Media release: Supporting South Australians through the Coronavirus pandemic
Senator the Hon Anne Ruston
Minister for Families and Social Services
The Hon David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management
The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services
Enhanced support and expanded access to Australia’s social security system is in place to support South Australians as the state grapples with COVID-19.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said income support payments and pandemic leave payments were available to South Australians in need.
"We have temporarily put arrangements in place so that our social security safety net is not just for people who have lost their jobs, it is able to provide a cushion for people who have had or fear their hours or income will be reduced,” Minister Ruston said.
"I would encourage anyone who is concerned about changes to their employment or has had their income reduced to test their eligibility for JobSeeker Payment or related payments.”
To be eligible for a part-payment of JobSeeker a person's income simply has to be below the income cut out of $1257 per fortnight for singles with no dependents, subject to meeting other requirements such as residency and the assets test.
Recipients of a range of income support payments, including JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance, will continue to receive the Coronavirus Supplement of $250 until 31 December 2020 and from 1 January 2021 through to 31 March 2021 at a rate of $150 on top of their base rate.
Expanded criteria will continue to provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down, sole traders and the self-employed until 31 March 2021.
Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Government had made the safety, security and health of Australians its top priority.
“The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available for people living in South Australia who can't earn an income because they must self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone who has COVID-19,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Eligible recipients will receive $1,500 for each 14-day period they have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19.
“By making this payment available to South Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government will ease financial burdens for those workers affected by the virus.”
Crisis Payment is also available to assist existing income support recipients and eligible Australians who are applying for payment if they are in financial hardship.
Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert said that South Australians who need to access income support were encouraged to call or visit Services Australia online rather than visit service centres.
“Services Australia is taking every possible step to help South Australians as they grapple with the pandemic,” Minister Robert said.
“If you think there may be a change to your employment over the coming weeks, I’d encourage you to go to online to check eligibility and start the application process.”
Service centres will remain open with strict limits on the number of staff and customers allowed in the centre and people must adhere to physical distancing requirements.
A step-by-step guide to applying for income support payments is available at servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19 and information about online and self-service options is available at servicesaustralia.gov.au/selfservice
The fastest and easiest way to make a claim for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is over the phone by calling 180 22 66. Please do not visit a service centre if you have been told to self isolate, quarantine or are feeling unwell.
Further information is available at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster