What are the key changes to the JobSeeker payment in 2021? This article explains everything you need to know for the year ahead.
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In March 2020, in response to COVID-19, the Australian government initiated a program called JobSeeker, which distributed fortnightly payments to unemployed people who qualified based on age, location, income and job-related criteria. It replaced the previous “Newstart Allowance” payment system. More information directly from the government can be found here. In 2021, the jobseeker payment has been made and will be subject to change. This article will walk you through this.
If you are wondering what the difference between JobSeeker and JobKeeper is, follow this link. To find out more about JobMaker, check out Another Government Subsidy System here.
Who can qualify for JobSeeker payments?
To be an eligible recipient, you must meet certain criteria depending on your particular circumstances. The preliminary criteria concern the following factors:
First, you must be between 22 and 66 years of age for the retirement pension.
2. Residence rules
Second, you must comply with the residence regulations. For example, you could be an Australian resident, have a special category unprotected visa, an individual who lived in Australia for 10 consecutive years prior to the application.
You must also pass the income and wealth tests. Follow the hyperlinked government information sheet to understand what each item entails.
4. Employment status
After all, you must either be unemployed and looking for work, or be sick and injured and unable to attend college or work commitments for a short period of time. The latter may require medical certificates if they relate to an illness that is not related to COVID.
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page for legal documents, information and the latest updates.
Keep up to date with the latest information and guidelines to help you manage your business.
Failure to meet your mutual commitment requirements could result in suspensions, errors, or financial penalties.
What are the latest updates for JobSeeker payment?
1. The authorization ends
The extended eligibility period for JobSeeker payments ends on March 31, 2021.
2. Supplement reduced
If you’re one of the roughly 1.6 million people who have already qualified for JobSeeker, you’re familiar with these coronavirus supplements that have given eligible job seekers $ 550 every two weeks. This was brought down to $ 250 in October. Since January the surcharge has risen to a further reduced amount of USD 150.
After April, the surcharge no longer follows the fixed 14-day tariff. Instead, individuals are entitled to the usual jobseeker payment structure, which is calculated based on which category matches their situation. The situations include single without children, single with one dependent child, single over 60 years of age after 9 consecutive payment months, partner supervisor, single-principle supervisor who have been granted an exemption for certain reasons. These reasons include caregivers, non-parents caring for a relative based on a court order, home schooling, distance learning, or a large family.
3. Mutual commitments
As of September 28, 2020, the government has introduced additional mandatory obligations that JobSeeker will need to continue to qualify for the claim. Job seekers are expected to complete all of the tasks included in their work schedule, make appointments with their recruitment agencies, document evidence of their job search and accept any offer that is deemed “suitable work”.
I’m looking forward to
JobSeeker is just one of many government initiatives designed to help Australians survive in this difficult economic and employment climate. To become a paid job seeker, one must meet age, place of residence, income and employment requirements. In 2021, as the economy re-opens and workplaces become more accustomed to COVID-19, payments for job seekers have changed significantly. As explained above, the eligibility period ends in March, the supplements have gradually decreased before following a situational structure in April, and the enforcement of mutual obligations has become more stringent.