Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Increased income support

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What’s available and when

The Government has temporarily expanded eligibility for income support payments – including JobSeeker. 

In addition, a new Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight is available for six months from 27 April 2020.

You will be paid the supplement if you receive income support under JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance , Parenting Payment, Austudy, ABSTUDY (Living Allowance), Farm Household Allowance or Special Benefit.

If you are already a registered JobSeeker you will automatically receive this non-income tested supplement.

If you have recently lost your job you will need to register for income support and are encouraged to do so online or by phone.

Eligibility

You may also apply for JobSeeker or Youth Allowance JobSeeker if your income has been affected and you meet any of the following criteria:

  • 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
  • it could also include eligible individuals caring for someone affected by Coronavirus.

Next steps

If you are already registered for JobSeeker or for another eligible allowance, you do not have to do anything. The payment will begin automatically from 27 April 2020.

If you have recently lost your income or job or had shifts reduced because of Coronavirus and need income support you will need to register and are encouraged to do so online or by phone.

When registering for Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance Jobseeker you must declare your identity, residency status, income and whether you have been made redundant or had hours reduced (including to zero) as a result of the Coronavirus.

Sole traders and the self-employed will need to declare that your business has been suspended or turnover is significantly reduced.

You can also declare rental payments if you are applying for Rent Assistance.

Employer entitlements such as annual leave, sick leave or Income Protection Insurance cannot be accessed while receiving Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker.

If you are a new income support applicant you can verify your identity by phone with Services Australia and register online.

  • Set up a myGov account
  • Phone Services Australia to verify your identity
  • Get a link to a Centrelink online account.

Fact sheet

PDF file

See also