Changes to the JobSeeker Payment - JobSeeker Payment 2.0
On 21 July 2020, the Government announced an extension of the JobKeeper payment program until 28 March 2021. The extended program has slight changes to the original JobKeeper program which is set to expire on 28 September 2020.
The temporary supplement of $550 per fortnight expires on 24 September 2020. This will now be extended from 25 September until December 31, 2020 at a reduced rate of $250 per fortnight.
Income free Threshold for JobSeeker and Youth Allowance
From 25 September 2020 until 31 December 2020, the government will be increasing the income free area from $106 per fortnight (Youth Allowance) and $143 per fortnight (JobSeeker payment) to $300 per fortnight for both payments. This will allow recipients on these payments to earn income up to this amount without it affecting their payment.
Income Test Taper Rate
For personal income, from 25 September until 31 December 2020, a JobSeeker or a Youth Allowance (other) recipient’s payment rate will be reduced by 60 cents for every dollar of income they earn above $300 per fortnight under the income test. This replaces the current income test.
For Partner income, the Government has announced its intention to extend the partner income test taper rate reduction and increase the rate from $25 cents to $27 cents from 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020. This means that
a partner can earn up to $1,165 per fortnight without impacting the JobSeeker payment.
The JobSeeker payment will then be reduced by $27 cents for every dollar the partner earns above the $1,165 per fortnight and the cut-off for any JobSeeker payment will be $3,086.11 per fortnight.
Means Testing and Other Eligibility requirements
From 25 September 2020, asset testing for all payments will be reinstated. This will be for both new and existing applications.
The suspension of the mutual obligation requirements for JobSeeker payment recipients ended on 8 June 2020. From 9 June 2020, a gradual reintroduction began and this will continue.