JobKeeper Payment changes that impact JobSeeker Payment

JobKeeper Payment rates and eligibility change from 28 September 2020. This may mean you can get both JobKeeper Payment and an income support payment, such as JobSeeker Payment, from us.

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.

How JobKeeper Payment currently impacts eligibility for JobSeeker Payment

Currently, most people can’t get JobKeeper Payment and an income support payment, such as JobSeeker Payment from us. This is because the current rate of JobKeeper Payment income is above the income cut off limits for JobSeeker Payment.

These cut off points vary depending on your personal circumstances. Read more about the income test for JobSeeker Payment and what the cut off points are.

The current rate of JobKeeper Payment ends on 27 September 2020.

How changes to Jobkeeper Payment will impact JobSeeker Payment eligibility

From 28 September 2020, eligibility rules for JobKeeper Payment change. Businesses will need to reassess and demonstrate 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.

The income free area for JobSeeker Payment will increase from $106 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.

If the amount of JobKeeper Payment income you’re getting reduces, you don’t need to do anything differently. You’ll need to report the amount of JobKeeper Payment income you get fortnightly, along with any other income. We’ll work out how much you can get depending on your circumstances.

Rate changes

The JobKeeper Payment has been extended until 28 March 2021. The payment rates change from 28 September 2020 and again from 4 January 2021.

The changes to JobKeeper Payment rate are summarised in the following table. Part time employees are those working less than 20 hours a week on average as at 1 July 2020.

Dates Full time employees Part time employees
Until 27 September 2020 $1,500 per fortnight $1,500 per fortnight
28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 $1,200 per fortnight $750 per fortnight
4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

$1,000 per fortnight

$650 per fortnight

How you can transition to other income support payments

If you know your income is going to reduce, check if you can get an income support payment from us. You can use our Payment and Service Finder to see what payments and services you may be eligible for.

You can also read about the differences between JobKeeper Payment and JobSeeker Payment.

Claiming JobSeeker Payment

If you’re looking for work, JobSeeker Payment may be the right payment for your situation.

You should check if you can get it before starting a claim.

If you’re getting JobSeeker Payment, 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 you’ve agreed to do in your Job Plan.

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

Claiming another income support payment

You may be eligible to claim another income support payment that’s not JobSeeker Payment. You can read more about JobKeeper Payment and other income support payments.

Page last updated: 18 September 2020