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$550 Coronavirus payment: Winners and losers

Everyone who gets the $550 Coronavirus Supplement. Source: Getty
Everyone who gets the $550 Coronavirus Supplement. Source: Getty

Australians who lose their jobs to the coronavirus pandemic or are currently receiving income support will now be eligible for the $550 per fortnight Coronavirus Supplement, which is just one of the measures in the government’s second stimulus package announced on Sunday.

The $550 fortnightly payment will begin from April 27 and last for around six months. This means those who already receive the JobSeeker Payment, formerly Newstart, have effectively had their payments doubled for the duration of this period.

Who gets the Coronavirus Supplement?

According to the Department of Social Services, those on the following payment types will automatically receive the $550 Coronavirus Supplement:

  • JobSeeker Payment;

  • Sickness Allowance;

  • Youth Allowance for jobseekers;

  • Parenting Payment Partnered;

  • Parenting Payment Single;

  • Partner Allowance;

  • Sickness Allowance; and

  • Farm Household Allowance.

As of March 24, the Coronavirus Supplement has also been extended to those receiving:

  • Youth Allowance;

  • Austudy; and

  • Abstudy.

But the payment has been extended to new applicants too. That means the following people can also apply for the payment:

  • Sole traders or self-employed;

  • Contract workers who meet the income test; or

  • People caring for someone infected or isolated as a result of the virus.

Who does not get the Coronavirus Supplement?

Pensioners, including disability pensioners, do not receive the payment.

However, they will be eligible for both the $750 one-off payments.

Those not residentially qualified for social security payments, including temporary visa holders, asylum seekers on bridging visas and New Zealanders on special category visas, are also not eligible for the payment.

Is the Coronavirus Supplement subject to the income test?

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said while the assets test and the waiting period have both been waived, new applicants for the supplement will still need to pass the income test.

"We have waived the assets tests and waived the waiting period but there is still the income test so if you earn $1,075 a fortnight you will get that full $550 Coronavirus Supplement," Frydenberg said.

Those receiving the JobSeeker Payment won’t need to pass an income test to receive the Coronavirus Supplement.

However, they will still need to pass an income test to receive other income support payments like the JobSeeker payment itself.

Under the current income test for the JobSeeker Payment, a single person with no children’s payment rate reaches $0 if they have an income of $1,086.50 per fortnight.

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