The JobKeeper loophole you NEED to know: How welfare recipients can carry on claiming nearly $1,500 a fortnight – even after the benefit is slashed
- The JobKeeper welfare package is being cut to $1,200 a fortnight in September
- This will bring recipients under the threshold for JobSeeker supplements
- As a result they could effectively receive both welfare packages at once
Struggling Australians may be able to keep almost all of their welfare payments even after the government scales back coronavirus subsidies.
JobKeeper recipients could become eligible to apply for JobSeeker payments too when their payments are cut from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight on September 28.
This is because their earnings will fall below the $1,256 a fortnight threshold required to receive the unemployment benefit.
Currently those on a range of benefits are eligible for the coronavirus supplement payment, which is currently $550 but will fall to $250 a fortnight.
From the end of September, those on JobKeeper will also be able to claim the $250 JobSeeker payment meaning their total benefits will amount to $1,450.
The federal government announced the extension of the JobKeeper supplement to help struggling Australians stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic (Pictured: people queue up to apply for government welfare)
Pictured: Melbourne residents brave the streets after new restrictions were announced mandating the wearing of masks
Treasury officials have confirmed it will be possible for Australians to dip into both pools of funding.
‘Employees receiving the JobKeeper payment may be eligible for other government assistance, including JobSeeker, subject to the eligibility requirements for those payments,’ a Treasury spokesman told the Brisbane Times.
‘Social security recipients are required to provide up-to-date details of their income to Services Australia, and JobKeeper payments should be reported as part of this process.’
This is also stated clearly on the Services Australia website.
‘Even if you get the JobKeeper payment from your employer, you may still be able to claim,’ the Services Australia website said.
Hospitality workers, like Barista Allex Pallas (pictured) at Eoffoc Cafe in Melbourne are among some of the recipients on the government’s JobKeeper package
The sector has been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions due to a drop in patronage and limited operating hours
The federal government announced the extension of the JobKeeper supplement until March 2021 to help struggling Australians stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
But the welfare package is being cut on September 28 by $300 to $1,200 a fortnight for full time workers, and $750 a fortnight for part time employees working 20 hours or less.
By January 3 the payment will be slashed again to $1,000 and $650 respectively until payments cease entirely at the end of March.
The ‘mutual obligation’ element of the welfare package will return next month.
Many gym employees were forced to claim JobKeeper after their workplaces were shut amid the coronavirus pandemic
Anyone receiving JobSeeker will need to prove they have applied for four jobs a month in order to receive their payments.
The government will also be conducting additional testing in October and January to verify if businesses will still be eligible for JobKeeper.
Only businesses who continue to experience a 30 per cent drop in turnover will be able to keep claiming the support package for their employees.
If they can’t funding will be cut and they’ll need to start paying employees from their business earnings.
How are the support payments changing from September
* The $1500 fortnightly wage subsidy will continue until September 27
* From the end of September to January, JobKeeper will be reduced to $1200 for full-time workers and $750 for people working 20 hours or less
* From January to March, the full-time rate will be $1000 and part-time will reduce to $650
* Businesses turning over less than $1 billion will have to requalify for the program at both stages through showing a 30 per cent drop in revenue.
* Businesses with more than $1 billion in turnover have to demonstrate a 50 per cent fall
* The elevated unemployment benefit will remain at $1100 a fortnight until September 24
* From that date until the end of the year the $550 coronavirus supplement will be cut by $300 to make the overall fortnightly payment $800
* People will be able to earn up to $300 without having their payment reduced
* The mutual obligation rules requiring people to search for four jobs a month will restart on August 4
* Penalties for people refusing a job offer will be reintroduced
* Job search requirements will increase in September when the assets test will also return
* The permanent JobSeeker rate to take effect from January next year will be announced in the October 6 budget.