Covid19 crisis

Centrelink support payments during the COVID-19 crisis

14 April 2020

Hank Jongen

Hank Jongen is General Manager at the Department of Human Services.

The Government is helping people who have lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in their income as a result of coronavirus, as well as many people who receive Centrelink payments and concession cards.

If your client was receiving an eligible Centrelink payment – such as Age Pension, Carer Payment, Jobseeker Payment, or Family Tax Benefit – or eligible concession cards and living in Australia between 12 March and 13 April 2020, they will receive the $750 Economic Support Payment.

This payment is part of the Government’s support package to help Australians through the COVID-19 pandemic. The full list of eligible payments is available by clicking here.

Your client does not need to do anything to get this payment – Services Australia will pay $750 automatically if they are eligible. Most people should receive this payment in their bank account by 17 April. People can only get this support payment once, even if they get multiple eligible payments.

Coronavirus Supplement

A temporary Coronavirus Supplement has also been introduced. People who receive an eligible payment will get an extra $550 a fortnight on top of their regular income support payment for up to six months. The supplement will be applied automatically if people get:

Second Economic Support Payment

If your client is not eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement they may get a second $750 Economic Support Payment. Services Australia will pay this from 13 July 2020. People may get this second payment if they were eligible on 10 July 2020 for any payments or concession cards that were eligible for the first Economic Support Payment.

For those who may have lost their jobs or seen a reduction in their income, the eligibility criteria for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance has also been expanded. Your client may be eligible for these payments if they are a permanent employee and have been stood down or lost their job, a sole trader, self-employed, a casual or a contract worker whose income has reduced, or caring for someone who is affected by coronavirus.

The Government has waived asset testing for six months from 25 March for Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance for jobseekers, and Parenting Payment, as well as the liquid asset test waiting period, newly arrived residents waiting period, and seasonal work preclusion period. Income testing, income maintenance and compensation preclusion periods will still apply.

To make it easier and faster for people to claim, the Government has also removed a number of requirements, such as Employment Separation Certificates, proof of rental arrangements, and verification of relationship status.

More information about assistance available for those affected by coronavirus is available by clicking here.