Coronavirus bailout package: All you need to know about Scott Morrison’s $189 BILLION stimulus

The Federal Government is splashing cash in historic measures to help Australians survive the coronavirus pandemic’s hit to the economy – here is how it will help you.

An extra $66billion worth of spending was announced on Sunday, bringing the total survival package to $189billion – or 10 percent of Australia’s GDP.

This money is to help businesses survive the shutdown, and to help people buy food and pay their bills through an extended period when they might be unable to work due to quarantines and lockdowns.

It includes wage subsidies so businesses can keep staff on the payroll even when money is not coming in, and early superannuation access for people struggling to make ends meet. A number of welfare payments almost doubled.

Here’s everything you need to know. 


The government has added a time-limited $550 per fortnight coronavirus supplement to be paid over the next six months, costing $14.1 billion.

That means if you lose your job and have to go on the JobSeeker payment (formerly Newstart) then your payments rise from $565.70 a fortnight to $1115.70. 

You can apply to need a separation certificate from any employer you worked for during the past 12 months.

An extra $66 billion worth of spending was announced on Sunday, bringing the total survival package to $189 billion – or 10 percent of Australia’s GDP

Queues outside the largest Centrelink office on the Gold Coast on Monday

Queues outside the largest Centrelink office on the Gold Coast on Monday


For Australia’s three million casual workers, claiming unemployment benefits was complicated by not having a separation certificate.

Casuals may not be formally stood down, they may just have their hours cut, or their name may simply not appear on the roster.

Daily Mail Australia asked Services Australia how casuals can apply for the JobSeeker payment.

‘Because everyone’s situation is different, we’ll let people know the documents and evidence they’ll need to provide to us for their situation, during the claim process,’ said Services Australia General Manager Hank Jongen. 

Centrelink in Sydney on Monday. People are worried but help is out there

Centrelink in Sydney on Monday. People are worried but help is out there


The $550 a fortnight coronavirus supplement will boost the following payments for the next six months:

Single, no children  $1115.70 (up from $565.70)

Single with a dependent child or children  $1162 (up from $612)

Single, aged 60 or over, after 9 months on payment   $1162 (up from $612) 

Partnered $1060.80 each (up from $510.80 each)

Special case single carers such as foster parents $1,340.10 (up from $790.10) 

This $550 supplement will also be added to other welfare categories such as youth allowance and farm household allowance. Check if you get it here

Austudy and Abstudy have also since been added to the recipients, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told the Senate on March 23

The time-limited coronavirus supplement will cost an estimated $14.1 billion 

The first $750 coronavirus supplement announced on March 12 

One-off payment to welfare recipients registered from 12 March to 13 April. Check your eligibility here 

This is estimated to cost Australia $4.8 billion 

 The second $750 payment announced March 22

 A second one-off payment for welfare recipients registered on 10 July. Check your eligibility here 

This is estimated to cost Australia $4 billion 

Retirees get lower social security deeming rates and more flexible super

Lower deeming rates will add $105 more to the aged pension in its first year from May 1. Details are here

This is expected to cost the Budget $876 million 

Fact sheets on all the proposed benefits can be found at the Treasury website 

The asset test and waiting periods to access payments have been removed.  

Sole traders and the self-employed can also get the JobSeeker payment and you will get the full supplement if your fortnightly income is less than $1,075. 

While the asset test has been removed, casual workers and sole traders will still need to meet the income test.

They will have to declare to Centrelink that the coronavirus lockdown has reduced their income significantly to be able to claim the payment.


Finance minister Mathias Cormann told the Senate on Monday that Austudy and Abstudy recipients would also get the $550 coronavirus supplement, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. 



But you do qualify for both the $750 coronavirus Economic Support payments (see below).

The Federal Government said on Sunday it would change the superannuation rules to give aged pensioners greater flexibility.

The minimum draw-down rule for superannuation account-based pensions has been reduced by half, for both the 2019 and 2020 financial years.   

This allows retirees to avoid selling investment assets at a time when  markets are down, and was also done in the Global Financial Crisis.  

The Government is trying to put money in people's pockets so they can survive through the economic shut-down caused by the coronavirus

The Government is trying to put money in people’s pockets so they can survive through the economic shut-down caused by the coronavirus

The deeming rate, which affects how much pension retirees can receive, has also been lowered to a 0.25 to 2.25 percent range from May 1.

The deeming rate is how the government assesses income generated by a retiree’s assets which is used to calculate their income.  

Lowering the deeming rate reflects the fact that retirees cannot earn much interest from their bank savings due to the interest rate cuts. 

The move is expected to benefit about 900,000 income support recipients


You used to need a medical certificate to claim Sickness Allowance, but Services Australia says on its website that now you simply apply for JobSeeker Allowance.

Call Centrelink for details about the new JobSeeker Payment on 132 850 or visit the Services Australia website. 


The first $750 coronavirus Economic Support payment was announced on March 12 and the second on March 22, and about 6.6 million Australians will qualify.

Both payments are for people on welfare on a raft of different Centrelink pensions and subsidies ranging from JobSeeker Payment to Widow Allowance, and you can check if you qualify here.

To get the first payment you must be either on a concession card or welfare between 12 March and 13 April.

This payment will start flowing into bank accounts as of March 31. 

To get the second payment you have to be on a concession card or welfare on 10 July, and it will be paid from 13 July on. 


* Tax relief: if you have a debt to the tax office you can’t pay call the Australian Tax Office emergency support infoline on 1800 806 218

* Unexpected bills for essentials: don’t go to high-interest payday lenders. No-interest and low-interest loans of up to $3000 available from Good Shepherd Microfinance.

 * Utility providers will negotiate a payment plan to keep the power, water and gas on – ring them

*  Banks will make hardship provisions available if you are having trouble paying your mortgage – call your lender

* Set up a myGov account at so you can access welfare help online 

* Go to Services Australia and use the payment and service finder to work out what help you can get 

* Access up to $10,000 of superannuation early this financial year, see here

* The first $750 coronavirus supplement will go to those registered as on income support and eligible between 12 March and 13 April. The second $750 payment will go to those eligible and registered on 10 July. Check here

* The new coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight is being added to several welfare payments – check if you are eligible here 

* A list of Services Australia phone numbers for different information lines from crisis payments to low income health care cards is here 

* Visit the Services Australia and register for a Jobseeker Payment or call to register on 132 850

 * Centrelink advance payments are available in some circumstances 

* You can get rent assistance from Services Australia if you are on a JobSeeker payment.

* National Debt Hotline for free advice and support for those in financial difficulty 1800 007 007

This money is tax-free, and you can get both $750 payments if you are on welfare and qualify during both census periods.

If you qualify for the second $750 coronavirus payment, you can’t get both it and the $550 per fortnight coronavirus supplement. 

You also can’t get extra $750 payments just because you qualify for two or more welfare categories, there’s only one payment per eligible person no matter what else you qualify for.


If you are suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus you can access your superannuation early.

But you can’t get it all.

You can get up to $10,000 this financial year, and the same again in the first three months of the next financial year (pending legislation). 

To access it you have to meet strict criteria such as being unemployed or if you are a casual or sole trader, your income has to have been reduced by 20 percent or more. 

The details are here. 


Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Sunday announced the government would increase the $20,000 cash handout to business up to $100,000.

The cash is a wage subsidy calculated on the wages of employees.

It is calculated as 100 percent of the tax that the business withholds from their employee’s wages. 

It will be paid by the tax office based on business activity statements.  

The Federal Government said this would benefit 690,000 businesses employing 7.8 million people, and around 30,000 NFPs (including charities). 

It will cost Australian taxpayers an estimated $31.9 billion. 

A raft of other measures have been made available to help businesses stay solvent during the coronavirus pandemic and can be found at the Treasury website here.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced a second stimulus package and acknowledged the economic damage would be far worse than anticipated. 

The extra $66 billion brings the giant rescue package to $189 billion, about 10 per cent of Australia’s GDP, to avoid economic catastrophe.

The second bailout package was announced ahead of Stage One restrictions on Sunday night which forces pubs, clubs, casinos, gyms, nightclubs and churches to close for six months. 


Cash to keep Australians in jobs

Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $100,000.

Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $20,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.  

This new measure is worth $25.2billion.

It is open to businesses with turnover under $50million and will now also be available to eligible not-for-profit charities 

It will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people and 30,000 not for profits

Supporting small businesses with loans

A new Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will be able to be accessed by eligible banks and non-bank lenders 

The Commonwealth will guarantee 50 per cent of an eligible loan to small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus

The Scheme will have the capacity to support lending of $40billion to SMEs

SMEs that have less than $50m turnover per year will be eligible under the Scheme

Loans will be used for working capital purposes and be unsecured and it will be for loans granted within 6 months starting 1 April 2020

The Scheme will apply to new or existing customers of banks and non-bank lenders. It will be repayment free for 6 months

The maximum loan will be $250,000 for a term up to 3 years

It will not apply to re-financing of existing customers. Those already have existing loans that will benefit from the ABA announcement 


Stimulus payments to households to support growth

· $4.8 billion to provide a one-off $750 stimulus payment to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. 

Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners. The payment will be tax free and will not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments. 

There will be one payment per eligible recipient. If a person qualifies for the one off payment in multiple ways, they will only receive one payment.

Payments will be from 31 March 2020 on a progressive basis, with over 90 per cent of payments expected to be made by mid-April.

Delivering support for business investment

· $700 million to increase the instant asset write off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. 

For example, assets that may be able to be immediately written off are a concrete tank for a builder, a tractor for a farming business, and a truck for a delivery business.

· $3.2 billion to back business investment by providing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. 

Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct an additional 50 per cent of the asset cost in the year of purchase.

These measures start today and will support over 3.5 million businesses (over 99 per cent of businesses) employing more than 9.7 million employees or 3 in every 4 workers. 

The measures are designed to support business sticking with investment they had planned, and encouraging them to bring investment forward to support economic growth over the short term.

Cash flow assistance for businesses

· $6.7 billion to boost cash flow for employers by up to $25,000 with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible small and medium-sized businesses. 

The payment will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. The payment will be tax free. 

This measure will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people. Businesses will receive payments of 50 per cent of their Business Activity Statements or Installment Activity Statement from 28 April with refunds to then be paid within 14 days.

· $1.3 billion to support small businesses to support the jobs of around 120,000 apprentices and trainees. 

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. 

Assistance for severely-affected regions

· $1 billion to support those sectors, regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

This will include the waiver of fees and charges for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Commonwealth National Parks. 

It will also include additional assistance to help businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains. Targeted measures will also be developed to further promote domestic tourism. 

Further plans and measures to support recovery will be designed and delivered in partnership with the affected industries and communities.