Changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker

JobKeeper payments

On 21 July the Australian Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment for a further six months until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those businesses and not-for-profits who continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rate of JobKeeper will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight. This will apply to all eligible employees who, in the four-weekly pay periods before the reference period, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week.

For employees who were working in the business or not-for-profit for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business less than 20 hours per week in the reference period, the rate will be reduced to $750 per fortnight.

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JobSeeker payments

From 25 September 2020, the Coronavirus Supplement will be reduced from $550 to $250 per fortnight until 31 December 2020.

The supplement will apply to people who receive income support payments including JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment, Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Farm Houshold Allowance, Special Benefit, eligible New Enterprise Incentive Scheme participants, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Education Schemes.

The income free area for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance will increase to $300 per fortnight. This means that recipients can earn income up to $300 per fortnight and still receive the maximum payment.

Asset limits will be reinstated. If you have assets worth more than $482,000 you won’t be able to access JobSeeker. If you own a home the asset limit is $268,000.

The Liquid Assets Waiting Period will be reinstated, which means that people with savings greater than $5,499 will have to wait before receiving payments.

Mutual obligation requirements

In March 2020, mutual obligation requirements were temporarily paused due to coronavirus (COVID-19). For most people there has been a gradual return of requirements from 4 August.

From 28 September 2020, if you have mutual obligation requirements you must start meeting them. Recipients will receive an SMS from the Department of Eudcation, Skills and Employment about this.

You need to agree to a Job Plan which may include one or more of the following:

  • attending appointments with an employment services provider
  • job searches, including looking for work and applying for jobs
  • other approved activities such as training, paid or voluntary work.

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Information in your language

Information about JobSeeker Payment is available in languages other than English here or call the Multilingual Phone Service on 131 202 to speak to someone in your language.