If you need information about your financial situation, advocacy and support please call the free service ‘National Debt Helpline’ 1800 007 007.
On 2 April 2020, the Australian Government announced the new Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. From Monday 6 April 2020 weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs.
Payments will be made until the end of the 2019-20 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time. These payments will complement the JobKeeper Payment announced by the Prime Minister on 30 March 2020.
Early childhood education and child care services do not need to apply for the payments, they will be paid automatically.
In addition, up to and including 5 April 2020, services can now waive gap fees for families due to the impact of COVID-19. This can go back as far as 23 March 2020 and is in addition to changes already announced that allow services to waive gap fees for families where they has been directed to close on public health advice.
For more information, see Information for early childhood education and care providers and services.
COVID-19 Stimulus Packages
This is a great table which tells you about the package, who is eligible, when it’s available and how to access it. This table also tells you about the Jobkeeper Fund. This is where businesses impacted by a downturn because of coronavirus will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months.
Jobkeeper Payment Factsheet for employers – updated 9 April 2020
Jobkeeper Payment Factsheet for employees – updated 9 April 2020
Interest-free Payment Arrangements
Households that are directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 may also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.
New Zealanders in Australia financial support
New Zealand citizens at risk of losing their job in Australia will be eligible to access the government’s $130 billion wage subsidy scheme during the coronavirus crisis despite being ineligible for unemployment benefits.
Announcing the “Job Keeper” package on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision to allow New Zealanders on the Subclass 444 visa to access the $1,500-a-fortnight flat payment was made after a discussion with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Early Access to Superannuation
While superannuation helps people save for retirement, the Government recognises that for those significantly financially affected by the Coronavirus, accessing some of their superannuation today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement. Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months (exact timing will depend on the passage of the relevant legislation).
Centrelink Payments for new people that haven’t claimed
This will give you information about new payments you can claim that you haven’t claimed before. There is a link to register your intention to claim. It is important to complete this as you will be back-paid from the time you registered your intention to claim.
Centrelink and if your payments may be changing
Your payments may be increased temporarily, or there may be one-off payments that will be automatically deposited into your account if you are eligible.
Note that some current recipients have been having trouble accessing the website to report job search activity leading to delayed payments and a risk of being breached. In welcome news yesterday, all mutual obligation requirements have been lifted until 31 March 2020 due to congestion on the MyGov site. While this may be extended if congestion continues, these should be lifted indefinitely to provide certainty for claimants.
JOB SEARCHES SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED Job Plans have been adjusted to a default requirement of 4 job searches a month. (or one a week) to reflect the labour market conditions. This job search can be done on-line.
MEETINGS WITH JOB SERVICE PROVIDERS If required, all meetings with job service providers are able to take place over the phone or via an online channel such as Skype at the discretion of the Job Seeker.
WORK FOR THE DOLE All Work for the Dole and other activities delivered in group settings that cannot be delivered online have been suspended until further notice.
SOLE TRADERS that become eligible for the Jobseeker Payment will automatically meet their mutual obligation requirements during this period by continuing to develop and sustain their business
The Government is helping retirees to manage the impact of volatility in financial markets on their retirement savings by temporarily reducing superannuation minimum draw-down requirements. The Government is also reducing social security deeming rates in recognition of the impact of the low interest rates on savings.