With many people unable to work or operate their business during the South Australian lockdown, it is important to look at what government assistance could be available.
Unfortunately the level of assistance potentially available is far less than what it was back in March when the pandemic first hit Australia. At this point there is no extra assistance announced but the following benefits may be available:
Unfortunately as Jobkeeper eligibility is based on turnover for an actual past quarter there is no immediate eligibility available based on the current lockdown. It may however lead to businesses becoming eligible for the March quarter if it means that their December 2020 quarter turnover has reduced by 30% on the December 2019 quarter. As an example, if all else was equal, if a business is shutdown for two weeks, then turnover may drop 15% (2 weeks out of 13 weeks not operating). This will make it easier to be eligible for the March quarter but by no means certain. Note also that Jobkeeper payments for the March quarter will only be $1,000 per fortnight for employees who worked over 20 hours a week and $650 for those who worked less than that. This is significantly less than the $1,500 per fortnight that was available in the first phase.
For employers and employees that are currently eligible for JobKeeper, payments will continue. If employees are stood down then their pay will need to be topped up to at least the amount of the Jobkeeper payment being claimed.
Employers currently eligible for Jobkeeper may be eligible for an additional $10,000 grant. More information can be found here
Where employers and employees are not eligible for Jobkeeper and are earning reduced or no income, they should consider their eligibility for JobSeeker. Please contact Centrelink to determine your eligibility. It is important to register as soon as possible as payments can only commence from when you apply. Given that it is uncertain how long your income may be impacted it is prudent to apply now.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
A pandemic leave disaster payment of up to $1,500 is available for eligible people who have been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine at home and unable to earn income. To be eligible you need to be given a directions because you:
- have coronavirus
- have been in close contact with a person who has coronavirus
- care for a child who has coronavirus or had close contact with a person who has coronavirus
For information on how to claim click here
SA COVID-19 Cluster Isolation Payment
An SA COVID-19 Isolation payment is a single $300 payment to South Australian workers required to self-isolate because of a public health direction and mandatory COVID-19 testing and who do not have access to paid leave or other income support. Applications can be made here.
Early Release of Super
There is still the ability for eligible people to withdraw a once off amount of up to $10,000 from their super before the 31st of December if they have been adversely affected by Coronavirus. To be eligible you need to meet one of the following:
- be unemployed or
- be eligible to receive JobSeeker or
- on or after 1 January 2020 you were:
- made redundant or
- your working hours were reduced by 20% or more or
- you were a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in turnover of 20% or more