If you get income from JobKeeper Payment

Your employer may pay you JobKeeper Payment. The Australian Taxation Office pays this to your employer if they’re eligible.

From 28 September 2020, you must start meeting mutual obligation requirements. This may apply to you if you get JobKeeper Payment and an income support payment, like JobSeeker Payment.

What JobKeeper Payment is

JobKeeper Payment helps businesses significantly affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s a payment that helps employers with the costs of their employees’ wages.

The ATO pays JobKeeper Payment to eligible employers. Your employer will tell you if they’re eligible to claim the JobKeeper Payment for you. If they are, they’ll pay it to you as part of your usual wages.

If your employment situation has changed your current employer can nominate you for JobKeeper Payment. They can do this even if you were getting JobKeeper Payment from your previous employer. However, you can only get JobKeeper Payment from one employer at any given time.

You should speak with your employer if you have any questions about JobKeeper Payment. You don’t need to call or visit us.

Read more about JobKeeper Payment for employees and the eligibility criteria for employees on the ATO website.

What the difference is between JobKeeper Payment and JobSeeker Payment

JobSeeker Payment is an income support payment to support you while you look for work.

Your employer may get JobKeeper Payment if their business is affected by COVID-19. It helps your employer continue to pay your wages. Read more about the differences between the 2 payments.

Getting both JobKeeper Payment and an income support payment

At the current rate of JobKeeper Payment, most people can’t get it and an income support payment from us.

If you get JobKeeper Payment income from your employer, you may earn too much to get a payment from us. This is because income from JobKeeper Payment is above the income cut off points for income support payments like JobSeeker Payment.

The JobKeeper Payment rate changes on 28 September 2020. Read more about upcoming changes to JobKeeper Payment.

You may be able to get JobKeeper Payment income if you’re on parental leave from your employer. However, you can’t get it if you get either of these payments from us:

How your JobKeeper Payment income affects your income support payment

Most income support payments, like JobSeeker Payment, have an income test. We assess your income from all sources and apply this test.

There are different tests depending on your situation. This includes whether you’re single, have a partner or are the principal carer of a child.

If your income in a fortnight goes over specific cut off points, we won’t pay you for that fortnight.

Read about the JobSeeker Payment income test.

Changes to income free area

From 25 September the income free area for JobSeeker Payment will increase. This means you can earn more income before it affects your payment.

You can also read more about JobKeeper Payment and income support payments.

Income reporting

Any JobKeeper Payment income is part of your taxable income for Child Support, Family Tax Benefit, and Child Care Subsidy.

If you get an income support payment, you must report any JobKeeper Payment income you or your partner get. If you don’t, we’ll pay you too much and you may get a Centrelink debt.

If your income is too high, we may give you a lower rate or stop your payment for that fortnight.

Read more about how to calculate and report JobKeeper Payment income.

Mutual obligation requirements

What’s changing from 28 September

From 28 September, you’ll need to meet mutual obligation requirements if you get JobKeeper Payment and an Income Support Payment. This is because income support payments, such as JobSeeker Payment, are for supporting people while they look for work.

If you live in Victoria, this doesn’t apply. We’ll let you know when this changes.

You may be exempt in certain circumstances. Talk to your employment services provider, if you have one, or phone us on your regular payment line.

If you’re a sole trader or self-employed, you’ll be exempt from mutual obligations requirements.

If you’re in the Community Development Program, your mutual obligation requirements are voluntary at this time. We’ll let you know when this changes.

When your situation changes and you can’t get JobKeeper Payment income

There are changes to JobKeeper Payment starting 28 September 2020. Your payments may stop if your employer is no longer eligible or you stop working for them. Talk to your employer about how these changes will impact your job and your income.

If you know your income will change and you meet eligibility rules, you can start a claim for JobSeeker Payment.

Read more about getting JobSeeker Payment when your JobKeeper Payment ends.

What other payments you can get

We have tools you can use to check what payment is right for you. You can use our payment guide or Payment and Service Finder.

Page last updated: 22 September 2020