Will I receive a benefit from the Government's second Coronavirus package?

Mar 23, 2020

The Government has announced a second Coronavirus package much bigger than the first. The following payments are now available to those who are eligible:

TEMPORARY BOOST TO INCOME SUPPORT PAYMENTS

Over the next six months, the Government is temporarily expanding eligibility for income support payments and adding a time-limited Coronavirus supplement payment of $550 per fortnight. The supplement is payable to existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker payment (Newstart), Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy, Farm Household allowance and Special Benefit.

The assets test will be waived for eligibility for the JobSeeker, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and parenting payment. Therefore eligibility is based on meeting the income test. If you are eligible even for a small amount of one of these payment types, you will get the full $550 supplement on top. Therefore if your income is just below the threshold it is worth applying. Income limits for the Jobseeker payment can be found here

Waiting periods have also been waived.

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

ADDITIONAL $750 PAYMENT

Initially all benefit recipients in the list in our previous article were to be provided with a $750 once off payment from the 31st of March. A further payment has been announced to the same group of people except for recipients of the Coronavirus supplement discussed above (eg Jobseeker recipients). The second $750 payment is due to be paid from the 13th of July 2020. Age pensioners and families receiving Family Tax Benefits will be the main beneficiaries of this payment. A couple who are both on the aged pension will now receive $3,000 over the next few months in additional payments.

TEMPORARY REDUCTION IN SUPERANNUATION MINIMUM DRAWDOWN RATES

The minimum amount that superannuation pensioners are required to draw from their super funds is being reduced by 50% for the 2020 and 2021 Financial years to help manage the impact of volatility in financial markets.

SMALL BUSINESS

Information on what is available for small businesses can be found in our articles How will the Government's new measures help my business cash flow? and What can I do to help my business survive the Coronavirus?

TEMPORARY EARLY ACCESS TO SUPERANNUATION

If you are eligible you can apply to release up to $10,000 from your Super Fund before 1 July 2020 and a further $10,000 between 1 July 2020 and approximately three months after. To be eligible you need to satisfy one of the following requirements:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment (Newstart), youth allowance for jobseekers or parenting payment; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
    • you were made redundant; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 percent or more; or
    • if you are a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 percent or more