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Money and COVID-19

Australian government support and payments

There have been a lot of changes to government payments since the outbreak of COVID-19. This government website explains a lot of those changes. The NSW government also has a list of support and resources available to international students.

New payment introduced – JobKeeper Payment

If your employer has been forced to close or lost a significant amount of business, they might be able to apply for the JobKeeper Payment – $1500/fortnight for eligible staff.

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired)
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020)
  • are at least 16 years of age
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer

Your employer applies for the JobKeeper Payment from the Australian Taxation Office and should advise you if they have done so.

Changes to the JobSeeker payment

The JobSeeker Payment (formerly Newstart Allowance) is available for eligible people aged 22- Aged Pension age who are looking for work, or who are sick and can’t perform their usual work or study.

The government has introduced many changes to the Jobseeker payment in relation to COVID-19

  • no minor debt recovery
  • no mutual obligation activities (e.g. Work for the Dole, appointments, activiites, job search efforts etc.)
  • no waiting period
  • increase in the amount your partner can earn before it affects your payment
  • less documentation needed from you

Read more details about these changes.

Find out if you’re eligible for a JobSeeker Payment.

Coronavirus Supplement to start on 27 April 2020

The government has introduced a financial Coronavirus Supplement of $550 each fortnight to the following payments:

  • JobSeeker Payment (formerly known as Newstart Allowance)
  • Youth Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
  • Austudy
  • Parenting Payment
  • Partner Allowance
  • Widow Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit

If you receive any of these payments, you will receive the Coronavirus Supplement automatically.

Economic Support Payments

The government has so far announced 2 special Economic Support Payments of $750. The first payment was made on 31 March 2020 and was sent to people receiving the following payments:

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Carer Payment
  • Parenting Payment
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
  • Austudy
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance (JobSeeker Payment from 20 March)
  • Youth Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit, including Double Orphan Pension
  • Carer Allowance
  • Pensioner Concession Card holders
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders
  • Veteran Service Pension; Veteran Income Support Supplement; Veteran Compensation payments, including lump sum payments; War Widow(er) Pension; and Veteran Payment
  • DVA PCC holders; DVA Education Scheme recipients; Disability Pensioners at the temporary special rate; DVA Income support pensioners at $0 rate
  • Veteran Gold Card holders
  • Farm Household Allowance.

There is a second payment of $750 due to go out on 13 July 2020, to the same group, as long as those people aren’t already receiving the Coronavirus Supplement.

Find out what payments and services you might be eligible for and register your intent to claim.


Superannuation withdrawals

Domestic students

The government has announced that eligible individuals will be able to withdraw from their superannuation:

  • up to $10 000 from 20 April 2020 – 30 June 2020
  • another $10 000 from 1 July 2020 – 24 September 2020

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

International students

International students in financial hardship who have been in Australia longer than 12 months will be able to access up to $10,000 of their Australian superannuation this financial year (before 30 June 2020).

International students in their first 12 months will not be eligible on the basis of their visa application commitment that they had sufficient funds to support their stay in Australia for this period.

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

The SUPRA office is closed – but you can still get help!

To help protect the health of our community during COVID-19 SUPRA’s Student Advice and Advocacy Service, Legal Service and council are working from home. We are working to full capacity and are providing timely and accurate information, advice and support.