their income reduced to test their eligibility for JobSeeker Payment or related payments,” Minister Ruston said.

“We have temporarily put arrangements in place so that our social security safety net is not just for people who have lost their jobs, it is able to provide a cushion for people who have had or fear their hours or income will be reduced.

“For many people on JobKeeper Payment their employer will already be topping up their pay. But in cases where that’s not possible additional support through JobSeeker Payment may be available.”

Under the new temporary arrangements, which take effect from 28 September, the rate of JobKeeper will be $1200 per fortnight for people who were working 20 hours or more per week, $750 per fortnight for people who were employed for fewer than 20 hours a week.

From 25 September 2020, the base rate of JobSeeker Payment plus the $250 per fortnight Coronavirus Supplement will be $815.70 for single recipients with no dependents. People are also able to earn up to $300 per fortnight before their payment is affected which would bring their total income to $1115 per fortnight.

To be eligible for a part-payment of JobSeeker Payment a person’s income simply has to be below the income cut out of $1257 per fortnight for singles with no dependents, subject to meeting other requirements such as residency and the assets test.

People receiving JobKeeper Payment at a rate of $1200 per fortnight may be eligible for a part payment of JobSeeker Payment of about $276 per fortnight including the Coronavirus Supplement bringing their total taxpayer funded income to $1476 per fortnight.

People receiving JobKeeper Payment at the part time rate of $750 per fortnight may be eligible for a part payment of JobSeeker Payment of about $546 per fortnight including the Coronavirus Supplement bringing their total taxpayer funded income to $1295 per fortnight.

Families with children who are in receipt of JobSeeker Payment are automatically eligible for the full rate of Family Tax Benefit, may be eligible for rent assistance of up to $139 per fortnight for singles and a range of other supplements.

“Anyone earning an income simply needs to report the amount earned to Services Australia each fortnight, which can be done online, over the phone or on the app,” Minister Ruston said.

From 28 September people who are receiving both income support payments and JobKeeper Payment may also have mutual obligation requirements, depending on their circumstances, with the exception of Victoria where mutual obligation requirements will remain suspended. This is consistent with the arrangements for part time workers who are also in receipt of income support payments.

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