Updated: Mar 27, 2020
This information is current as at 26/03/2020 at 9:00am.
We are receiving a lot of enquiries on how to access Jobseeker payments, as well as the eligibility criteria.
Here are a few fast facts
The Liquid asset waiting period has been abolished meaning they don’t consider your cash in the bank
The Assets test limit has been abolished meaning your payment isn’t judged on the assets test
Deeming rates have been reduced meaning the effect of your investments or savings on your income test is reduced
The Coronavirus Supplement is not available until the 27th of April. It is $550 and is non-means tested. This is also available to those on Youth allowance and AusStudy.
If you are single and earn less than $104pfn (including deeming) you are eligible for a full payment.
If you are off work but your partner earns more than $1,858 per fortnight you are ineligible for payment.
Rental assistance and Pharmaceutical allowance applies for Jobseekers.
Centrelink have removed the waiting period – however the applications have inundated their systems so delays are expected.
If you have contacted them, and are eligible, they will backdate payments to the 23rd of March 2020.
The full payment rates are as follows
Are you eligible?
You can receive a full payment if you earn less than $104per fortnight (pfn) as a single.
If you are a couple your payment will reduce by 60 cents for every dollar your partner earns over $993.50 per fortnight. This amount may change if they get Pharmaceutical Allowance or Rent Assistance.
You can read more about how your payment reduces on the Services Australia website here
For Couples, if one of you is applying for payment, Centrelink assess you at the income limit of $993.50pfn ($25,831.00pa). From there they deduct 60c for every dollar your partner earns over $993.50pfn. We have calculated that your eligibility caps at $1,858.
How to apply for a payment
You will need a MyGov Account (don’t go to Centrelink directly – the line is long, and you’re not easily able to practice mandated social distancing).
If you have already connected to Centrelink, you can directly apply online.
If you have not connected to Centrelink, you will need to Register your intention to apply as below:
Log into MyGov then click 'Register intention to claim'
Confirm your details, and declare you have been affected by Coronavirus
You can read more about this process here
From there Centrelink will get in touch and begin processing your claim.
A few key points to note
When Centrelink ask about your income, they are asking about the last Fortnight – so if you have not been paid in a week, give them the total earnings in that last 2 week period. Don’t provide your annual gross earnings or your usual salary if you have not been receiving it.
You are still required to go on a Job Plan and have obligations to that plan to continue receiving payment. We are not sure what this looks like at this time, however, we have heard of a number of concessions being provided to applicants, given the current circumstances.
Normally you would require an Employment Termination Letter to apply for Payments. Although not formally confirmed it is our belief that if you are out of work due to Coronavirus they will waive that requirement as many applicants haven't actually lost their job, they have simply been stood down.
Fundamentally if you have been stood down at work, and have lost your income (and your qualify as above) - APPLY and see what they come back with.
This is changing rapidly, with more information coming out every day.
We understand and empathise with the pressure that many people and families are under in these trying times. If you require financial advice or quite frankly are just a little lost with this, and unsure if you should applying for JobSeekers, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Here’s how you can contact us:
Book a video or phone appointment here.
Call us on 03 9801 8822 or email email@example.com
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