COVID-19: Government support for individuals and households

We know that many of your clients will be facing uncertainty around their financial situation. Many will be experiencing job losses and forced business closures and are under significant stress. Here we have summarised the government measures to support individuals and households in response to COVID-19.  We have a similar summary for business owners that can be accessed here.

Government measures to support individuals and households
  1. Income support for individuals
  2. Payments to support households
  3. Early access to superannuation
Income support for individuals

A $550 fortnightly payment will be available to support individuals whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.  This payment will be available for the next six months.

The payment is available to the following individuals:

  1. Full-time workers who have been stood down or otherwise lost employment, sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers, and contract workers
  2. Individuals required to care for someone who is affected by the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus supplement is not subject to asset testing, however they will be income tested. Sole Traders and those who are self-employed will be required to make a declaration that their business has been suspended or had turnover reduced significantly.

Payments to support households

Two separate $750 payments will be available to provide further support for those currently receiving regular government benefits.  The first payment will be made automatically on 31 March and the second made on 13 July.

People eligible to receive this payment include those who are receiving Family Tax Benefit, Parenting Payment, Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment.  You can view a full list of those eligible for payments here.

Early access to superannuation

Eligible individuals can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation balance in the 2019-20 financial year and a further $10,000 in 2020-21 financial year.

Those eligible include:

  1. Individuals that are currently unemployed or receiving job seeking payments, youth allowance, parenting payments, special benefit payments, or farm household allowances
  2. Individuals that were made redundant or had their working hours reduced by 20% or more in 2020
  3. Sole traders whose business was suspended or saw a reduction in turnover greater than 20 percent

Any amount withdrawn from super is not subject to tax.

Full details of the Government measures to support individuals, including reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates and social security deeming rates can be found can be found here.

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