This Coronavirus Supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months and will not be income tested.

The Government is extending the payment period of its temporary Coronavirus Supplement from 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020. 

Eligibility


Payment categories

The income support payment categories eligible to receive the Coronavirus Supplement ar
  • Jobseeker Payment (those currently receiving Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension)
  • Youth Allowance Jobseeker
  • Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit recipients

Anyone who is eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement will receive the full rate of the supplement of $550 per fortnight.

From 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, the Supplement amount will be $250 per fortnight.

Expanded access

For the period of the Coronavirus Supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments. Expanded access include:

  • Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment.
  • The expanded eligibility applies to:
    • sole traders
    • the self‑employed
    • casual workers
    • contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the coronavirus. Also includes a person required to care for someone who is affected by the coronavirus.

Reduced means testing

  • Asset testing for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Parenting Payment will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus Supplement. Income testing will still apply to the person’s other payments, consistent with current arrangements.

To ensure appropriate targeting of income support, from 25 September 2020 the following will apply:

  • Means testing
    • Asset testing for all payments will be reinstated, for both existing and new recipients.  
    • 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.
    • The taper rate will increase from 25 cents to 27 cents, with the higher income cut-out a result of changes to income testing for JobSeeker Payment.    

Reduced waiting times

  • The one week Ordinary Waiting Period has already been waived.
  • To accelerate access to payments, the Liquid Asset test Waiting Period (LAWP) and the Seasonal Work Preclusion Period (SWPP) will be waived for eligible recipients. People currently serving a LAWP will no longer need to serve that waiting period.
  • The Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period (NARWP) will be temporarily waived for eligible recipients. When the Coronavirus Supplement ceases, those people that were serving a NARWP will continue to serve the remainder of their waiting period, though the time the person was receiving the Coronavirus supplement will count towards their NARWP. Residency requirements still apply.
  • Income Maintenance Periods and Compensation Preclusion Periods will continue to apply, as payments under these arrangements are treated as income.

People will not be permitted, and will need to declare that they are not, accessing employer entitlements (such as annual leave and/or sick leave) or Income Protection Insurance, at the same time as receiving Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker under these arrangements.

From 20 March 2020, Sickness Allowance was closed to new entrants and was replaced by the JobSeeker Payment. This does not mean that people who previously may have been eligible for Sickness Allowance are now unable to access income support. JobSeeker Payment better accommodates individual circumstances, including assisting people who are sick or bereaved.

Timing


The Coronavirus Supplement and expanded access for payments will commence from 27 April 2020.

How to apply


If you’re already getting one of the eligible payments, you don’t need to do anything. You will be automatically paid from 27 April 2020 and will continue to receive the supplement each fortnight if you’re eligible for up to 6 months.

If you’re not already getting one of eligible payments, you'll need to apply to Services Australia.

Find out more about applying for income support and the Coronavirus Supplement

Examples and additional information


Open all
button toggle all accordions