NEW COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS & HOUSEHOLDS
22nd March 2020
The Australian Government has today released the second stage of its economic plan to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19.
A total of $189 billion is being injected into the economy by all arms of Government.
- Coronavirus supplement
The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited COVID-19 supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.
This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
The COVID-19 supplement will be paid for the next 6 months. Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 supplement on top of their payment each fortnight.
An increase of up to 5,000 staff for Services Australia will assist to support delivery of new Government measures.
- Payments to support households
In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on 12 March 2020, the Government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders, except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the COVID-19 supplement.
This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020 to around 5 million social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that benefit are pensioners.
The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 to people who will have been on one of the eligible payments any time between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020.
- Early release of superannuation
The Government will allow individuals in financial stress as a result of COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov for access of up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for another three months. They will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.
- Temporarily reduce superannuation minimum drawdown rates
The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. This measure will benefit retirees by providing them with more flexibility as to how they manage their superannuation assets.
- Reducing social security deeming rates
On top of the deeming rate changes made at the time of the first package, the Government is reducing the deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA.
As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent.
The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including Age Pensioners.