The coronavirus has affected people across all backgrounds and industries in numerous ways. With so many people out of work, how do you take full advantage of COVID-19 financial assistance options in Australia?
Luckily, there is a lot of financial support available for those who need it. This is intended to help you manage the harsh economic effects of the virus so you can get back on your feet quickly. However, there are some things you need to know about COVID-19 financial assistance in order to take full advantage.
How to Get Your JobKeeper Payment
Eligible businesses have access to $1,500 a fortnight for up to 6 months to keep paying employees. This is also available to Aussies who are self-employed. Even if your hours have been cut, you should still be able to access these funds.
The important thing to know about the JobKeeper payment is that you don’t need to do anything to receive it. If your employer is utilising this option, they’ll let you know.
However, you will need to take action if any of the following apply to you:
- You have multiple employers
- You’re not an Australian citizen
- If you receive an income support payment
In all of these situations above, you’ll need to talk to your primary employer and potentially Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services) about whether or not you’re eligible. In all other instances, you don’t need to take any extra action.
You Can Apply for a Crisis Payment
For those who already qualify for income support through the government, there is expanded coverage to help with these tough financial times. For people who receive payments for things like the Youth Allowance or the Parenting Payment, you’ll also receive a temporary fortnightly $550 supplement.
That being said, for those who need to self-isolate or suddenly find themselves under severe financial stress, there is a crisis payment. This can be applied for through Services Australia. It’s a one-off payment, and you’ll need to also be eligible for income support.
Which Households Will Receive Support Payments?
All households who receive any type of income support payments also might be eligible for 1 or both Economic Support Payments. These are in addition to other supplements. There is nothing you’ll need to do to qualify for these payments other than already receive welfare payments. Each support payment is for $750 in total.
The payments will be delivered between March and April and then after 13 July 2020. You might receive both payments depending on your eligibility. Check whether you’ll receive the first or second COVID-19 financial assistance support payment here.
Families Have Free Child Care
Finally, families also don’t need to worry about child care costs. The government is temporarily covering these costs between 6 April and 28 June 2020 to assist families during this time.
To ensure your child gets the benefit, confirm their enrolment with Services Australia. If you take advantage of this additional help for childcare, you won’t get the Child Care Subsidy or the Additional Child Care Subsidy. However, you can still stay eligible for this subsidy in the future.
What happens if your child was absent before 6 April 2020? Because of the government’s response to coronavirus, each child received 20 extra absences for the 2019-20 financial year. You can have up to 62 absences for any reason. If needed, you can re-enroll your child to take advantage of this program.
Check State and Local Support
Last but not least, don’t forget to check what support options are available on a more local level. While there are a lot of programs at the federal level to help ease this burden on families and individuals, the aid doesn’t stop there.
Each different state and territory has its own response. You might find more options are open to you closer to home. Most states have their own economic relief packages to help citizens get back on their feet and keep businesses afloat.
Take Action Today to Protect Yourself
Never be afraid to ask for support when you need it. These are unprecedented times. Sometimes that means we need unprecedented solutions. When in doubt, work with a financial advisor who can take your unique budget and situation into account. Now is the time to plan for the future, even in this new normal.
Change is never easy. Many Aussies are finding themselves without their jobs and with no way forward for the time being. Remember that we’re here to help every step of the way. Though this time can be intimidating, Debt Busters is here to keep that momentum building towards your financial goals.
Contact our friendly professionals to get started today on 1300 368 322. Especially right now, you’re not in this alone. We’re always on your side, and we can direct you to the best services and programs for your situation.