Income support extended

July 24, 2020

The payment period of the temporary Coronavirus Supplement has been extended to Thursday 31 December 2020.

Eligible income support recipients will continue to receive the payment at a rate of $550 per fortnight up to and including the period ending Thursday 24 September 2020.

The payment rate will be reduced to $250 per fortnight for the period from Friday 25 September 2020 to Thursday 31 December 2020. The Coronavirus Supplement will continue to be paid to existing and new recipients of certain income support payments.

The Treasury factsheet also outlines the following changes to apply from Friday 25 September 2020:

Adjusted income taper test – the income free area for the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other) will increase to $300 per fortnight for both. Recipients can earn up to $300 per fortnight and still receive the maximum payment rate of the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance (other). The Coronavirus Supplement will remain outside the income testing, meaning anyone eligible will receive the full rate of the Supplement.

Means testing – assets testing for all payments will be reinstated for existing and new recipients. The Liquid Assets Waiting Period for all payments will also 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 on Friday 25 September 2020 and apply until Thursday 31 December 2020. The partner income test taper rate was reduced on Sunday 26 April 2020 and was previously 60 cents to the dollar.

Expanded eligibility criteria – JobSeeker payment and Youth Allowance (other) criteria will continue to include 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 Thursday 31 December 2020.

Reduced waiting times – the ordinary waiting period, newly arrived resident’s waiting period and seasonal work preclusion period will continue to be waived until Thursday 31 December 2020.

The new arrangements for the Coronavirus Supplement are expected to cost an additional $3.8 billion dollars.