Federal Government Assistance for Individuals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Federal Government has announced a number of measures designed to assist individuals through the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many income support recipients who are receiving payments from Centrelink will receive an extra $550 a fortnight for six (6) months commencing 27 April 2020. Eligibility for income support payments have been expanded to include people who are self-employed (whose work has reduced due to the virus) and to people who are caring for persons who are subject to isolation restrictions due to the virus. It is important to note that before persons who are partnered that their spouse’s income will be taken into account as to the eligibility.
For further information please access the Centrelink website at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19/if-you-need-payment-coronavirus-covid-19.
For persons not receiving unemployment or student income support but receiving other government support (family tax benefit, disability support pension, pensioner concession card, seniors health card, Commonwealth gold card or farm household allowance) will receive two bonus payments of $750.00 in coming months. Please note that you will not receive this payment if you are receiving the $550.00 fortnightly bonus listed above.
The existing crisis payment options through Centrelink remain available and you should refer to this in the link website for information.
Overnight the Federal Government also announced a $1,500 wage subsidy that would be paid to employers so that they may keep on staff during the crisis. As the details on eligibility and application processes become known we will post further updates.
The Federal Government has also announced that there will be changes to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency legislation. The amount of debt that needs to be owing to a creditor in order for bankruptcy proceedings to be instituted will be raised from $5,000.00 to $20,000.00 and the time for debtors to respond to a statutory demand for payment will be increased from 21 days to 6 months.
At Equilaw we remain committed to helping our local community through this crisis and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office on 02 6542 5566. We are here to help.