Find out what you’re eligible for
With COVID-19 changing the way we live, your work situation might have abruptly changed, leaving you feeling increasingly anxious or unsure about your future.
Find out what financial assistance you might be eligible for and how to navigate Centrelink and other Government support options available during this time. For the most up-to-date information, please visit Services Australia.
Centrelink (Services Australia)
Services Australia (commonly known as Centrelink) is responsible for government payments and financial support.
Whilst lodging a claim to receive financial help is relatively easy, there is a lot of information to consider. So, we’ve outlined the financial support available.
Not receiving a payment and need financial support
Check your eligibility and sign up for financial support through the Services Australia website.
To do this:
- Create a myGov account: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/online-help/create-mygov-account
- When you sign-in, you will be prompted to complete an ‘intention to claim’ for a Centrelink payment.
- Explore which payment options you might be eligible for. If you have questions, call Centrelink or talk to them online.
- A wide range of other payments are available so check out the website.
- If you are 21 or younger and looking for work, or temporarily unable to work, you may be able to claim Youth Allowance for job seekers so explore this.
- If you are 22 and over, and looking for work you may be eligible for JobSeeker Payment
- If you are studying full time, you may be eligible for Youth Allowance for students and Australian Apprentices.
Already receive a government payment
From 27 April 2020, the Jobseeker Allowance (previously ‘Newstart’), Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy will all be increased by $275 per week for the next six months.
If you’re already getting one of these payments, you don’t need to do anything. The supplement will automatically be added to your payment from 27 April 2020.
Additional payments for people on other income support
The Australian Government is providing two separate $750 payments to people on other types of income support, including those on a Disability Support Pension, and eligible concession card holders.
You don’t need to do anything if you are eligible, it will be paid to you automatically. The first of these payments will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second from 13 July 2020.
Suspension of mutual obligation
Mutual Obligation requirements (the normal requirements you have to receive payment, e.g. visiting your employment service provider, following a Job Plan) have been suspended for people receiving Jobseeker and Youth Allowance for Jobseekers.
You now have the option to request meetings with your employment service provider over the phone or online. This means you can still receive support without the need to go into their office.
Employer impacted by COVID or you were recently stood-down
The government recently announced the JobKeeper payment to help keep people in jobs and support businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.
If you are currently employed or have recently been stood down by an eligible employer or were employed on 1 March 2020, you may receive a minimum payment of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. This payment also applies to some casual staff who meet eligibility requirements.
Find more information and see if you are eligible here.
Worried about rent
The Federal Government has announced measures to help protect people who can’t afford to pay their rent because of the financial impacts of COVID-19.
The measures vary by state or territory so find out more about your housing rights by contacting the relevant consumer protection agency:
Need to talk with someone?
If you’re experiencing work challenges, it can help to talk with a professional. If you’re aged 15-25, headspace’s team of qualified work and study specialists provide free and confidential support to help you prepare and look for work.
Visit digitalworkandstudy.org.au or phone 1800 810 794.
If you have any questions on your eligibility or need help submitting a claim, please contact Services Australia.
The information in this document is subject to change, please refer to Services Australia for the latest information.