Coronavirus and the Financial Impact on YOU

What Can You Do To Finance Yourself Through This Coronavirus ShutdownCoronavirus and the Financial Impact on YOU

While we continue on in this time of uncertainty there is an increasing amount of information out there to sift through.  Economic support payments? Coronavirus Supplements?  Shutdowns? Entitlements?

And the biggest question, what does it all mean for me? This information is targeted at those employees and individuals that have been or are about to be impacted by the Coroavirus-19 shutdowns.

Here at Suntax we are working hard to be across all that we can when it comes to understanding the Government offerings and today we have put it all together in the one place for you. We hope to answer the many questions that we receive and that you may have.

I Have Been Stood Down – What Help Can I Receive From Centrelink?

You are eligible to register for JobSeeker Payments if you are:

And

How much will I get?

If you are a single person with no children who registers with Centrelink before April 13th you will receive:

While it may take some days to be approved, all payments will be backdated to the day you applied.  In some cases this week they will be backdated to the 23rd due to the difficulties people have had applying.

Please note: You may also be eligible for rent assistance and other benefits with Centrelink

How do I apply for JobSeeker Centrelink Payments?

We have all seen the lines on the news outside Centrelink offices this past week. Thankfully, they have relaxed their requirements so that you can now register online here:

Register for Centrelink

The following information is also worth noting:

What are the Government Economic Support Payments?

The Government has offered two Income Supplement Payments

 Supplement #1     $750

This will go to whomever already receives an eligible Centrelink payment (see appendix) including anyone who is already registered as or has registered to be a JobSeeker by April 13th 2020

Supplement #2     $750

The second supplement will go to anyone on the eligible list and to those who are concession card holders on July 10th 2020.

Those who are registered as JobSeekers will NOT have a concession card and will not be entitled to the second $750 supplement. Instead they will have begun to receive the ongoing Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight.  This is in addition to their regular JobSeeker payment and the Energy Supplement.

Can I Get Support From My Bank?

Australia’s major banks have really come to the party on this but they are all offering different options to help support customers by allowing a pause on their loan repayments.

The rules differ between banks as to who is eligible and if you have to provide proof of hardship.

If you’re with Commonwealth Bank Of Australia

To apply, you need to request the deferral under the ‘Hardship Request’ section of their website, or click on this link: CBA Hardship Request

If you’re with Westpac Bank

To apply, complete the Westpac Assistance Application form by clicking this link: Westpac Financial Hardship

If you’re with NAB

To apply, click on this link: NAB COVID-19 Support

If you’re with ANZ

You can request a call back by completing this form: ANZ Hardship Enquiry

And if you’re with Bendigo Bank (Australia’s fifth-largest bank)

You can find more information from Bendigo Bank here: Bendigo Bank Coronavirus Package

While we applaud the banks for this much needed relief, you must be sure to check with your own bank for your eligibility and for any affects this may have on your loan.  Some examples of this could include:

Can I Access My Super To Help With My Finances?

From Mid April 2020, eligible individuals will be able to access part of their superannuation, capped at $10,000 this financial year and a further $10,000 next financial year. The withdrawals will be tax-free. The eligibility requirements for individuals are:

People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.


We applaud this change, as it will have a direct cashflow injection to those that have been impacted by the Coronovirus. But be aware, withdrawing money from your superannuation will reduce your retirement nest egg, if this option is used, a plan to rebuild your superannuation balance should be put into place once we are over this pandemic.

We understand that there is an abundance of information out there at the moment and we hope that we have been able to provide a clear summary for you.

As always, if you need to talk to us about anything or to discuss any of the above matters please reach out to us.  While the team are all working remotely it is business as usual and we are here to support you in any way that we can.

 

Your Suntax Team 

 

 

Below Are A Number Of Questions We Are Frequently Answering

I lost my job but my Partner is still working. Does my partners income affect my JobSeeker Payments?

The way it currently stands is if your partner earns more than $1,850 per fortnight ($48,100 a year) then you will not be eligible for the JobSeeker Payment.  However, this has been broadly criticized and is under review.

 

I am a sole trader/contractor who has been reduced to 1 day a month of work.  Can I get any support from Centrelink?

JobSeeker allowance is tapered depending on how much you are earning. For example, a Single person with no children would only have their JobSeeker payment reduced to nil once their income reaches $1,086.50 per fortnight.

It is important to note that if you receive ANY amount as a JobSeeker payment you will still receive the full $550 per fortnight coronavirus supplement.

How am I going to pay my Rent?

If you are eligible to receive JobSeeker payments, you may be able to receive rent assistance.  It would also be worth contacting your agent/landlord and asking for assistance.

I have been stood down and I have no annual leave and no savings – how quickly can I get support?

Waiting periods have been waived so you can apply for a JobSeeker allowance straight away and should also receive the $550 per fortnight coronavirus supplement.

I have been stood down from work.  I have savings but this is for a house deposit – Will Centrelink tell me I have to use the savings or can I get support payments?

Centrelink are waiving Asset testing from the 25th of March.  This means that any savings would not affect your ability to receive JobSeeker allowance.

I am on a Pension – Do I receive any assistance?

The pension will continue as normal and you will receive both Supplement #1 $750 and Supplement #2 $750.

A couple on the pension will receive $750 each for each Supplement.  Therefore, it would be $1,500 on the 31st of March and $1,500 on the 10th July making it a $3000 total for the household.

 

Appendix: Centrelink Payments Types Eligible For At Least One Coronavirus Supplement

If you receive one of these payments, you will be eligible for both $750 supplements EXCEPT JobSeekers who will receive Supplement #1 and then go onto the $550 per fortnight coronavirus supplement.

You’ll also get the payment if you have 1 of the following concession cards:

You’ll also get the payment if you get 1 of the following Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments:

You’ll only get 1 payment per supplement, even if you get more than 1 qualifying payment or card.