What is the Coronavirus Supplement?
The Coronavirus Supplement has been introduced by the government as an additional top-up payment for people on welfare. The supplement is to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This is in addition to any other payment eligible recipients receive. Payments will begin on April 27 and will be available for at least six months. The one-week ordinary waiting period has already been waived for this payment.
Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to access and claim the coronavirus supplement.
Who is eligible to receive the Coronavirus Supplement?
The Coronavirus Supplement will be provided to people who receive the following benefits:
- Jobseeker Payment (formerly known as the Newstart Allowance)
- Youth Allowance for jobseekers
- Sickness Allowance
- Parenting Payment Partnered
- Parenting Payment Single
- Partner Allowance
- Farm Household Allowance
- Youth Allowance students and apprentices
It is also important to remember that the government has temporarily expanded eligibility, meaning Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for:
- A permanent employee who has been stood down or lost their job.
- A sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced as a result of economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. Small business owners and casual workers are eligible if they suddenly find themselves earning less than $1,075 a fortnight.
- People caring for someone who is affected by Coronavirus.
Asset testing for Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Parenting Payment will be waived for the period of the coronavirus supplement. Income testing will still apply to the person’s other payments.
How do I claim the Coronavirus Supplement?
For those currently receiving welfare payments:
If you are already receiving one of the welfare payments listed above, you are not required to do anything as Services Australia will automatically pay this supplement to eligible recipients each fortnight.
For those who currently are not receiving welfare payments:
- Obtain your CRN through Centrelink
The government is dispersing the Coronavirus Supplement through Centrelink. This means that you need to have a Customer Registration Number (CRN) in Centrelink’s system. If you haven’t had dealings with Centrelink, call 132 307 and pick option 2. The operator will verify your identity and create a CRN or you. If you have a CRN but have forgotten it, call the same number, select the same option and the operator will verify your identity and tell you your CRN.
There has been a large influx of people applying for the coronavirus supplement so please note that wait times may be longer than usual (up to two hours).
- Once you have your CRN
When you have been allocated your CRN or if you already have your CRN, log into your MyGov account and connect Centrelink to your MyGov account if you haven’t done so before. To get started click here.
Click below for a step-by-step guide on how to access and claim the coronavirus supplement.
What if I am a trainee or apprentice?
If you are an apprentice or trainee, nothing should change for you. A separate cash injection has been designed to support the jobs of the approx. 120,000 trainees and apprentices working for small businesses across Australia.
Key things to note about this payment:
- It will go directly to your employer.
- The money will cover 50% of your wage for up to nine months for eligible employers.
- Your salary should not be impacted by this subsidy.
If your current employer is unable to keep you on, this subsidy will be available to eligible businesses who agree to take you on as a new employee.
Still unsure if this is going to cut it? Go to the Skillsroad Jobs Board to see which jobs you can start applying for.
Need more help or advice during this bizarre time? Read up on some of the following:
Want to express how you’re feeling? Need to find a way to pass the time? Have some stories of what it feels like to be in self-isolation? Got any job-related horror stories or successes or odd moments to share with us? Head to the Skillsroad #JobDiaries submissions page - we want to hear from you! Click below to get started...
Main image from Unsplash by Markis Spiski
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