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The $500 loophole that lets you 'double dip' on JobKeeper 2.0

Jessica Yun
·2-min read
Senator Anne Rushton. (Source: AAP, Getty)
Senator Anne Rushton. (Source: AAP, Getty)

Australians receiving JobKeeper are able to ‘top up’ their wage subsidy ahead of the scheduled cuts by claiming JobSeeker, which will see some gain more than $500 a fortnight.

After the end of September, JobKeeper and JobSeeker are both set to fall by roughly $300 respectively.

While the JobKeeper scheme has now officially been extended for another six months, the current $1,500 a fortnight rate will fall to $1,200 for those who work 20 hours or more, while those who work less than 20 hours will receive $750 per fortnight. These rates will slide again on 4 January.

The current boost to JobSeeker, the $550 a fortnight Coronavirus Supplement, will be revised down to $250 a fortnight and extended until at least December.

But now, Aussies are able to claim both ‘JobKeeper 2.0’ and a limited rate of JobSeeker, reported news.com.au.

According to Social Services Minister Anne Rushton, someone receiving JobKeeper at $1,200 a fortnight might also be eligible to claim $276 of JobSeeker, which brings their total government support payments to $1,476.

Meanwhile, someone on the part-time JobKeeper rate of $750 a fortnight will be able to claim up to $546, which brings their total payments to $1,295.

“I would encourage any Victorian, or Australian for that matter, who is concerned about changes to their employment or has had their income reduced to test their eligibility for JobSeeker or related payments,’’ said Senator Rushton said.

“Our social security safety net is not just for people who have lost their jobs, it is able to provide a cushion for people who have had or fear their hours or income will be reduced.

“Anyone earning an income simply needs to report the amount earned to Services Australia each fortnight, which can be done online, over the phone or on the app.”

Yahoo Finance has contacted Treasury, Services Australia and Social Services Minister Anne Rushton for comment.

The fastest and easiest way to claim JobSeeker is online or through the phone, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said in early August, with Victorian callers prioritised due to the Stage Four restrictions.

If your employment has changed, you can check your eligibility for government support at servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19 and start applying, he added.

“People can start applying now and activate if they leave or have reduced employment and do not need to come into a service centre to confirm their identity and get a Customer Reference Number.”

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