Find out what you’re eligible for
With COVID-19 changing the way we live, your work situation might have be continually changing, leaving you feeling increasingly anxious or unsure about your future.
Find out what financial assistance you might be eligible for and how to navigate Centrelink and other Government support options available during this time. For the most up-to-date information, please visit Services Australia.
Centrelink (Services Australia)
Services Australia (commonly known as Centrelink) is responsible for government payments and financial support.
Whilst lodging a claim to receive financial help is relatively easy, there is a lot of information to consider. So, we’ve outlined the current financial support available (August 2020).
Not receiving a payment and need financial support
Check your eligibility and sign up for financial support through the Services Australia website.
To do this:
- Create a myGov account: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/online-help/create-mygov-account
- When you sign-in, you will be prompted to complete an ‘intention to claim’ for a Centrelink payment.
- Explore which payment options you might be eligible for. If you have questions, call Centrelink or talk to them online.
- A wide range of other payments are available so check out the website.
- If you are 21 or younger and looking for work, or temporarily unable to work, you may be able to claim Youth Allowance for job seekers so explore this.
- If you are 22 and over, and looking for work you may be eligible for JobSeeker Payment
- If you are studying full time, you may be eligible for Youth Allowance for students and Australian Apprentices.
Already receive a government payment
From 27 April until 24 September 2020, the Jobseeker Allowance (previously ‘Newstart’), Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy was increased by $275 per week. This amount was reduced to $250 from 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, and will change to $150 per fortnight between 1 January and 31 March 2021.
If you’re already getting one of these payments, you don’t need to do anything.
Gradual return of mutual obligation requirements
Depending on which state or territory you live, from 4 August 2020 people receiving Jobseeker and Youth Allowance may need to once again start meeting their mutual obligation requirements (the activities you are required to do to receive your payment).
It’s really important that you understand your requirements to make sure you don’t receive a penalty or suspension of payment. Find more information about your requirements here.
Employer impacted by COVID or you were recently stood-down
The government recently announced the extension of the JobKeeper payment to help keep people in jobs and support businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.
The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.
Find more information and see if you are eligible here.
Worried about rent
The Federal Government has announced measures to help protect people who can’t afford to pay their rent because of the financial impacts of COVID-19.
The measures vary by state or territory so find out more about your housing rights by contacting the relevant consumer protection agency:
Need to talk with someone?
If you’re experiencing work challenges, it can help to talk with a professional. If you’re aged 15-25, headspace’s team of qualified work and study specialists provide free and confidential support to help you prepare and look for work.
Visit headspace Work and Study or phone 1800 810 794.
If you have any questions on your eligibility or need help submitting a claim, please contact Services Australia.
The information in this document is subject to change, please refer to Services Australia for the latest information.