Page last updated on 11/09/2020

More information

Centrelink income support

Since April 2020, the Government temporarily expanded eligibility for income support payments and provided additional income for eligible people on Centrelink.

Coronavirus Supplement

The coronavirus supplement is an additional payment for people receiving JobSeeker Payment (previously called Newstart Allowance), Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special benefit.

The supplement is $550 per fortnight until 24 September 2020. After that, until the end of December 2020, the payment reduces to $250 per fortnight.

Expanded Access

JobSeeker and Youth Allowance JobSeeker for employees who are stood down or lose their employment, sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers who meet the income tests.

Eligibility Changes

From 27 April 2020 until 24 September 2020, the following eligibility requirements WILL NOT be required for anyone eligible to receive the Coronavirus Supplement:

  • the Assets Test

  • the Liquid Assets Waiting Period

  • the Ordinary Waiting Period (already waived until 12 June 2020)

  • the Liquid Assets Waiting Period

  • the Seasonal Workers Preclusion Period

  • the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period

  • Mutual obligation or participation requirements (from 24 March until 8 June 2020)

In addition, the partner income test for JobSeeker (how much your partner can earn before it affects eligibility) will be $3,068.80 per fortnight (or $79,762.80 per annum), as long as you have personal income of less than $104 per fortnight.

From 25 September 2020 access to payments will change as follows:

  • the Assets Test will be reinstated for both existing and new recipients

  • the Liquid Assets Test Waiting Period will be reinstated

  • the Ordinary Waiting Period, Seasonal Work Preclusion Period and the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period will continue to be waived until 31 December 2020

  • Partner Income test will increase to $3,086.11 per fortnight. Or $80,238.89 per annum, if you have no personal income.

Economic Support Payments

There were two separate $750 payments. Both payments have now been made.

The payments were made automatically. The payments are exempt from taxation and will not count as income for Centrelink purposes. Eligible people could only receive one payment per round.

First payment

The first payment was made to people who were eligible from 12 March 2020 to 13 April 2020. The full list is of eligible recipients is here.

Second payment

The second payment was made to people who were eligible on 10 July 2020 and was paid from 13 July 2020. The eligibility list for the second payment was the same as for the first payment, except that people receiving the coronavirus supplement were not eligible.

Support for retirees

  • There is a temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown rates for account-based pensions and similar products. The drawdown rates have been reduced by 50% for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 income years.
  • The Centrelink deeming rates for financial assets has been reduced by 0.50% from 1 May 2020. The upper rate is now 2.25% and the lower rate is now 0.25%. More information about deeming here.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for financial counsellors only. It is general information only. Financial counsellors must still tailor advice to their client’s individual circumstances. 

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FCA sincerely thanks Kat Lane. Liz Minter and Melinda Rene for their outstanding work in putting this site together.