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 Payment. 

From 25 September 2020 until 31 December 2020, the Coronavirus Supplement is available at $250 per fortnight.

From 1 January 2021, the Coronavirus Supplement will be $150 per fortnight until 31 March 2021.

You will be paid the Coronavirus Supplement if you receive income support under JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered or Single), Austudy, ABSTUDY (Living Allowance), Farm Household Allowance, Special Benefit or Department of Veteran's Affairs Education Scheme, or if you are an eligible New Enterprise Incentive Scheme participant.

If you are already a registered recipient of JobSeeker Payment or one of the other eligible payments 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 be eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (other) 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
  • eligible individuals caring for someone affected by Coronavirus.

In addition, eligibility criteria and waiting periods are currently suspended, including:

  • Ordinary Waiting Period
  • Seasonal Work Preclusion Period
  • Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period

From 25 September 2020, the asset test and Liquid Assets Waiting Period were reintroduced. The Ordinary Waiting Period, Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period and Seasonal Work Preclusion Period will continue to be waived until 31 March 2021.

Next steps

If you are already registered for JobSeeker Payment or for another eligible allowance, you do not have to do anything. 

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 (other) 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 claim Rent Assistance if you are renting in community housing or the private rental market.

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
PDF file

See also