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COVID-19 Pandemic – Government Benefits Update

July 28, 2020  |  #Government Policy

Throughout the current Pandemic, there have been some government benefits available to support those who have been financially impacted by the needs for quarantine, social distancing and some industry shutdowns. Recently, there have been updates to what is available.

Job Keeper:

The JobKeeper payment was originally provided to eligible businesses impacted by the Coronavirus as a subsidy payment to help cover the wages of their employees. The payment ensured eligible employees were paid at least $1500 per fortnight with the aim of allowing more people to remain employed during this period.

On the 21st of July, the Prime Minister announced that the JobKeeper payment will continue to be available until the 28th of March 2021. Originally the scheme was due to end on the 27th of September, however, payment rates will be reduced effective from the 27th of September.

Business eligibility will need to be assessed on each key date and obtain a business loss of:

  • 50% for organisations with a turnover of more than $1b
  • 30% for organisations with a turnover of $1b or less
  • 15% for Australian charities and non for profits

Payment rates from the 27th of September to the 3rd of Jan

$1200 per fortnight for employees working more than 20 hours per week.

$750 per fortnight for employees’ workings less than 20 hours per week.

Payments rates from 4th of Jan to the 28th of March

$1000 per fortnight for eligible employees working more than 20 hours per week.

$650 per fortnight for employees working less than 20 hours per week.

You can find the full JobKeeper extension fact sheet here.

 

Coronavirus supplement

The Coronavirus supplement is automatically paid to those on government income support payments such as JobSeeker or Youth Allowance.

The Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight for eligible individuals will change on the 24th of September. Payments will be reduced to $250 per fortnight from the 24th of September until the 31st of December 2020.

 

Eligibility and Criteria Changes:

Changes have also been made to the income test, means test, partners income test and mutual agreement criteria. You can read more on that here.

 

2nd round early super release

From the 1st of July, those who are eligible are able to access a further $10,000 from their super for the financial year of 2020/2021. If you find yourself out of work during the new financial year you are also eligible to apply.

You can read more on this in our article “Should I take money out of my super fund early

 

If you are currently experiencing financial hardship you may find our guide to managing financial hardship useful where we include a step by step action plan on how to put yourself in the best financial position possible during this period.

 

We understand this can be a stressful and challenging time, if you would like to discuss your financial position with one of our advisers please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can find more resources and insights on managing finances during the Coronavirus pandemic on our COVID-19 response page.

What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.