The Government is extending the payment period of its temporary Coronavirus Supplement from 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020. The amount of the Coronavirus Supplement will be adjusted for this period to reflect the gradually improving economic conditions.

JobSeeker payment

The Government will continue to pay the Coronavirus Supplement to eligible income support recipients until 31 December 2020.

  • The Coronavirus Supplement will continue to be $550 per fortnight for payments up to and including the reporting period ending 24 September 2020.
  • From 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, the Supplement amount will be $250 per fortnight.

This supplement is paid in addition to the actual JobSeeker Payment.

Existing JobSeeker Payment recipients and new JobSeeker Payment recipients will be eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement up until 31 December 2020. The Government has not indicated whether it can extend this supplement beyond this date.

Eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Supplement remains the same.

Changes to the JobKeeper Payment may make recipients of that payment eligible for the JobSeeker Payment.

Adjustments to the JobSeeker Payment income test – 25 September to 31 December

Personal Income test

The income free area for JobSeeker Payment recipients will increase from $106 per fortnight to $300 per fortnight. This means recipients may receive income up to $300 per fortnight without any reduction in JobSeeker Payment.

Under the income test, every dollar received over $300 per fortnight will reduce JobSeeker Payment by 60 cents. Currently the JobSeeker Payment is reduced by 50 cents for every dollar received between $106 and $250 per fortnight and by 60 cents thereafter.

This income test is applied to the JobSeeker Payment only. If you are eligible for any JobSeeker Payment, you will get the full Coronavirus Supplement.

Partner Income Test

The reduction rate under the Partner Income Test will increase from 25 cents to 27 cents. Partners of JobSeeker Payment recipients may receive up to $3,086.11 per fortnight or $80,238.89 per annum before the JobSeeker Payment cuts out. Note, this assumes the JobSeeker Payment recipient has personal income below the income free area.

Asset Test and Liquid Asset Waiting Period to apply from 25 September 2020

The Asset Test will apply from 25 September 2020. For example, single homeowners with assessable assets of $268,000 or more will not be eligible for JobSeeker Payment. Partnered homeowners may have up to $401,500 in combined assessable assets.

The Liquid Asset Waiting Period (LAWP) of up to 13 weeks will be reinstated and the Income Maintenance Period (IMP) will continue.

The Ordinary Waiting Period, Newly Arrived Resident's Waiting Period (NARWP) and the Seasonal Work Preclusion Period will continue to be waived until 31 December 2020.

Instant asset write-off thresholds for small businesses extended until 31 December 2020

Small businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million may be eligible for an increased instant asset write-off on assets of up to the value of $150,000 from 12 March 2020 until 31 December 2020. The measure was set to finish on 30 June 2020, but the Government passed legislation to extend the measure until 31 December 2020.

The measure applies to new or second-hand assets first used, or installed ready for use, between 12 March 2020 until 31 December 2020 (inclusive). The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets.

The Government has also introduced a time limited 15-month acceleration of depreciation deductions for businesses with aggregated turnover below $500 million. Legislation to support this measure has already passed.

The deduction of 50% of the cost of an eligible assets on installation will be allowed, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset's cost. Eligible assets are new assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Second-hand assets, or buildings and other capital works are not eligible assets.

How can we help?

If you have any questions or would like further clarification in regards to any of the above initiatives, please feel free to contact us on 1300 885 761.