The second stimulus package, announced on 22 March 2020 included a number of measures that increased support to low-income households. These include:

  • Centrelink payments have been temporarily increased for six months with a ‘Coronavirus Supplement’, worth $550 per fortnight. These payments are the Jobseekers Allowance, Youth Allowance for Jobseekers, Youth Allowance for Students, the Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy, and the Special Benefit.
  • The Coronavirus supplement will not be paid until 27 April.
  • All other payment types are not eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement. This means a large number of people on the Disability Support Pension and the Age Pension (among others) will not receive an increased fortnightly rate.
  • This increase is $550 consistently across the eligible payment types. Everyone receiving the relevant income support payments will get the full $550 per fortnight, even if they only get a small amount of the eligible payment.

    The Government has waived the waiting period and the assets test for the Jobseeker Allowance meaning people will receive payments more quickly. The income test is also being altered, in order to ensure more access to the Jobseeker Allowance for people whose partners are receiving an income higher than the existing threshold. CHP will update you as we learn more.

    Information on the ‘Coronavirus Supplement’ is available here.