For Individuals: Financial and other relief for those impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19)

For Individuals: Financial and other relief for those impacted by COVID-19

For Individuals: Financial and other relief for those impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19)

For Individuals: Financial and other relief for those impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) 1920 1080 Rakhee Ghelani

Updated 8 April, 2020

The Federal and state governments have outlined a range of relief for individuals who are affected by the impact of Corona Virus (COVID-19). We’ve outlined these below and provided links to the relevant information, but please note that these do vary depending on your specific circumstances.

We’ll keep updating this page, so do please keep coming back to find out the latest information.  Also please also speak to your advisor if you have any concerns or questions.

You can also subscribe to receive updates of any other posts we make by clicking on the button “Get our latest updates” at the bottom of this page and find COVID-19 Fact Sheets for Individuals and Businesses here.

Financial Relief

Taxation relief

The ATO is offering a range of relief measures to individuals who may be impacted by COVID-19. Information about all the things you may be able to access are listed here. These include:

  • Giving you more time to lodge, respond and pay taxation obligations;
  • Potentially being able to access taxation that you’ve already paid for 2020;
  • Changes to how you pay interest and penalties;
  • Low interest payment plans; and
  • Deferring payments of taxation.

To find out more about what you’re eligible for please contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 or read more here.

Other Federal government relief

For individuals in financial stress:

  • Early release of superannuation: Individuals in financial stress can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in this financial year and further $10,000 in next financial year. Tax will not be payable on this amount and the amount withdrawn will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments. Applications for this can be made through myGov. You can find out more information here.
  • One-off crisis payment: Those in severe financial hardship who need to self-isolate, or are caring for someone who is self-isolating, can access a one-off crisis payment from Centrelink. This payment amounts to one week of your base income support payment rate.

For retirees:

For recipients of income support:

  • Coronavirus supplement: $550 a fortnight will be paid to all recipients of JobSeeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit for the next 6 months, on top of existing payments. The eligibility for these payments is also temporarily expanding to include:
    • a permanent employee who has been stood down or lost their job
    • a sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced
    • people caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.
  • Additional social security payment: Two additional payments of $750 will be paid to social security, veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders (except those receiving an income support payment. The first payment will be made from 31 March and the second from 13 July.

For pensioners:

  • Reduced deeming rates: Deeming rates are used to calculate whether someone is eligible for the pension or how much they’re eligible for by deeming how much income you’re earning on your financial assets. The deeming rate has ben reduced as of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25% and the upper deeming rate 2.25%.

For sole traders and casual workers:

  • Access to income support: Sole traders and casual workers currently making less than $1,075 a fortnight can access the Coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight that is outlined above.

For current employees:

  • JobKeeper Payment: Employees of businesses severely impacted by the coronavirus can continue to be paid $1500 per fortnight when their employers receive the Federal Government’s JobKeeper Payment. These payments are made to eligible businesses by the ATO, before being passed on to staff by employers, and can continue for up to six months. Those who are self-employed may also be eligible.

For apprentices and trainees:

  • Apprentice wage subsidy: If you work for a small business with less than 20 staff, your employer may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 50% of your wages between 1 January and 30 September, 2020.

For people who have been stood down, lost their job or are caring for someone with COVID-19:

  • Coronavirus supplement: $550 a fortnight will be paid to eligible people for the next 6 months who are:
    • a permanent employee who has been stood down or lost their job
    • a sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced
    • people caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.

For families with children attending child care:

  • Temporary free child care: Due to increased funding by the Federal Government, families will receive temporary free childcare during the coronavirus pandemic. This measure will commence on April 6 and be reviewed after one month, with potential to be extended. Children who have been unenrolled after February 17 as a result of the coronavirus can now be re-enrolled to reserve their places in the service without incurring any fees, even if they are absent from care until the pandemic subsides. This funding will exist as a temporary replacement for Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy payments.

For those requiring medical services:

For people with debts they can’t pay:

  • Temporary Debt Relief: The Australian Financial Security Authority has increased the Temporary Debt Protection period from 21 days to six months. This time can be used to consider options for formal insolvency, negotiate payment plans and seek financial advice.

For households struggling to pay their energy bills:

  • Leniency from energy providers: The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has requested that energy companies show leniency towards customers in financial hardship during the coronavirus period, releasing a new set of expectations that outline how customers should be treated. These include offering payment plans, not disconnecting customers facing financial difficulty without their agreement, deferring referral to debt collection agencies and minimising planned outages.

Relief from Banks

The major banks have all announced immediate support measures. These include:

You can find information about what your bank is offering on their website by clicking on the links below:

Westpac

Commonwealth

ANZ

NAB

Macquarie

Victorian Government Relief

  • Care packages: People who are required to self-isolate or quarantine and don’t have support networks or access to food and essential items are eligible for emergency relief packages with supplies for two weeks. These will be delivered door to door and at other distribution points.

Western Australia Government Relief

Australian Capital Territory Government Relief

  • Essential items for vulnerable people: Community support packages are being put in place to provide food relief and support for vulnerable people.
  • Payment to social housing households: Housing ACT will make a one-off bank payment of $250 to all social housing households by June 2020. This includes both public housing and community housing households that pay rent based on their income. Eligible people will be contacted.
  • Arts grants: Artists may be eligible to receive funding of up to $10,000 to support arts development and the sustainability of arts practice over the next six to nine months. Grant applications on 30 March 2020 and will close on 17 April at 5pm. More information on the grants program is here  arts.act.gov.au/
  • Rebate on utilities: Households receiving the Utilities Concession will receive an additional $200 rebate through their electricity bill. This includes Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card holders, Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card holders and Veteran’s Affairs Pensioner Concession Card or Gold Card holders. The rebate will be applied to your next electricity bill automatically.
  • Rebate on residential rates: A rebate of $150 will be applied to the fixed charge component of all residential rates bills in 2020‑21
  • Freeze on Fire and Emergency Services Levy: The Fire and Emergency Services Levy will be frozen in 2020-21 at the current 2019-20 level
  • Freeze on vehicle, parking and public transport fees: All 2020-21 vehicle registration, parking and public transport fee increases will be frozen at the current 2019-20 levels

Tasmanian Government Relief

  • Emergency Relief Payments: Those with Health Care or Pensioners Concession cards who are required to self-isolate may be eligible for a one-off payment of $250, or up to $1,000 for families. People currently on low incomes (including casual workers) may also be eligible to receive these payments if they can demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
  • Accommodation Support: If you or your family are required to undertake quarantine but can’t do so at your regular place of residence, the state government may be able to provide financial assistance to help with any additional accommodation costs. They may also be able to assist if you are a frontline health care worker and cannot live at home due to risk placed upon you by unwell family members.

Rental Assistance

Tasmania

  • Residential Tenancy Act amendment: the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 will be amended for an initial period of 120 days to provide relief to Tasmanians currently living in rental properties. This emergency measure will prevent tenants from being evicted for being unable to pay their rent, as well as allowing them to break a fixed-term lease if continuing with the lease will cause severe hardship. The Minister may opt to continue this period for an additional 90 days.

Other States and Territories

If you are a tenant, we suggest you speak to your landlord to see if they can offer you any relief.

If you’re a landlord, we encourage you to consider if there’s anything you can do to assist others who are facing difficult times.

To find out more about what you’re eligible for please contact:

Get in touch

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