How changes to coronavirus (COVID-19) support may impact you

23 February 2021

A number of changes have been announced, subject to legislation. Read more about what this may mean for you.

If you’re claiming a new payment

We’re extending the Ordinary waiting period waiver to 30 June 2021.

If you’re already getting a payment

The temporary Coronavirus Supplement ends 31 March 2021. From 1 April 2021, the following payments will increase by $50 per fortnight:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Austudy
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance.

We’re changing the income free area for JobSeeker Payment, Farm Household Allowance, Parenting Payment (Partnered) and Youth Allowance for job seekers. From 1 April 2021, you can earn $150 per fortnight before it impacts your payment.

If you’re a jobseeker

From early March, face-to-face appointments with your provider will restart. This is subject to your state or territory health advice. This applies if you’re in jobactive, Disability Employment Services and ParentsNext.

From early April, the minimum number of job searches increases from 8 to 15 per month. It will increase to 20 jobs per month in early July 2021. This applies if you’re in jobactive and Disability Employment Services.

You may be exempt from mutual obligation requirements for up to 14 days without evidence if you’re either:

  • self-isolating
  • caring for someone who needs to self-isolate.

Employers will be able to report a job seeker for not accepting suitable employment to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. If you refuse to accept a suitable job and don’t have a reasonable excuse, financial penalties may apply.

Next steps

You can find more information about the enhanced social safety net on the Department of Social Services website.

Subscribe to our news channels to stay up to date about changes to your payments and services.

You can also read more about getting help during COVID-19.

You may also be interested in reading about how to prepare for vaccinations.

Page last updated: 25 February 2021