JobKeeper Payment and income support payments

Find out how your JobKeeper Payment affects income support payments.

You may choose to claim an income support payment such as:

You should first check if you can get the payment. 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.

How JobKeeper Payment currently impacts eligibility for income support payments

At the current rate of JobKeeper Payment most people can’t get an income support payment from us. This is because JobKeeper Payment income is above the income cut off points for most income support payments.

These cut off points vary depending on your personal circumstances.

Find out more about these income tests on our website:

Nil payment periods

A nil payment period starts when you report income over a certain amount and it reduces your payment to $0. This includes your partner’s income.

Usually, a nil payment period can be up to 6 fortnights in a row. After 6 fortnights in a row, we’ll cancel your payment if your income is still too high. If you get a payment from us of at least $1 before the end of the 6 fortnights, we won’t cancel your payment.

If your nil payment period started between 30 March and 24 August 2020

This nil payment period temporarily changed due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This change meant you could have a $0 payment for more than 6 fortnights without us cancelling your payment. This only applies if your nil payment period started between 30 March and 24 August 2020. In this case, if you haven’t received a payment of at least $1 from us by 16 November 2020, we’ll cancel your payment. This will happen on your first payment date after 16 November 2020.

We won’t cancel it if you get a payment from us before 16 November 2020.

Read more about income reporting and nil payment periods.

How changes to Jobkeeper Payment will impact income support payments eligibility

From 28 September 2020, eligibility rules for JobKeeper Payment change. Businesses will need to reassess their eligibility. The payment rate will also reduce.

These changes mean more people may be able to get both:

This is because JobKeeper Payment rates decrease and the income free area will increase from 25 September. The income free area is the amount you can earn before it impacts your payment from us.

If you get JobSeeker Payment

If you get JobSeeker Payment you can read more about how upcoming changes will impact your payment.

If you get Youth Allowance for jobseekers or Parenting Payment

From 25 September 2020 the Youth Allowance for job seekers income free area increases from $143 per fortnight to $300 per fortnight.

If you earn above $300 per fortnight, your payment reduces by 60 cents for each dollar over this amount.

The income free area for Parenting Payment will not change and remains at $192.60 per fortnight.

If you get either Youth Allowance for jobseekers or Parenting Payment with mutual obligation requirements, you’ll need to:

  • report your and your partner’s income every 2 weeks, even if it’s $0
  • meet your mutual obligation requirements, which are the approved activities in your Job Plan
  • stay connected to your employment service provider, if you have one
  • sign in regularly to the online employment service on the jobactive website and do the tasks on your dashboard.

When you report your income to us, this includes money your employer pays you through the JobKeeper payment scheme. Read more about reporting JobKeeper income.

If you get Disability Support Pension

If you get both Disability Support Pension (DSP) and JobKeeper Payment, your rate of DSP will reduce. Depending on your situation, your DSP may reduce to nil. If your DSP is nil for an extended time, usually 6 fortnights, we’ll suspend your DSP payment for up to 2 years. You’ll keep your Pensioner Concession Card for up to 52 weeks.

If your employment income reduces below your DSP income cut off point within the 2 years, we can restore your DSP payment. You won’t need to submit a new DSP claim.

Different rules apply if your DSP rate reduces to nil because your partner gets employment income including JobKeeper Payment. If it’s been nil for more than 6 fortnights on 31 December 2020, we’ll cancel your DSP payment.

If we cancel your DSP due to your partner’s income, you’ll need to submit a new DSP claim.

You can call us to find out more.

Page last updated: 11 September 2020