Here at the Bub Hub we’ve always made it our aim to provide sensible, practical and up-to-date advice to parents and parents-to-be so they can make informed decisions when it comes to fertility, pregnancy, and raising children.
Now, more than ever before, parents need a clear voice amid the confusion. And with that in mind, we’ve consulted a range of experts to discuss the only thing many of us are thinking about at the moment — the coronavirus or COVID-19.
Here we speak to accountant Brad Ryan about the Government assistance packages for families, individuals and business owners.
The Federal Government has announced a second-stage economic package that aims to assist families, workers who have lost their jobs and small business owners.
Some of these measures include:
The Coronavirus Supplement
- The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.
- This supplement be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment (formerly Newstart), Youth Allowance jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.
- Expanded access to the Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment.
- The expanded eligibility applies to sole traders, the self-employed, casual workers and contract workers who meet the income tests as a result of the economic downturn due to the Coronavirus.
- This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the Coronavirus.
- The Coronavirus supplement will be paid for the next 6 months. Eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 Coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight. The Coronavirus Supplement and expanded access for payments will commence from 27 April 2020.
Payments to support households
In addition to the $750 stimulus payment announced on 12 March 2020, the Government will provide a further $750 payment to social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders, except for those who are receiving an income support payment that is eligible to receive the Coronavirus supplement.
This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020 to around 5 million social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those who will benefit will be pensioners.
The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 to people who will have been on one of the eligible payments any time between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020.
Small Business assistance
The Federal Government has advised that it will significantly increase the assistance for small businesses that employ people with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million (including not-for-profits).
To be eligible your business must have been registered as an employer by 12 March 2020.The enhanced assistance is as follows:
- Initial Payment – After lodgement of March Business Activity Statement (28 April 2020). Employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their PAYG Withholding (up from 50 per cent) with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000.
- In addition the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000.
To qualify for the additional payment, the entity must continue to be active.
- For monthly activity statement lodgers, the additional payments will be delivered as an automatic credit in the activity statement system. This will be equal to a quarter of their total initial payment following the lodgement of their June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September 2020 activity statements (up to a total of $50,000).
- For quarterly activity statement lodgers the additional payments will be delivered as an automatic credit in the activity statement system. This will be equal to half of their total initial payment following the lodgement of their June 2020 and September 2020 activity statements (up to a total of $50,000).
What to do next?
In order to access this assistance it is important that you keep your activity statement lodgements up to date so that the credits or refunds can be processed to your account as and when they become due.
Access to superannuation
The Federal Government has introduced changes to the superannuation system to provide temporary relief for individuals to deal with the effect of COVID 19.
Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020.
They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months (exact timing will depend on the passage of the relevant legislation)
In order to be eligible you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:
- you are unemployed; you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance;
- On or after 1 January 2020: you were made redundant; or your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or If you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
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.
— by Brad Ryan at Coeus Advisers.
Brad and his team have been looking after the Bub Hub for more than 10 years. They pride themselves on providing informed straight forward financial advice which gives their clients the confidence to make appropriate decisions for their circumstances. Visit www.coeusadvisers.com.au for more details
This article is intended as a general guide to payments in Australia. To check your eligibility based on your own circumstances contact Services Australia.