Business and Individual Support - COVID-19

In this extremely difficult time we are all faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have some credible information for you below.

The Government is providing support to assist people affected by the Coronavirus for the next 6 months.

The Government is:

  • temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments
  • establishing a new time-limited Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight
  • extending the Economic Support Payment

What you need to know

Subject to legislation, from April 27 2020, the Coronavirus Supplement will:

  • be paid for 6 months
  • not be income tested

Customers receiving the following payments will receive the full amount of the supplement with their normal payment each fortnight:

  • JobSeeker Payment (JSP), including all payments transitioning to JSP
  • Youth Allowance (job seeker)
  • Parenting Payment (PP)
  • Farm Household Allowance (FHA)
  • Special Benefit (SpB)

Customers claiming before April 27 need to apply for payments under the current claim requirements. The Coronavirus supplement will be applied automatically to customers on eligible payments from April 27.

Expanded access to payments

From April 27 2020, Access to JSP and YA (job seeker) is expanding to include:

  • permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment, sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers whose income is negatively impacted as a result of the coronavirus
  • people caring for someone who is affected by the coronavirus

Reduced means testing

Asset testing will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus supplement for the above payments, except FHA and SpB.

Income testing will still apply as per the rules for each individual payment.

Waiting period waiver

The following waiting periods will be waived for customers eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement:

  • Liquid Asset Waiting Period (LAWP)
  • Customers currently serving a LAWP won't have to continue serving the waiting period. Payments will be granted from date of claim
  • Seasonal Work Preclusion Period (SWPP)
  • Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period (NARWP)

Note: Income Maintenance Periods (IMP) and Compensation Preclusion Periods will still apply

Employer entitlements

Customers with access to employer entitlements or income protection Insurance cannot receive JSP and YA (job seeker) at the same time.

Customers will:

  • have reporting requirements
  • need to declare income

Streamlined claim process

The following will not be needed when claiming:

  • Employment Separation Certificates (ESC)
  • Proof of rental arrangements
  • Verification of relationship status
  • Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) for those who have recently left a job and are job ready
  • Appointments with employment service providers before customers can be paid

Encourage customers to claim through online and mobile channels.

Customers who do not have access to the internet can claim over the phone

Proof of identity

Interim Identity Confirmation requirements now apply for customers who have possible exposure to a contagious disease.

Claims for JSP and YA (job seeker)

Customers will need to make a declaration about their:

  • identity
  • residency status
  • relationship status
  • income
  • rental arrangements

Permanent employees will need to declare that as a result of the economic downturn due to Coronavirus, they have:

  • been stood down
  • lost their employment, or
  • had their hours reduced (including to zero)

Sole traders or self-employed customers need to declare that:

  • their business has been suspended, or
  • turnover has reduced significantly

Carers will need to declare they are caring for someone affected by the coronavirus.

Customers can also declare the amount of rent they pay to qualify for Rent Assistance.


Example 1:

Leonie is in her mid-30s, with 2 dependent children and works as a telephone consultant for a travel agency. Because of the coronavirus, the travel agency has had to close for 6 months meaning Leonie's hours have reduced to zero.

Leonie can apply for JSP and the Coronavirus supplement under the new streamlined process.

Leonie can apply online and make a declaration about her:

  • identity
  • residence status
  • income
  • reduction in hours to zero as a result of the economic downturn because of Coronavirus

Because she was recently employed, Leonie is job ready.

Leonie was found to be eligible for JSP and will receive $1171.50 per fortnight, made up of:

  • $612 - JSP at the single, with dependent child rate
  • $9.50 Energy Supplement
  • $550 - Coronavirus supplement

An employment service provider will try and match Leonie's skills with available opportunities (for example, in a call centre), so her capabilities can be effectively redeployed throughout the economy.

Example 2:

Chris is a sole trader running an architectural practice. Chris has built up a reasonable amount of assets, which would normally make him ineligible for an income support payment.

The economic downturn due to Coronavirus has adversely affected his business and his income has been reduced to zero.

Chris will be able to apply for JSP and the Coronavirus supplement.

His assets will not be included as part of the eligibility assessment for the payment and the LAWP will be waived.

Chris was found eligible and as he is married, will receive $1068.70 per fortnight:

  • $510.80 - JSP partnered rate
  • $7.90 - Energy Supplement

$550 - Coronavirus supplement