Find Out The COVID-19 Financial Assistance Available For You

The below is an account of the government support available to those who are suffering from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

JobKeeper Payment 

JobKeeper is designed to help businesses retain their employees and keep their earning avenues open, even if the working hours are reduced. Available for both the self-employed and businesses, it offers a sum of $1,500 every fortnight for six months.

Employees may take note of the following to access this aid:

  • Identify and inform your primary employer if you work with multiple employers.
  • Update your employer about your visa status if you are not an Australian citizen
  • Notify Services Australia if you are on income support 

The Treasury will give you more details about the eligibility and application for the JobKeeper Payment package. 

Payments for Income Support 

There is an extension in the eligibility criteria to receive payments for income support. It is now applicable for those receiving any of the following:

  • Sickness Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Widow Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Austudy
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Partner Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Youth Allowance

Eligible individuals will receive a payment of $550 as a fortnightly coronavirus supplement temporarily. Besides, if you are facing any financial hardship due to the pandemic, then you can apply for a crisis payment and get income support. 

Household Support Payments 

Under this package, eligible Australian citizens will receive two automatic transfers of $750. The timeline is between 12 March and 13 April 2020 for the first transfer and 13 July 2020 for the second one. The Services Australia portal offers insights into this support package. 

Early Access to Super

Super is your savings for the post-retirement life. Due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, you can access funds from your super amounting up to $10,000. Check the eligibility criteria and apply between 1 July and 24 September 2020. 

There are various conditions to be eligible to avail of a super. These are:

  • If you are employed
  • If you are qualified or entitled to receive the JobSeeker payment, youth allowance, special benefit or farm household allowances, and parenting payments. 
  • If you face changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of:
    • Reduction in working hours by 20% or more
    • Suspension of the business or reduction in turnover by 20% or more for sole business owners
    • Made redundant 

Decrease in deeming and drawdown rates 

Drawdown rates reduced 

The drawdown rate on account-based pensions and other similar products is reduced. This is applicable for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 financial years. It aims to ensure that you do not have to sell your financial assets to fulfill the minimum drawdown requisites. 

Reduced Age Pension deeming rates and income support

The changes in the deeming rate are as follows:

  • 2.25% will be the upper deeming rate
  • 0.25% will be the lower deeming rate

Get more in-depth information about the drawdown and deeming rates at the Treasury website

HomeBuilder Grant

This is an aid worth $25,000 to new and existing homeowners to build a home or renovate an existing one. Eligibility sets a timeline from 4 June to 31 December 2020 for signing the building contract. Additionally, the construction should start within a stipulated period of signing i.e., 3 months. 

Financial Support for Businesses

The government will offer the following relief measures to support struggling businesses:

  • A grant of up to $100,000 to small businesses, medium-scale businesses, and not-for-profits
  • A $1,500 grant for JobKeeper Payment to help people retain their jobs
  • Temporary aid to financially troubled businesses
  • Increase in the instant access write-off to $150,000
  • Business investment incentive for 15 months
  • Subsidized trainee and apprentice wages for nine months

Visit this portal to get more details.

Support for emergency and legal needs

If you need urgent monetary help, then you can get free access to food, bills, and housing. You can also get free legal support if needed.