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The Government has implemented a series of stimulus packages and increased welfare support for Australians who have suffered financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic but what does it all mean for you? We break down the new payments and how people can access them and why.

On this page: 
JobKeeper Payment
Jobseeker Payment
Economic Support Payment
Coronavirus Supplement
Contact Centrelink

JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper payment is helping people keep their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. The Government has put strict restrictions in place and many businesses have had to close or adapt their businesses quickly. This has meant that many people have lost their job or had their hours reduced.

The JobKeeper payment is $1,500 every two weeks (before tax)! You will receive your pay from your employer, as you normally would, minus any tax owing on your income. The ATO and your employer will work out if this payment is applicable to you. You do not claim this payment.

Your employer should give you the JobKeeper form. It might be a good idea to ask your employer or previous employer (if you have been let go in the last two months) if they will be applying for the JobKeeper payment if they have not contacted you. Fill out the form and return it to your boss. They will submit the form to Centrelink. If the payment is approved, your employer will receive the payment and will be required to pay you with it.

For more information, see JobKeeper for businesses impacted by COVID-19

JobSeeker Payment

The Job Seeker Payment replaces the Newstart Allowance. It is for people who are looking for or "seeking" work. Some older people might call this payment "the dole". It includes some recipients with disabilities (but only those who do not receive a Disability Support Pension) and parenting responsibilities that stop them looking for full-time work.

It is different from the JobKeeper Payment. It provides financial help if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age and looking for work. It’s also for when you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study for a short time. 

For more information, or to make a claim online go to JobSeeker Payment.


Are you on the DSP and wondering about accessing the Coronavirus supplement? Read our IDEAS Top 10 COVID-19 FAQ's for more information.


Economic Support Payment

You don’t need to do a thing to claim the $750 payment from the Government’s Economic support package. It will automatically be processed and sent to your account registered with Services Australia (Centrelink).

Who gets the $750 Economic Support Payments?

People who are currently on:

  • The Age Pension,
  • The Disability Support Pension,
  • The Carer Payment,
  • The Carer Allowance
  • The Parenting Payment,
  • The Wife Pension,
  • The Widow B pension,
  • ABSTUDY (living allowance),
  • Austudy
  • Bereavement Allowance,
  • Newstart Allowance,
  • Partner Allowance,
  • Sickness Allowance,
  • Special Benefit,
  • Widow Allowance,
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit A,
  • Family Tax Benefit B
  • Double Orphan Pension,
  • Pensioner Concession Cardholder
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card,
  • Veteran Gold Cardholder,
  • Veteran Services Pension,
  • Veteran Income Support Supplement,
  • Veteran Compensation payments
  • War widow/widower pension

 

When will the next payment come?

July 13 2020, if you are still eligible. It will be paid directly into your account registered with Services Australia.

You don’t need to do anything to receive this payment.

For more information, go to Economic Support Payment.

Coronavirus Supplement

The Coronavirus supplement is payable to people on a number of different payments from Centrelink, including Jobseekers, Youth Allowance, Farm Household, Parenting payment recipients and others.

The supplement is $550 a fortnight.

It does not apply to Disability Support Pensioners. We think it should and you can read more about that here.

For more information, go to Coronavirus supplement.

If you have questions, you can call Centrelink or check their website for more information.

Contact Centrelink

Over the phone

We have talked to people who have tried to call up to 180 times to get through to the Centrelink call centre and still couldn’t get through. Our advice is to call early, and if you can’t get through on that hotline, to call another line (that may be less busy, like ABSTUDY) and ask to be transferred to the right area once you are through to someone.

Be prepared for a long wait. Centrelink have said that they are experiencing high call volumes and long wait times, and waiting on hold for Centrelink is nothing new. So, make yourself a cuppa, grab a book or a magazine to read and put your phone on speakerphone while you are waiting on hold.

You can find Centrelink’s full list of contact numbers here.

Online

Many services, including making claims and verifying your identity can now be done online. This reduces the risk of physical or face to face contact and spreading of Coronavirus COVID-19.

Extensive work has been done to address the shortcomings the online system experienced when it was inundated with user access requests last month. The website should be up and running and normally, however, if you do experience slowness loading or a complete failure to load pages, try again at different times throughout the day and try to avoid “peak” times like the middle of the day and late afternoon.

Go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/centrelink

In-person

Centrelink is limiting the number of people who can be in a Centrelink office at once and strict social distancing rules apply and in some cases, your local office may even be closed.

They are also creating more flexible processes so that more things can be done over the phone and online to reduce the number of people attending Centrelink in a face to face situation to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Visit Services Australia – Centrelink for more information.


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