How To Get The Coronavirus Support Payments From The Australian Government

With the prospect of the unemployment rate tripling from around 5% to about one in six of us, more people will be leaning on support payments from the government.

The government has announced some substantial stimulus and support payments but knowing who gets what and how much support you may be eligible for can be tricky. Here’s what the coronavirus supplement is, who qualifies for it and when you can expect to receive it.

What is the coronavirus supplement?

The coronavirus supplement is a temporary payment of $550 each fortnight that will be paid to people who either already receive income support from the government or new recipients of income support from 27 April 2020 for six months.

This is in addition to any other payment eligible recipients receive.

Who gets the coronavirus supplement?

The coronavirus supplement will be provided to people receiving the following benefits:

  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Youth Allowance for jobseekers
  • Parenting Payment Partnered
  • Parenting Payment Single
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance

If you don’t already receive a benefit from the government, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said self-employed and casual workers whose business closed or lost customers and earned less than $1075 per fortnight will receive the coronavirus supplement.

“We have waived the assets tests and waived the waiting period but there is still the income test so if you earn $1,075 a fortnight you will get that full $550 coronavirus supplement,” Frydenberg said.

Access criteria relaxed for those applying for certain benefits

If you don’t yet receive any benefit payment from the government but are considering applying for government benefits due to the impact of coronavirus – this could include the jobseeker payment or the sickness allowance, as you have recently lost your job or are sick – the government has relaxed some of the access criteria.

You’ll no longer need to provide an Employment Separation Certificate, proof of rental arrangements such as a rental agreement contract or verification of relationship status when applying for a payment.

If you are eligible for a government benefit payment, you will automatically receive the coronavirus supplement on top, if you meet the income requirements.

How to register with Centrelink and how to obtain a Customer Registration Number

The government is dispersing the coronavirus support payments through Centrelink. This means you need to have a Customer Registration Number (CRN) in Centrelink’s system.

If you already have a CRN, receive income support and are eligible for the coronavirus supplement, you do not need to do anything. It will be automatically applied to your payment. There is no need to call or visit Centrelink. This is important as Centrelink phone lines and offices are dealing with a massive number of people already.

If you’ve never had any dealings with Centrelink: Call 132 307 and take option 2. The operator, once you get through, will verify your identity and create a CRN for you.

If you have dealt with Centrelink previously but don’t know your CRN: If you don’t know your CRN you can call 132 307 and take option 2. The operator, once you get through, will verify your identity and tell you your CRN.

Note that wait times for calls to Centrelink may be in excess of two hours.

If you already have your CRN or have now obtained your CRN: Log into your MyGov account and connect Centrelink to your MyGov account if you haven’t done so before.

If you are in a married or de facto relationship, you’ll also need your partner’s CRN in order to connect your MyGov to Centrelink. This is because access to benefits and payments is based on joint household incomes.

All [WHAT INFORMATION??] information is entered into the MyGov website after you’ve connected Centrelink to MyGov.

Warning about a glitch

If you are applying for a benefit, there’s a point in the online application process where you will be prompted to visit a Centrelink office in order to provide photo ID to verify your identity. However, people are being advised to not visit Centrelink offices. At that point, you are instead advised to call 132 850.

Are there other payments?

In addition to the coronavirus supplement, an economic support payment of $750 will be provided to people who receive:

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Carer Payment
  • Parenting Payment
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
  • Austudy
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit, including Double Orphan Pension
  • Carer Allowance
  • Pensioner Concession Card holders
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders
  • Veteran Service Pension; Veteran Income Support Supplement; Veteran Compensation payments, including lump sum payments; War Widow(er) Pension; and Veteran Payment
  • DVA PCC holders; DVA Education Scheme recipients; Disability Pensioners at the temporary special rate; DVA Income support pensioners at $0 rate
  • Veteran Gold Card holders
  • Farm Household Allowance.

A second economic support payment, also of $750, will also be paid to people eligible for any of the payments in the first round of payments on 10 July 2020 so long as they did not receive the coronavirus supplement with their payment.


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