Relief payments and assistance packages announced by the Federal Government

Aged Care March 24, 2020

We compiled a list of relief payments and assistance packages announced by the Federal  Government in regards to Sole Traders, Casuals and Small Businesses.    

The announced support and packages are available for Casuals, Self Employed and Small Business who

  • Are sole traders and don’t employ anyone
  • Business that has employees

1) Access to Social Security Payments and Income Support for the first time

Sole traders/self-employed people now have access to the social security system, specifically the Job Seeker or Youth Allowance. The government is waiving the asset test for workers  who have lost their job due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

This is a change from existing rules. Currently if you are running a small business as a self-employed person but on low income you could not get social security. Now you can.

The standard income test still applies. Waiting times will also be reduced as the government has committed further resources to assist workers.  Several other tests and restrictions have been removed to streamline the process.

Job seeking protocols will also be relaxed. Anyone with caring responsibilities will be exempt, while others will have the job search reduced to 4 per month.  

2. Fortnightly Coronavirus Supplement of $550 / fortnight for those earning below $1075/fortnight

There is a “coronavirus supplement” of $550 a fortnight for the next six months.

Sole traders and casual workers who are currently making less than $1,075 a fortnight will be eligible to receive the full supplement. 

3. Access up to $10,000 of to your Superannuation tax-free

Sole traders or casual workers who have had their income or hours reduced by 20 per cent or more as a result of coronavirus will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax-free. This will be for this year (2019/20) and a further $10,000 for next year (2020/21). 

4. One off supplement of $750 for those already receiving welfare

There is a “one off coronavirus supplement” of $750 on the 31st march for any current welfare recipients (including pensioners, carers, veterans, families, young people and jobseekers). They will get a one-off cash payment of $750 from March 31

5. Speak to your bank on possibility to defer Loan Payments

Several banks are deferring loan repayments for 6 months for small businesses needing help during this pandemic. You should contact your bank to discuss your requirements.

References. 

Prime Minister Press Release – Economic Stimulus Package

https://www.pm.gov.au/media/economic-stimulus-package

Prime Minister Press Release – Supporting Australian workers and business

https://www.pm.gov.au/media/supporting-australian-workers-and-business

Self Employed Australia – Coronavirus self employed small business support

https://www.selfemployedaustralia.com.au/Current-Issues/Corona-Virus/coronavirus-self-employed-small-business-support

Australian Government – Jobseeker

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/jobseeker-payment

Australian Government – Coiv-19 Assistance

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19/people-who-dont-get-payment-from-us-coronavirus-covid-19