The Morrison Government will continue to provide elevated levels of income support into the new year after Parliament today passed the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Extension of Coronavirus Support) Bill 2020.
From 1 January 2021, existing and new working age payment recipients will be paid a $150 Coronavirus Supplement on top of their base rate of payment until 31 March 2021.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the $3.2 billion package ensures that increased income support was available for Australians who need it as the country continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Morrison Government continues to stand side by side with Australians doing it tough as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Ruston said.
“Job seekers will also continue to benefit from an extension of the boosted income free area which allows them to earn up to $300 per fortnight without losing a cent of their social security payment.
“As the labour market improves we want to encourage people to re-engage with the workforce because we know that even a few hours of work a week while on payment can have a dramatic impact on the pathway off income support.”
The legislation also allows the expanded eligibility criteria for the JobSeeker Payment and for Youth Allowance to continue until 31 March 2021. This means that people who meet the income and asset tests who have been stood down, are sole traders or self-employed, or are in isolation or caring for someone affected by Coronavirus, can continue to access these payments.
The Government will also continue to temporarily vary the Partner Income Test taper rate so that Australians will continue to be able to access payment where their partner earns less than $80,000.
The Ordinary Waiting Period, Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period and the Seasonal Work Preclusion Period will continue to be waived until 31 March 2021.