I’m a job seeker

Upcoming changes for job seekers because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Timeline of upcoming changes



    Employment services provider appointments

    In person appointments with your provider restarted. However, it depends on local health advice and state and territory COVID-19 requirements.

    This applies if you’re with any of the following providers:

    • jobactive
    • Disability Employment Services
    • ParentsNext.

    JobKeeper Payment

    JobKeeper Payment ended on 28 March 2021.

    Waiting periods

    Our temporary waiver for some waiting periods ended on 31 March 2021. After this date, the waiting periods may apply to you again. This includes the:

    Coronavirus Supplement

    The temporary Coronavirus Supplement, at a rate of $150 per fortnight, ended on 31 March 2021.



    From 1 April:

    • working age payments increased by $50 per fortnight
    • the income free area for certain income support payments, including JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for job seekers, changed to $150 per fortnight
    • your partner can have income up to the partner income free area each fortnight before their income reduces your payment
    • the partner income free area is generally $1,124 if your partner is over 22 years of age
    • the partner income test taper rate for JobSeeker Payment returned to 60 cents for each dollar over the partner income free area.

    Mutual obligation requirements

    From April, if you’re:

    • a sole trader or other self-employed customer, you need to start meeting mutual obligation requirements
    • in jobactive or Disability Employment Services, the minimum number of job searches increased from 8 to 15 per month.

    Talk to your provider if you have any questions.

    Nil payment period

    On 16 April 2021, the nil payment period we extended due to COVID-19 ended. If we haven’t paid you at least $1 in the 6 fortnights before 16 April 2021, we’ll cancel your payment. This applies to all customers, except those getting Disability Support Pension (DSP).

    If your own income reduces your DSP rate to nil for your maximum period, we’ll suspend your DSP for up to 2 years.



    The following end on 30 June 2021:

    • the extended eligibility for exemptions from mutual obligation requirements if you’re either self-isolating or caring for someone required to self-isolate because of COVID-19
    • the ordinary waiting period waiver.

Page last updated: 1 May 2021