Coronavirus Support Summary for Individuals and Businesses

The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians to support them through the Coronavirus. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation. We have summarized these stimulate so that you can check your eligibility

For Individuals – Employees and Sole Trader

  • Jobkeeper Payment up to $1500 a fortnight (Permanent resident or citizen) from 01 May 2020 payments will be backdated from March 2020
  • Jobseeker Payment upto $1100 a fortnight (Permanent resident or citizen) From 27 April 2020 Income support and a Coronavirus supplement
  • Support for Individuals and Household (Permanent resident or citizens only)
    From 31 March 2020 First round of $750 payments to support households
    From 13 July 2020 Second round of $750 payments to support households
  • Early Release of Super (Permanent resident, citizen, non-resident may be eligible) From mid-April 2020

Job keeper Payment

The job keeper payment will be provided to many employers to keep paying their employees with a minimum of $1500 a fortnight over the next six months.
This payment will flow from the employer to the employee.
If any employee is getting Jobseeker payment from Centrelink it may affect job keeper payment

Condition: Employees in the following circumstances will have additional obligations
. • Employees that have multiple employers must notify the employer that is their primary employer. • Employees that are not Australian citizens must notify their employer of their visa status, to allow their employer to determine if they are an eligible employee.
 • Employees that are currently in receipt of an income support payment must notify Services Australia of their new income.
• Employees must be employed before 01 of March 2020 to be eligible for the job keeper payment

BACKGROUND ON JOBKEEPER PAYMENT FOR EMPLOYEES
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months.
Eligible employees will receive a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight, before tax. It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of JobKeeper Payments.
Eligible employees include Australian citizens, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder.
Full time and part-time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the Payment.
Employees will be able to receive this payment in a number of different ways.
• If you ordinarily receive $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, you will continue to receive your regular income according to the prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper
Payments will subsidise part or all of your income.
• If you ordinarily receive less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
• If you have been stood down, your employer must pay you, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight,
before tax.
• If you were employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment and then were re-engaged
by the same eligible employer, you will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.



Last updated: 1 April 2020
The employee who has been stood down and applied for income support

Example
Phoebe works at a cinema as a permanent full-time employee, but she has been stood down under the Fair Work Act without pay. Phoebe had registered an intent to claim with Services Australia for access to the JobSeeker Payment and the Coronavirus Supplement. Phoebe is single, with no children and in total she would be eligible to receive $1,124.50 before tax per fortnight from Services Australia.

Phoebe’s employer has decided to apply for the JobKeeper Payment for all its eligible employees for up to six months. This would entitle Phoebe to $1,500 per fortnight before tax. Phoebe’s employer is required to advise her that she has been nominated as an eligible employee to receive the payment.

If Phoebe elects to receive income support though Services Australia, she should advise Services Australia of the change in her circumstances. Phoebe may no longer be eligible for income support from Services Australia as a result of receiving the JobKeeper Payment.


Jobseeker Payment

Over the next six months, the Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.
This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit

Support for Individuals and Household

The Government is providing support for individuals to assist them during the next six months.

INCREASED AND ACCELERATED INCOME SUPPORT

Summary

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months.

Eligibility

Payment categories

The income support payment categories eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement are:

•Jobseeker Payment(and all payments progressively transitioning to JobSeeker Payment; those currently receiving Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension)

•Youth Allowance

•Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)

•Austudy

•ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)

•Farm Household Allowance

•Special Benefit recipients

Anyone who is eligible for the Coronavirus supplement will receive the full rate of the supplement of $550 per fortnight.

Expanded access

For the period of the Coronavirus supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments listed above.

Expanded access: Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus. This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the Coronavirus.

Reduced means testing: Asset testing for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus supplement. Income testing will still apply to the person’s other payments, consistent with current arrangements.

Reduced waiting times:

The one-week Ordinary Waiting Period has already been waived.

Under changes announced in the 2017-18 Budget, from 20 March 2020, JobSeeker Payment replaces Newstart Allowance as the main income support payment for recipients aged between 22 years to Age Pension qualification age who have capacity to work.

Last updated: 29 March 2020

To further accelerate access to payments, the Liquid Asset test Waiting Period (LAWP) and the Seasonal Work Preclusion Period (SWPP) will also be waived for recipients eligible for the Coronavirus supplement.

People currently serving a LAWP will no longer need to help that waiting period.

The Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period (NARWP) will be temporarily waived for recipients eligible for the Coronavirus supplement. When the Coronavirus supplement ceases, those people that were serving a NARWP will continue to serve the remainder of their waiting period, though the time the person was receiving the Coronavirus supplement will count towards their NARWP. Residency requirements still apply.

All income testing, Income Maintenance Periods and Compensation Preclusion Periods will continue to apply.

People will not be permitted to access, and will need to declare that they are not accessing, employer entitlements (such as annual leave and/or sick leave) or Income Protection Insurance, at the same time as receiving Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker under these arrangements.

From 20 March 2020, Sickness Allowance was closed to new entrants and was replaced by the JobSeeker Payment. This does not mean that people who previously may have been eligible for Sickness Allowance are now unable to access income support. JobSeeker Payment better accommodates individual circumstances, including assisting people who are sick or bereaved.

Faster claim process

Accelerated claim process: To ensure timely access to payments, new applicants are encouraged to claim online. If applicants do not have internet access, they can claim over the phone.

•From April 2020, Services Australia will allow new applicants to call to verify their identity to reduce the need to visit a Services Australia office.

•To claim online, people who do not already deal with Services Australia will need to set up their myGov account, call to verify their identity, and get a link to their Centrelink online account.

•Applicants for Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker will:

Make an initial declaration about their identity, residency status, income and that they have been made redundant, or had their hours reduced (including to zero) as a result of the Coronavirus.

In the case of sole traders and the self-employed, applicants will make a declaration that their business has been suspended or had turnover reduced significantly.

•Applicants may also declare the amount of rent they pay in this declaration to qualify for Rent Assistance.

•Services Australia has effective measures in place to detect those seeking to defraud the social security system. Anyone fraudulently claiming a payment will need to pay the money back and may face legal action.

Streamlined application process: A number of simplified arrangements will be put in place to make it easier to claim, including removing the requirements for:

•Employment Separation Certificates, proof of rental arrangements and verification of relationship status;

•JobSeeker Classification Instrument assessment for those people who have recently left jobs, recognising they are job ready; and

•Jobseekers to make an appointment with an employment service provider before they can be paid.

Flexible jobseeking arrangements

Those receiving Jobseeker Payment have an obligation to actively look for work or build their skills, but the Government is making sure this can be done flexibly and safely.

•Jobseekers who have caring responsibilities, or who need to self-isolate, are able to seek an exemption from their mutual obligation requirements without the need for medical evidence.

•Activities can be rescheduled if the jobseeker is unable to attend as a result of the Coronavirus. Job Plans will be adjusted to a default requirement of four job searches a month (or one a week).

Mutual obligations can be tailored for each individual to suit not only their needs but also the needs of the community. In some circumstances, jobseekers can undertake training or volunteer within their community to meet their mutual obligation requirements.

Sole traders that become eligible for the Jobseeker Payment will automatically meet their mutual obligation requirements during this period by continuing to develop and sustain their business.

Jobseekers are encouraged to stay job ready, connected to their employment services provider and up to date on potential job opportunities in their local area.

These changes ensure that jobseekers can reliably access income support, safely look for work, fill critical vacancies as they emerge, develop their skills and job preparedness, contribute to their community and help the economy to bounce back stronger.

Timing

The Coronavirus supplement will commence from 27 April 2020.

Expanded access for payments and faster claims processing will commence from 25 March 2020.

Example

Leonie is in her mid-30s, with two dependent children aged 10 and 12 and works as a telephone consultant for a travel agency. The Coronavirus has caused the travel agency where she works to close for a six month period, and resulted in Leonie’s hours being reduced to zero. Leonie will be eligible to apply for JobSeeker Payment and the Coronavirus supplement under the new streamlined process.

Leonie can apply online and make a declaration about her identity, residency status, income and that her hours have been reduced to zero as a result of the Coronavirus.

Leonie is eligible for Jobseeker Payment and will receive $1,171.50 per fortnight, comprising:

•JobSeeker Payment single, with dependent child rate of $612.00 per fortnight; plus

•Energy supplement of $9.50 per fortnight; plus

•Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight.

Leonie will also receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B of $483 a fortnight. Having recently left employment, Leonie is already job ready.

An employment service provider will look to match Leonie’s skills with available opportunities (for example, in another call centre) so Leonie’s skills can be used in another industry and Leonie can get another job quickly.

Temporary early release of superannuation       

The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

TEMPORARY EARLY ACCESS TO SUPERANNUATION

Summary

While superannuation helps people save for retirement, the Government recognises that for those significantly financially affected by the Coronavirus, accessing some of their superannuation today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement.

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

Eligibility

To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:

you were made redundant; or

your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or

if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

How to apply

If you are eligible for this new ground of early release, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website: www.my.gov.auYou will need to certify that you meet the above eligibility criteria.

After the ATO has processed your application, they will issue you with a determination. The ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to your superannuation fund, which will advise them to release your superannuation payment. Your fund will then make the payment to you, without you needing to apply to them directly.

Separate arrangements will apply if you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Further guidance will be available on the ATO website: www.ato.gov.au.

Timing

You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from 20 April 2020.

Budget impact

This measure is expected to have a cost of $1.15 billion over the forward estimates.

 

Ed the bartender

Ed works in a popular bar in Melbourne. As a result of the Coronavirus, Ed has had his work hours reduced from 40 hours on average in the second half of 2019 to 20 hours per week on average in May 2020. As a result, Ed determines that his hours over the last month have reduced by more than 20 per cent compared to the average of his hours over the last six months of 2019.

Ed decides to apply for the early release of $8,000 of his superannuation in May 2020 to help pay his rent and other living expenses. Ed self-certifies that he is eligible for early release on myGov. He could have applied for up to $10,000, but chose not to. Ed cannot seek any further early release of superannuation in 2019-20 on the grounds that he has been affected by the adverse economic effects of the Coronavirus.

However, Ed finds after 1 July 2020 that his hours continue to be reduced by more than 20 per cent compared to the average of his hours in the last six months of 2019. Ed decides to make a second application and self-certifies through myGov that he is eligible for early release. He is able to apply again for a release of up to $10,000 of his superannuation. Ed submits a second application for the full amount of $10,000 this time.

For each application, the ATO approves Ed’s early release and notifies both him and his superannuation fund. Ed has received a total of $18,000 of his superannuation in two separate payments. He will not be taxed on this amount and is free to spend this money on anything he chooses, or save it for future expenses. He is also free to recontribute any unused amounts to his superannuation in the future (within his contribution caps).

Rachel the sole trader

Rachel is a sole trader with a catering business. At the end of July 2020, Rachel seeks to apply for an early release from her superannuation for the 2020-21 financial year.

Due to the economic effects of the coronavirus, Rachel’s turnover for July is $5,000 compared to $10,000 on average per month for the second half of 2019. Rachel therefore determines that her turnover has reduced by more than 20 per cent compared to her average turnover over the last six months of 2019.

Rachel self-certifies that she is eligible for early release and applies to have $10,000 released from her superannuation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

Businesses can visit business.gov.au to find out more about how the Economic Response complements the range of support available to small and medium businesses.

Last updated: 28 March 2020

 

For Businesses and Sole Trader

  1. You may receive one or more than one payment based on your eligibility

    Jobkeeper Payment Businesses from 1 May 2020 – payment backed from Mar 2020

    Tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 from 28 April 2020

    Vary PAYG Tax Instalments from 01 April 2020 or when you lodge next BAS

    Instant Asset Write-off up to $150000 from 12 Mar 2020

Jobkeeper Payment Business

To receive the JobKeeper Payment, employers must:

 • Register an intention to apply on the ATO website and assess that they have or will experience the required turnover decline.
• Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees. This includes information on the number of eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 and those currently employed by the business (including those stood down or rehired). For most businesses, the ATO will use Single Touch Payroll data to pre-populate the employee details for the business.
• Ensure that each eligible employee receives at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). For employees that were already receiving this amount from the employer then their income will not change. For employees that have been receiving less than this amount, the employer will need to top up the payment to the employee up to $1,500, before tax. And for those employees earning more than this amount, the employer is able to provide them with a top-up.
• Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Payment.
 • Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.


Cashflow Boost between $20000 to $100000


The government will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses, delivered through credits in the activity statement system, when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements.

Eligibility

You will be eligible to receive the cash flow boost if you are a small or medium business entity, including not-for-profit organisations, sole traders, partnership, company or trust that:

held an ABN on 12 March 2020 and continues to be active

has an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million (generally based on prior year turnover)

made eligible payments you are required to withhold from (even if the amount you need to withhold is zero).

Vary PAYG Tax Instalments

Allowing businesses to vary Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.

Instant asset write-off for eligible businesses

The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020

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