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Helpful Jobseeker information

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  • 24th March 2020

 

The information below was originally written by Luke Henriques-Gomes and published by the Guardian here.

It contains a comprehensive guide that will assist in the process of determining your eligibility for Jobseeker payments and COVID-19 related Government assistance.

 

I’ve just lost my job or my income. Which payment do I apply for?

You want to apply for the JobSeeker payment, which was previously known as Newstart Allowance. It is paid fortnightly. You can find out the specific rates here, but a single person without a child is eligible to get about $1,100 per fortnight from 27 April. Until then, a single person will get about $565 a fortnight.

How do I apply?

You can start your application online. First you need to create a MyGov account if you don’t already have one. Then you will need to link your account to the Centrelink service. If you’ve not received Centrelink payments before, you will need to call Centrelink to get a Customer Reference Number – and this can take a while.

Login into MyGov, select “Link Your First Service” and follow the prompts. You will be asked a series of questions and may need to provide bank details and other information.

Then log back into MyGov, select Centrelink, and make your claim.

You will be back paid to the day you first tell Centrelink you intend to apply for JobSeeker payment, even if you don’t complete your JobSeeker payment application that day.

How can I be sure I’m eligible?

The JobSeeker payment is available to Australian citizens and residents aged between 22 and 66. Residents who are not citizens must usually serve a waiting period, but all waiting periods have been waived by the government. Some New Zealanders are not entitled to benefits.

The government has suspended the liquid assets test waiting period, which means people do not need to use up their savings before they can receive unemployment benefits.

You need to be considered a “jobseeker” and be looking for work. Or you might be temporarily unable to work because you are injured or sick.

The government is boosting welfare payments through a $550 per fortnight Coronavirus supplement. Aside from jobseekers, it will also be paid to people who receive Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single), Farm Household Allowance, Special Benefit recipients.

The government says it plans to extend this further to full time students who receive Austudy, Abstudy and Youth Allowance (Student).

What do I need?

You will need a bunch of supporting documents, including things like your tax file number, bank details and financial statements. There is a list on the Services Australia website.

You will eventually need to provide proof of your identity using a selection of the documents listed here. The government says you can now do this by phone without attending a Centrelink office.

From 27 April, claimants will no longer need to provide employment separation certificates from each employer in the past 12 months.

Instead, people will make an initial declaration about their identity, residency status and income, and state that they have been made redundant, or had their hours reduced (including to zero), as a result of the economic downturn due to coronavirus.

Do I need to go to a Centrelink office?

No. The government says it will allow people to verify their identity by speaking to Centrelink staff over the phone. You should have your identity documents ready.

What happens if I am still working or get a job?

You may still be eligible to receive JobSeeker payment. Whether you are still considered unemployed has to do with the amount of hours you work each week. If you are doing casual or part-time work, but your hours have been reduced, you can still get the unemployment benefit.

The rate of your payment will be tapered down depending on how much employment income you earn each fortnight. You will still get the $550 per fortnight Coronavirus supplement in full, as long as you earn less than about $1,100 in a fortnight.

From 27 April, sole traders and the self-employed will also be able to receive JobSeeker payment while continuing to operate their business.

What will I need to do once I’m on JobSeeker payment?

You will be a “jobseeker” and will have to meet what are called “mutual obligations”. The government has relaxed these to reflect changes to the job market. You will be assigned to an employment services provider and they will create a job search plan for you. This will include applying for a minimum of four jobs a month. You will have to record these job searches.

You will also have to report your income (whether you earn any or not) each fortnight to Centrelink. You may be asked to undertake training courses. These will be done online during the crisis.

 

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Testimonials

S – Someone to help when things aren’t right D –Doing a great job getting the best deal for members A – And lots of fun, games, competitions and discounts!!  


The SDA organisers are always there to help, If I have a question no matter how important or unimportant I think its is, I just call them and they help me...It's that simple!  


You should join the SDA because the SDA can give help and guidance. It’s like insurance for your job. Peace of mind with the SDA.  


It's the protection of your job, it makes sense to be protected  



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