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What the JobSeeker payment changes mean for you


Lady watering her plants.

Find out exactly how much to expect from your fortnightly pay for the rest of 2020.

As of Friday, 25 September 2020, the Australian government has slashed the Coronavirus Supplement payment almost in half.

The top-up payment acts as a boost to those already on JobSeeker, Austudy, Youth Allowance and the Farm Household Allowance. Existing payment help methods, excluding JobSeeker, are to see a drop as well.

Earlier in the year the government extended the Coronavirus Supplement until 31 December 2020, with plans to prolong the top-up into 2021 if required.

What to expect

Payment decreases

The current coronavirus fortnightly payment of $550 has almost halved to $250. It's important to note that the formerly known New Start payment of $565 won't be impacted by these changes.

So to break it down: singles with no dependants who receive the $1,115 payment can now expect $815 in their bank accounts every two weeks. This amount does vary depending on whether you have a partner or dependants.

Income free threshold changes

However, there is a bit of good news in the midst of all these changes. The government is easing its criteria on earnings to both JobSeeker and Youth Allowance.

The income-free threshold is seeing a welcome increase to $300 per fortnight on both payment schemes. This goes alongside a 60c cut in the JobSeeker payment for every dollar earned over the threshold. These changes apply from 25 September 2020.

Asset limit changes

You should also be aware of changes to asset limits. Basically, if your assets come to over $482,000, you won't have access to JobSeeker. Also, if you're a homeowner that threshold drops to $268,000. Rates vary for couples.

New adjustments to couples see a 27c cut for every dollar your partner earns over $1,165 per fortnight.

Keep in mind that from Monday 28 September 2020, you'll have to apply for up to eight jobs per month. This is an increase from the current four job applications per month benchmark.

What about JobKeeper?

On Monday, 28 September 2020 up to 3 January 2021, JobKeeper's payments are to be cut.

Full-time contracts are to drop from $1,500 to $1,200 per fortnight. For anyone who worked less than 20 hours a week prior to the outbreak, your payment is set to drop to $750 every two weeks.

From 4 January until 28 March 2021, expect full-time contracts to be cut down to $1,000 and part-time contracts to $650 fortnightly.

Don't miss a thing with our comprehensive JobSeeker and JobKeeper guide.

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