Job Keeper and Coronavirus Supplement payments – An information sheet for IAHA members

What is JobKeeper and JobSeeker?

Originally introduced until the end of September 2020, the JobKeeper program and the Coronavirus Supplement payments were designed to provide support for businesses to retain staff as well as a higher rate of financial support for people out of work, including those who had become unemployed during COVID-19. The coronavirus supplement was introduced to a number of payments, including JobSeeker and ABSTUDY, to temporarily increase the level of support provided.

The Commonwealth have now announced an extension to both payments, however how they work and the amounts paid will change.

What’s changing?

JobKeeper will now be extended until 28 March 2021, however the rate businesses and organisations are paid, per eligible employee, will decrease from $1500 per fortnight to $1200 from 28 September; and again to $1000 from 4 January 2021. Organisations will be required to demonstrate ongoing decline in turnover to redetermine their eligibility.

Another key change is the creation of a tiered payment system based on average hours worked. This is based on average hours worked during the four weeks before 1 March 2020. For individuals who worked an average of 20 or more hours each week during this time, businesses will receive the full amount.

For workers who averaged less than 20 hours per week during this time, businesses will receive a smaller payment which will decrease to $750 from 28 September and to $650 from 4 January.

The coronavirus supplement will be extended to 31 December 2020, however the amount will drop from $550 to $250 from the 25th of September. The supplement will continue to apply to other eligible income support payment recipients, including JobSeeker and ABSTUDY.

What does this mean for me?

If you’re currently receiving either payment, it is possible that you will be impacted in one way or another. For permanent, full-time employees your wage should remain unchanged, however your employer will receive a smaller contribution from the government toward your wage.

For business owners and employers the changes will reduce the amount of financial support provided to retain employers. You will also have to demonstrate an ongoing reduction in income to remain eligible in the program. If you were not previously eligible, and you feel you now would be, you are able to reapply.

If you’re currently receiving JobSeeker only, or receive JobKeeper at a rate which exceeds your normal wage, the amount that you receive each fortnight will decrease. For JobSeeker recipients, this will be equal to the reduction in the coronavirus supplement (i.e. by $300).

If you are receiving JobKeeper, as a part time or casual employee, you may also be eligible to receive JobSeeker payments. For example, those on the $1200 payment may be eligible for an additional $250 per fortnight, as long as your private and JobKeeper income does not exceed $1296 per fortnight. For those on the lower tier rate of $750, you may qualify for an addition $554 in JobSeeker payments.

What do I need to do?

If you are impacted by a reduction in payments, it is important that you contact Services Australia to discuss what supports you may be eligible for and to ensure that you are receiving the level of support you are entitled to.

For more information on the JobKeeper extension, visit the factsheet available here For more information on the coronavirus supplement extension, visit the factsheet available here.

Disclaimer: Please note the information provided above is accurate at time of publication and to the best knowledge of Indigenous Allied Health Australia. In no way is the information intended to be financial advice or to replace individual determinations from government.

August 5, 2020


Posted by: Renae Kilmister