I’m a job seeker

Upcoming changes for job seekers and what to do if your payments are affected.

Timeline of upcoming changes

  1.  

    September

    The Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight has been extended from 24 September 2020 until 31 December 2020 at a rate of $250 per fortnight.

    The asset test waiver ends in September. This affects you if you’re getting JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment. We'll contact you to ask you to update your asset details online before 24 September 2020.

    Asset test limits also apply from 25 September 2020. Use your Centrelink online account to update your assets before 25 September 2020, so we can pay you the right amount. Payments will be cancelled from 25 September 2020 if your asset value is over the limits.

    From 25 September 2020 the income free area for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for job seekers increases to $300 per fortnight. This means you can earn more but still get the maximum payment rates.

    From 25 September 2020 there are changes to the JobSeeker Payment partner income test.

    From 28 September, you must meet your mutual obligation requirements. This means you’ll need to do all of the things listed in your Job Plan. Payment suspensions and penalties apply if you don’t do these things.

    This may apply to you if you’re getting JobKeeper Payment and claiming an income support payment like JobSeeker Payment.

    This doesn’t apply if you live in Victoria. But you should stay in contact with your employment services provider, if you have one. You can do this either online or over the phone. If you’re in online employment services, but live in Victoria, you should still think about your employment and training goals.

    Suspensions and penalties don’t apply if you’re in the Community Development Program. But you should stay in contact with your provider either online, over the phone or in person. We’ll let you know when this changes.

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

    The JobKeeper Payment rate changes from 28 September 2020 until 3 January 2021. The rate for employees who work more than 20 hours on average a week will be $1,200 per fortnight. The payment rate for employees who worked less than 20 hours a week is $750 per fortnight.

    To be eligible for a payment you must have worked in either:

    • the 4 weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020
    • the 4 weeks of pay periods before 1 July 2020.

    If your employer is no longer eligible for JobKeeper Payment, or your work situation changes you can start an early claim for Jobseeker Payment. You can review and submit this claim up to 2 weeks before your JobKeeper Payment is due to change or end. Once we get your claim, we’ll work out if you can get this payment based on your circumstances.

  2.  

    December

    From 7 December 2020, there are changes to the way you report your income. You’ll need to report to Centrelink the gross employment income you have been paid in your reporting period.

    Your reporting and payment dates may change when we close for national public holidays.

    Our temporary waiver for waiting periods ends on the 31 December 2020. After this date, the waiting periods might apply again. This includes the:

    • Ordinary Waiting Period
    • Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period
    • Seasonal Work Preclusion Period.

    The Coronavirus Supplement ends on 31 December 2020.

  3.  

    January 2021

    The JobKeeper Payment rate changes from 4 January to 28 March 2021. The rate for employees who work more than 20 hours a week on average will be $1,000 per fortnight.

    The payment rate for employees who work less than 20 hours a week on average is $650 per fortnight.

    To be eligible for a payment you must have worked in either:

    • the 4 weeks of pay periods before 1 March 2020
    • the 4 weeks of pay periods before 1 July 2020.
  4.  

    March 2021

    JobKeeper Payment ends on 28 March 2021.

Page last updated: 18 September 2020