INCREASED AND ACCELERATED INCOME SUPPORT

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months.

Eligible payment categories

  1. Jobseeker Payment (and all payments progressively transitioning to JobSeeker Payment; those currently receiving Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension)
  2. Youth Allowance Jobseeker
  3. Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
  4. Farm Household Allowance
  5. Special Benefits recipients

Anyone who is eligible for the Coronavirus supplement will receive the full rate of the supplement of $550 per fortnight

ECONOMIC SUPPORT PAYMENTS

On 12 March 2020, the Government announced it will provide an Economic Support payment of $750 to approximately 6.6 million Social Security and Veterans’ income support recipients, Farm Household Allowance (FHA) recipients, Family Tax Benefit (FTB) recipients and holders of a Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) or Commonwealth Gold Card who were eligible on 12 March 2020.

On 22 March 2020, the Government announced it would extend the eligibility for the first Economic Support payment to people who were eligible for their payment or card between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020 (inclusive). The Government also announced it would provide a second Economic Support payment, also of $750 to people eligible for any of the payments or cards in the first round of payments on 10 July 2020 so long as they do not receive the Coronavirus Supplement with their payment.

SOLE TRADERS AND THE SELF-EMPLOYED

Sole traders and the self employed will be able to access the jobseeker payment and the coronavirus supplement.

Applicants will be required to make a declaration to Centrelink that their business has been suspended or had turnover reduced significantly as a result of the downturn. Sole traders that become eligible for the jobseeker payment will automatically meet their mutual obligation requirements during this period by continuing to develop and sustain their business.

ACCESS TO SUPERANNUATION

Sole traders that have their business suspended or have a reduction in turnover of 20% or more are eligible to have limited access to their superannuation savings. The amount you can access will be capped at up to $10k in 2019-20. A further amount of up to $10k can be accessed in 2020-21.

Eligible individuals will be able online through MyGov for access of up to $10k of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10k from 1 July 2020 for another three months. They will not need to pay tax on amounts released.

For further information, contact your Client Manager at FinCare