More financial support for people affected by coronavirus

25 March 2020

The Australian Government has announced more payments and streamlined claims for people affected by coronavirus.

We’ll pay a temporary fortnightly $550 Coronavirus Supplement from 27 April 2020 if you’re getting an eligible payment.

We’ll extend eligibility for the first $750 Economic Support Payment to pay it from 31 March 2020. This is if you’re getting an eligible payment on any day from 12 March to 13 April 2020.

We’ll also pay a second $750 Economic Support Payment from 13 July 2020. This is if you’re getting an eligible payment or have an eligible concession card on 10 July 2020. You won’t get this payment if you’re getting the Coronavirus Supplement.

We’ll expand eligibility for some payments and make them easier to claim.

We’ll make a one off Crisis Payment available if you’re in severe financial hardship and either:

  • need to self-isolate
  • are caring for someone self isolating.

A crisis payment is one week of your base income support payment rate.

Coronavirus Supplement

The temporary Coronavirus Supplement will be an extra $550 a fortnight payment on top of your income support payment.

You’ll automatically get the supplement if you’re getting one of these payments:

  • JobSeeker Payment, Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension
  • Youth Allowance for job seekers
  • Youth Allowance for students and apprentices
  • Austudy for students and apprentices
  • ABSTUDY for students getting Living Allowance
  • Parenting Payment partnered and single
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit.

If you’re already getting one of these payments

You don’t need to do anything. We’ll pay you automatically from 27 April 2020. We’ll start paying it from your first pay period that includes 27 April.

We’ll continue to pay you the supplement each fortnight if you’re eligible for up to 6 months.

If you’re not already getting a payment and need to claim

If you claim one of the eligible payments and we approve your claim, you’ll also get the supplement. You can claim online through myGov using a Centrelink online account, or phone us.

More access to payments

We’ll temporarily expand eligibility for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for job seekers.

We’ll give you access if you’re:

  • a permanent employee who has been stood down or lost your job
  • a sole trader, self employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced
  • caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.

We’ve waived asset testing for 6 months from 25 March 2020, except for Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit. We’ve also waived the liquid asset test waiting period, newly arrived residents waiting period, and seasonal work preclusion period.

Income testing will still apply.

On 12 March 2020 we started a 3 month waiving of the Ordinary Waiting Period. This will continue while these temporary arrangements are in place.

Income maintenance and compensation preclusion periods will continue to apply.

If you get JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance for job seekers you can’t access employer entitlements at the same time. This includes annual leave or sick leave, or income protection insurance.

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Next steps

Learn more about this announcement.

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Page last updated: 30 April 2020