JobSeeker & Coronavirus Supplement Changes

Starting in August, the temporary changes made to JobSeeker are starting to be rolled back with the following key changes:

  • From 4th August:
    • Recipients will need to start looking for work by undertaking 4 job searches and connecting with employment services.
    • Penalties for non-compliance with job searches, or for not taking employment offered without a valid reason are coming back.

  • From 25th September:
    • Number of job searches required will increase from 4 to an as yet undetermined higher number.
    • The Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight has been extended from 25th Sep to 31 Dec at a reduced rate of $250 per fortnight. Eligibility for this supplement remains for recipients of 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. (The Treasurer has made strong indications that this supplement may continue in some form post December).
    • The asset test will be reinstated for both existing and new recipients.
    • The liquid asset waiting period will be re-introduced. The fact sheet does not indicate whether this will affect existing recipients.
    • The Income tapering will be increased until 31 Dec, meaning recipients can earn more before their payments are affected. The income free area for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) will increase from $106 per fortnight for JobSeeker Payment and $143 per fortnight for Youth Allowance (other) to $300 per fortnight for both, after which payment will shade out at 60c for every dollar earned over this threshold.
    • The partner income test cut-out will increase to $3,086.11 per fortnight, or $80,238.89 per annum.
  • JobSeeker Payment andYouth Allowance (other) criteria will continue to provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment and sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers who meet the income and assets tests until 31 December 2020.

Like before the Coronavirus Supplement is NOT income tested so if a recipient is eligible for just $1 of eligible payments e.g. JobSeeker then they will receive the full supplement. As JobKeeper payments reduce, particularly for those on the less than 20 hour payment, more people may be eligible for both JobKeeper and JobSeeker and therefore receive the supplement.

Income support recipients earning above their income test cut-off point and on a nil rate of income support will be able to continue to keep their concession card and return seamlessly to income support if their earnings reduce below their cut-off point.

Services Australia will allow recipients of the JobKeeper Payment to apply for income support ahead of the cessation of their JobKeeper Payment to ensure individuals can quickly access income support after their access to the JobKeeper Payment ends.

Nick Moran

nickm@mmaacc.com

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