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What to do if you’re not eligible for JobKeeper anymore

Anastasia Santoreneos
·3-min read
Portrait of young man with surgical medical mask in blue casual style shirt standing, scratching his head, looking away and thinking what to do.
What to do if you're not eligible for JobKeeper anymore. Source: Getty

Around 3.5 million Australians have copped a pay cut today, with JobKeeper reducing from $1,500 per fortnight to $1,200 or $750 depending on the number of hours worked.

Businesses are also needing to re-apply for the wage subsidy by showing their turnover reduced 30, 50 or 15 per cent depending on the size of their payroll. If they don’t qualify for the wage subsidy, it means their employees won’t be getting any subsidised payments.

If you find yourself ineligible for JobKeeper, there are a few things you can do, according to H&R Block’s director of tax communications, Mark Chapman.

“In the first instance, all those on JobKeeper need to be in touch with their employer to get confirmation as to whether they will still get JobKeeper and at what rate,” Chapman said.

“If not, will the employer pick up the slack or will they be laid off entirely?”

I’ve been laid off. What do I do now?

If your employer can no longer afford to keep you on the team without the added help of JobKeeper, then it might be time to start applying for JobSeeker.

The $550 Coronavirus Supplement that was introduced back in March was cut to $250, bringing the total rate to around $815 per fortnight.

The assets test has also been re-introduced, meaning you may not be eligible for JobSeeker if you have assets of more than $268,000 in addition to your home, or assets of more than $482,500 if you don’t own a home.

It could also take a lot longer to receive your JobSeeker payments – around 13 weeks longer – if you have more than $5,500 in savings.

I’m still eligible for JobKeeper, but it’s a huge pay cut. What do I do?

If you’ve found out your JobKeeper payment has reduced drastically, you could be able to double-dip on JobSeeker.

“The only silver lining to the cloud for financially strapped Aussies is that many people on JobKeeper will now qualify for JobSeeker as well,” Chapman said.

“If you are on the lower rate of JobKeeper, you may be entitled to claim up to $554 per fortnight in JobSeeker.”

Your combined fortnightly income from both would then be $1,304 – which is just $196 per fortnight shy of the initial, larger $1,500 JobKeeper rate.

“People on the higher JobKeeper rate may also be entitled to a small JobSeeker top-up of up to $284 per fortnight, leaving them just $16 per fortnight worse off than now,” Chapman said.

“In all cases, there are other qualifications that need to be met (such as the assets test) in order to get JobSeeker, so it would be sensible to start an application now to confirm your eligibility and to get the claims process in motion.”

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