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What financial help can I get if I lose my job after virus shutdown?

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The Federal Government is spending billions of dollars to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus, with estimates hundreds of thousands of Australians could lose their jobs.

The Federal Government is spending billions of dollars to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus, with estimates hundreds of thousands of Australians could lose their jobs.

Many families, workers and business owners have been forced to seek welfare payments as the pandemic throws the national economy, which is likely heading into a recession, into chaos.

The effect was brought home starkly yesterday when Centrelink offices throughout Australia were besieged with people seeking financial help.

But after further legislation passed Federal Parliament last night, there are now additional measures in place to help those hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, through loss of work or ill health.

For most Australians suffering financially from the pandemic, the main source of government help is the Coronavirus Supplement.

What is the Coronavirus Supplement?

This is an additional top-up payment for people on welfare available from April 27. It is worth $550 a fortnight ($275 a week).

Who is eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement?

It goes to anyone receiving the following:

- JobSeeker Payment (formerly called Newstart Allowance)

- Sickness Allowance

- Youth Allowance for jobseekers

- Parenting Payment (Partnered)

- Parenting Payment (Single)

- Partner Allowance

- Farm Household Allowance

How do I claim the Coronavirus Supplement?

If you're receiving one of the above welfare payments you don't have to do anything. Services Australia will automatically pay it to eligible recipients each fortnight.

What happens if I'm not currently receiving welfare?

You will need to apply. You may receive it if you're one of the following:

- A permanent employee who has been stood down or lost your job

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- A sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced

- Caring for someone who's suffering coronavirus

Remember that income testing will still apply but if you are earning less than $1075 a fortnight, Centrelink should approve your claim.

Do I have to wait for the Coronavirus Supplement?

No, the ordinary waiting period does not apply now. If you are eligible, the government will also waive the liquid asset test waiting period, newly arrived residents waiting period, and seasonal work preclusion period.

How do I claim for JobSeeker or Youth Allowance?

You can apply online at MyGov using a Centrelink account, or call Services Australia for further details.

But the government is now calling for people to wait a few days to register after the MyGov online portal crashed yesterday after it was overwhelmed by people trying to access it.

Centrelink will boost its workforce by 5000 people to deal with the influx of applicants and extend call centre hours.

But there will be fewer staff at the centres because of social distancing requirements. No pop-up shopfronts are planned.

Coronavirus: Flattening the curve explained

Can I still receive annual leave or income protection as well as welfare payments?

No, you can't get JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payments while at the same time accessing employer entitlements such as annual leave or sick leave.

Can I access my superannuation?

Yes, a new measure will allow people suffering financially through to access up to $20,000 from their superannuation, including $10,000 in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

You will need to apply online through MyGov before July 1 for the first payment and in the three months after this time for the second tranche.

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The early release of superannuation will not incur extra tax.

Source: 9News

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Finance Advice 2021