Over the next 6 months, the Commonwealth government is temporarily expanding the eligibility requirements for income support payments. They are also establishing a new, time-limited coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.
Stimulus payments to households
Eligible concession card holders and recipients of social security, veteran and other income support payments, will receive 2 separate payments of $750. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment from 13 July 2020.
The JobKeeper subsidy enables employers to keep paying their workers even when revenue has declined.
The amount of the JobKeeper subsidy is $1500 per fortnight for each eligible worker who was employed by the business on 1 March, and who continues to work for the business.
Employees will receive a notification from their employer that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment. The majority of employees will need to do nothing further.
Businesses will receive the first JobKeeper subsidy payments in the first week of May.
Eligible workers include:
- full-time and part-time workers, including those who have been stood down
- casual workers who have been employed for at least the past 12 months
- Australian residents, New Zealand citizens in Australia who hold a subclass 444 special category visa, and migrants who are eligible for JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance (Other)
- self-employed individuals.
Workers can only receive the JobKeeper payment from one employer.
The Government is allowing individuals affected by the coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20, and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
If you access your super you will not need to pay tax on the amounts released, and the money withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
Private rental support – Rent Choice
Rent Choice is a private rental subsidy that helps eligible clients with rental payments for up to 3 years.
Rent Choice products include:
Tenancy Assistance – help with rent and water arrears for eligible private tenants.
Rent Choice Start Safely – for people escaping domestic and family violence.
Rent Choice Youth – helps people aged 16 to 24 who are homeless, or are at risk of homelessness.
Rent Choice Veterans – for former members of the Australian Defence Force.
Rent Choice Assist – supports households that have experienced a major financial setback.
Private Rental Subsidy – help with medium-term accommodation, before social housing becomes available.
Support for international students
The NSW Government is providing a $20 million package for international students who are stranded in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package will include:
- a temporary housing scheme delivered through approved student accommodation or homestay providers
- increased support via the International Legal Service NSW, making available 50,000 free subscriptions to the multilingual My Legal Mate student app
- a dedicated 24/7 international student support hotline offering free advice and information, and medical, mental health, legal and emergency support.
The crisis accommodation will be limited to international student visa holders in genuine need, who:
have lost, or be at risk of losing, access to secure accommodation
have no other avenues of support.
To apply, visit Apply for international student COVID-19 crisis accommodation.
Note: For the latest federal government's COVID-19 announcements, news, updates and advice, visit COVID-19 International Student Support and Welfare.
Support for retirees
Temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown requirements
For retirees drawing a pension from their super accounts, the Government is temporarily reducing the minimum drawdown requirements by 50 per cent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.
This will help reduce the need for retirees to have to sell investment assets to fund the minimum drawdown requirements.
Deeming rates for pensioners
As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent.
The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients.
Support for children and young people
Creative Kids program
Creative Kids vouchers can now be redeemed for:
- cultural and creative activities that support the 2020 school curriculum,
- activities and programs delivered online, and
- creative supplies, equipment and materials through approved Creative Kids providers.
Creative Kids providers can apply for up to $5000 in grants to help deliver programs remotely via online platforms.
Local council rates and fees
Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA)
Related links and documents
For up to date information on the Government's economic initiatives visit Treasury's Economic Response to the Coronavirus.
They also have factsheets available that you may find useful: