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Government temporarily doubles unemployment payments amid COVID-19 outbreak


Monday, 23rd March 2020 at 4:43 pm
Luke Michael
The announcement has already caused long lines outside Centrelink and the government's MyGov website to crash                                                       


Monday, 23rd March 2020
at 4:43 pm
Luke Michael


54 Comments


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Government temporarily doubles unemployment payments amid COVID-19 outbreak
Monday, 23rd March 2020 at 4:43 pm

The announcement has already caused long lines outside Centrelink and the government’s MyGov website to crash                                                       

The Morrison government’s decision to temporarily double the JobSeeker Payment – formerly known as Newstart – has been welcomed by welfare advocates, who say the boost needs to be made permanent.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced a $550 fortnightly increase to unemployment payments for six months, taking the maximum base rate to $1115.70.

This coronavirus supplement will be paid to both new and existing recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.  

Morrison said the boost was about enhancing the safety net for vulnerable Australians.

“The next few months are going to be a difficult journey but we all have a role to play to adapt to the changes we’re facing, to cushion the impact of what is happening and to pull together so we can bounce back when we get to the other side,” Morrison said.

The government also revealed that from 13 July, it will offer a second $750 stimulus payment for around five million welfare recipients, veterans and eligible concession cardholders who are not eligible for the $550 coronavirus supplement.

After these changes were announced, there was a surge in demand for welfare services.

People heading to Centrelink offices across the country on Monday faced long lines stretching over several blocks, while the government’s MyGov site crashed as thousands of people rushed to make claims online.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said the average number of people trying to get on the MyGov website jumped from 6,000 to 55,000 on Monday.

Welfare advocates relieved by the boost

This temporary welfare boost followed a long-running campaign from the community sector to increase unemployment benefit payments – which hadn’t risen in real terms since 1994.

Now advocates will push to make the change permanent.


Read more: A sad and sorry history of Newstart

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie said the boost would come as a huge relief to many struggling people.

“Whether people lose work due to coronavirus, bushfires, or simply because there are not enough jobs available at any time, we need a social safety net that works for all, at all times,” Goldie said.

“We need a permanent increase to give people certainty and we will continue to work with the government on securing the certainty that people will need, particularly at this deeply troubling time. We need to provide confidence to reduce anxiety and fear.”

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert added that it would be untenable for the government to return to the old rate after six months.

“An increase to the jobseeker payment must be long term and permanent. It is absolutely untenable to drop people back onto $40 a day once this crisis period has passed,” Siewert said.

But not all welfare recipients will be supported… 

Goldie noted that Youth Allowance for students, Austudy, Abstudy and Apprentice payments will not be included in the six-month payment, and said ACOSS will work urgently with the government to correct this.

“We are also extremely worried about asylum seekers and others who have no access to income support right now and we will do everything we can to urge the government to do the right thing and make sure that everyone has access to social security,” she said.

The Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU) said in a statement that the Disability Support Pension needs to be included in the supplement.

This group is calling for the government to immediately suspend all mutual obligation requirements, debt recovery programs, and cashless welfare programs throughout the crisis.

The government has moved mutual obligation requirements online, but Siewert said this was still too difficult for recipients.

“Many people do not have the infrastructure to just ‘go online’,” she said.

“Not everyone has a smartphone, computer or home internet and with libraries and community centres closing down they will have to continue to attend face-to-face appointments.”

To deal with the increased demand for welfare services, the government has announced it will hire up to 5,000 new staff for Services Australia.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


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50 Comments

  • Avatar Linda says:

    I as a pensioner find this offensive that at the end of the day unemployment will get more than us. This is just not right at all. I struggle to live from f/n to f/n where I struggle at every turn just to survive. I’m sure I’m not the only pensioner thinking the same way. So give the unemployed more money to use for alcohol as well as drugs. I’m completely stunned.

    • Avatar Clare says:

      Most aren’t drug addicts or drink. They’re the people who went to work one day then told they’d need to shut down the next. 95% of them are hardworking people, still in shock the government has effectively closed their workplaces.

    • Avatar Shaynemc says:

      Linda I obviously think your half right u do deserve more but I’m only unemployed from today because of corona disease I’ve got up early 3am every day for 30 yrs and by no fault of my own I have lost my job so to be so ignorant to the 2 million other people like me is pretty poor on your behalf we didn’t ask to lose our jobs

      • Avatar Linda says:

        I’m so sorry for you as well as all of the other newly unemployed people this virus has affected. When I made my comment to this article I wasn’t including the newly unemployed that have lost their jobs that you all worked so hard to keep. My comment was made more about the long term unemployed that refuse to work & yes use the money for drugs or alcohol. I really should’ve clarified my comment better. I wish you & all of the people who have lost their jobs due to the covid 19 virus all the best. Stay safe & stay well everyone.

        • Avatar Sophie says:

          I have been On Newstart for over a year now I have a job but I have MS and i’m only allowed to work two days a week not eligible for disability support pension because I have not exhausted all efforts to cure my MS they tell me I have to be fully diagnosed fully treated and fully stable to even be looked at for it pensioners get double the amount of money that we get and have done for a long time we all have the same bills and the same Problems we also all have a story I know that people that are drug dependent get a disability support pension to so no one should be judged till you know the circumstances. Last week I was hospitalised because I couldn’t walk to a relapse and because I’m a mean compromised I can’t work right now even the two days a week!! Cannot leave off the $400 a fortnight that Centrelink gives me to be a jobseeker with a job.

      • Avatar Ana says:

        Hi Shaynemc just wondering is your Newstart allowance showing the extra $550 per fortnight. Mine allowance was just approved tonight after losing my job due to coronavirus but the amount is not showing the extra $550. Do I need to stand in the Centrelink line once again (for the 4th time) !??!?!

        • Avatar Casey says:

          The extra $550 isn’t kicking in until April sometime, 12th?? 17th? I can’t remember the date, but it will happen automatically if you’re already in their system. You don’t need to do anything else.

      • Avatar Kitty says:

        correct, 110% and how easy they forget that it is our taxes that have paid for their Government benefit no matter what it is.
        I once had a very demanding aged person tell me that her ‘pension’ paid for my wages, and she was being demanded as I had 30 other persons to also attend to and I was but one person. I turned to her and I said …’ and my wages in taxes pay your pension’… from then on she never gave me a hard time she actually got it that i was one person for 30 other aged persons. So penions need to take that into consideration.

    • Avatar Michele Holly says:

      Many people on Newstart are not unemployed, they are casual workers or single mothers who can’t get full time work. I get up at 4am and work in a high risk environment to deliver food to the supermarkets. I have stayed at work despite the risk to ensure your food gets to you. And I don’t drink or take drugs. You shouldn’t make assumptions like that… there are many decent families out there struggling on Newstart through no fault of their own.

    • Avatar Steve says:

      To vilify the unemployed is the height of ignorance and arrogance. However, I do find it disappointing that someone on the Jobseeker payment will get around $1100 a fortnight when I, as a pensioner whose partner earns a pittance, get $634. Just over half…

    • Avatar Kails says:

      Okay this is kind of backward as I’m on disability myself and find they get the same as we already have been we’ll just under in some cases for years and are looking for work because if they aren’t there is no money but sometimes their isn’t any jobs or ones that can only partly support them and they would then still have payment, aswell s the millions losing their jobs due to the pandemic who until now worked hard but have been thrown out with no way to pay their bills or lifestyle. It may not seem fair but in a sense we already get what the government is considering them a bonus. Nobody would choose to live on our wages as a full time employee so imagine trying to live on have that. Calling everyone on a payment that received an extra “bonus” but no more than disability, junkies and such seems to be abit Of a harsh generalisation, especially in these time’s. They double your pay and you would earn more then a lot of my working friends and that wouldn’t be fair especially now where risking their health to do the things we need, especially the disabled ederly or sick more than ever that is definitely unfair but others out of their job without warning or have had difficulty finding work or are a single parent etc getting as much as us for six months isn’t exactly highway robbery and I’m not them so I wonder why you wouldn’t be happy some people won’t lose Just their jobs but home or kids aswelll, instead of wanting even more of what youll continue to get long after they return to what is worse than the poverty I feel in on disability already. I’m sure there are a lot of nas people that do bad things with their money but never the less if they don’t come in for courses job search work and advice appointments they lose their pay, if they get a job offer they need extreme reasoning to decline if they don’t report every night before pay they lose their pay so they literally can’t bum around 100% atleast you know and you can’t receive benefits without an address so then what’s paying your bills (not like their halve of our pay a fkrnight would be anyway yet drugs is and seems to be the only things people on jobseeker want it for I may be on disability myself and I struggle hard but I can’t imagine how much harder my friends that haven’t found new jobs with all that help or that have just unexpectedly lost theirs in these circumstances don’t deserve a half liveable amount bc maybe some of heaps are buying drugs? Just be glad we are all starting to be able to pay our rent fees ourselves and have a shower and place to sleep more then some and be greatful losing your job and joy having an instant backup (which barely happens before all this) doesn’t mean you have enough a week to buy a tent and some canned beans. Try to see past your stereotypical view and she all the other (now millions) of reasons one could need a payment to survive or situation they are in like miracles don’t just pop up things get rough and the payment for them hasn’t changed in ten years I don’t have a single friend that’s lost their job searching for new one and doing every requirement that didn’t have to find a share house to live in and even that is mostly their weekly pay and go without food students aswell not just “bums” parents of children whose support diminished people crisis effected and so many more have lived of half what you get if that for a long time before this and they don’t deserve it but bc you want more you except other humans needs to be put aside because some people do drugs…yeah a lot of pensioners, disabled and more do too hate to break it to you. I’m sorry if this came across aggregating or anything I’m just trying to show you that if you haven’t seen them struggle from a good place in life then it’s easy to assume they’re all trash without opening the eyes of reality. We all could do with more help but I think I’m grateful they give us anything in our country to begin with and have nothing like a lot of others. Girl you gotta show skk OK me empathy then even for a second to consider the many other possibilities of that payment and research some of the constant requirements to keep it only to be able to buy a bread loaf after paying a shitty apartments rent. They might not be completely unable but they’re are trying bc they have no money if they don’t anyway and some even working for that dole amount too. Life isn’t black and white and another perspective and other situations change opinion so in the most polite way I’d suggest research on different possible positions people could be in to end up on this extra for six moths we get forever. Generalisation is never a good thing with humans and lack of research and understanding other point of view never gets one far, yea some people. Centrelink payments abuse money some people that work do some people not bothering with either might but most of them have bills to pay and a lot more of them only pay those bills half we got probably not even that, understanding and figuring a good compromise or solution will always help more than assuming grouping or being negative ever will. I understand the frustration on our rates more than anyone and it does suck but is to me atleast liveable losing your job out of nowhere bc of disaster or many other non abusing the system people’s situations is not liveable they would lose everything without the boost Especially families with children people in bf situations nd they never did my thing wrong but work hard only to what lose it all? You need to put your frustration (that I’m sure we’ve all had on this aside) to see that it isn’t exactly so black and white and a horrible thing for the more that jostlost everything Especially those that had your views and are forced on jobseeker without warning or even new jobs to find. Support your species don’t fight them for more when we can survive with what wrk Australia are lucky to get: they can’t even rent a house on what they get and eat too or other ementies and can’t sign up homeless Or with parents they get so little it’s pocket money otherwise about $250 standard so what they have left for drugs then? They might be blue to void six months of eviction notices for every second paid rent or put food in their fridge when they used to be work g hard nd living life with expendable income and if I can see that on disability without the entended six months ( that equals what we’ve always gotten) I don’t see how a sit and think wouldn’t help you see the same but that’s my option and sorry for the rant but I’m just seeing the world acting so naive ignorant and angry hungry and hunting eachother verbally all over the internet instead of helping everyone and being grateful we have money at all,humanity always fights humanity when they need eachother most bc they can’t see past their own view of things but broadening your mind research and understanding of others would make the world much better than money ever could; no disrespect though just something to think about you know 🙂

    • Avatar Gerry Page says:

      Alcohol and drugs? Oh puhlease. What a hackneyed cliche and cheap, shallow and nasty comment. More suited to a News Limited tabloid than reasoned public discourse.

    • Avatar Claire says:

      Isn’t it offensive to say the unemployed will use the payment on drugs and alcohol? I’m completely stunned

    • Avatar Evie says:

      I agree in some way. All pensioners need more money to live 100% i know alot of elderly struggling and we need to fix this issue… but on the other hand my partner has never been on centerlink besides dad pay when our son was born last year and works 6 days a week to support us and got told Friday he lost his job. So this has effected us quite alot as the payments are alot less then what he used to get from work and we might just get by if not if we will have to break our lease and move in with someone to get by through this time.

    • John says:

      I agree I’ve noticed all goverments are avoiding the issues of the day veterans and carers pension now 130b for job plan so basicly dsp pensoiners are a minority so we aren’t a lot votes they would lose. Talk about politicians caring about others (I don’t see politicians taking a pay cut from there HI pay packs in this crisis) just the people who can’t afford it . Having you noticed no public media or politicians taking questions or answering it seems like australia think out of mind on o site we will just disappears and I wont

      • Avatar Casey says:

        The media aren’t really talking about it because DSP and pensioners are getting a $1500 bonus due to the coronavirus. They weren’t left out. Pensioners and dsp recipients ALWAYS got MORE than jobseekers, but now that jobseekers are getting (only a temporary) boost, suddenly you’re complaining jobseekers are getting more than you! Remember it’s only TEMPORARY. After 6 months, people on DSP and pensioners will be getting almost $300 per fortnight MORE than jobseekers, just like they always have. I can’t see politicians seeing that as ‘unfair’ to DSP or age pension recipients because dsp and age pension recipients get a lot more overall in the long run. I’m not saying it’s enough to live well, but in comparison it’s fair. All of these payments should be increased on a permanent basis though.

    • Avatar Cathy says:

      Well I’m unemployed and have been for some time. I have had a few jobs here and there but only casual or when needed. I bust my hump every week to try and find a job. I can apply for up to 50 a week. Most companies don’t even bother to let you know whether you’ve been unsuccessful. It’s due to the amount of people going for the same position. There was over 1500 for just one job. Now that I’m not well, I’m not eligible for disability nor NDIS. So, I still have to look for work. I struggle every single day just like anyone else. I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs. Yet I’m put in the same category as every other unemployed person. I have rent and bills that need paying too. I can’t find somewhere else to live unless I get a job and to get one of them, well, even to get an interview is one in a million. I don’t whinge and moan about how hard it is, rejection comes with the territory. I get on with it and try harder every single week. Stop pigeon holing everyone who is unemployed. We’re not all alike. Not by a long shot!

    • Avatar Odette says:

      I think that you need to get your facts right. There are thousands of people like me around the country. I was made redundant along with hundreds of people at a university where I worked. I was 63 and have worked since I was 15, nobody wants to employ people over 60, I am not old enough for a pension, I volunteer 15 hours a week my partner is on an aged care pension.
      I have never taken drugs I do not smoke.
      I have paid my taxes. I get $515 a fortnight.
      People in an aged pension should get more money.

    • Avatar Kevin says:

      Please dont put everyone on centrelink in the same basket i had a 40 year career before forced into retirement at 57 due redundancy i am highly qualified but after loosing my home and car and living off my redundancy for a year i cant find full time work after 4 years and have to survive off casual work but due to corona now fully unemployed due to ageism in this country i probably never work again and too young to live off my super so centrelink is my only option please think before making judgements on people

  • Avatar Kathy Beattie says:

    Why is the increase only for unemployed..pensioners are struggling everyday and are the ones most vulnerable to the virus. I am on a disability support pension and am high risk due to my low immune system

    • John says:

      I’m on dsp but we are a minority group and unlike unemployed and the thousands ending up there this goverment can’t ignore them there would be outrage buy Australians. ITS wrong us on dsp with medical and financial vunrable people on iwe need to more help too tell the people of australia how our goverment is trying to ignore our needs I can’t think of anything more we can do than be noticed and I should force our goverment to act and help us to

  • Avatar Richard Whereat says:

    When are these payments supposed to start getting doubled?

  • Avatar Michelle Szabo says:

    After reading that Jobseekers are having their payments doubled is ridiculous. They are healthy enough to work and this increase if also made permanent will encourage people not to seek work jobs or study as they will be able to live on Newstart payments comfortably rather than find work.
    As for those on DSP we need to be included as per your above article. We are disabled hence our health and living costs are higher & more important than those on Newstart. And we pay more rent. When Newstart doubles, if in government housing, will there rent be increased? Those on DSP currently pay more rent bcoz we receive more $$$ on pensions.
    Lastly, what about carers allowance / payment?? Very high costs of caring for someone especially thru this Covid19 virus.

    • Avatar Bernadette Warbrick says:

      I really don’t agree with this. Do you have any idea how hard it will be for me in a few months time? I have just lost a $700 a week job!!!! I have been stood down. I am a casual. I have no annual leave!! I am living on pretty much nothing at the moment. Once all my superannuation and savings are gone I am left with rent and bills to pay. On the original Newstart Allowance after my rent I would be left with $40 per week to live off!!! Do you know how hard it is to find work now? Millions of people will lose their jobs over the coming months. 36 000 people just applied for 5000 Coles jobs. I would have to move out and find cheaper accomodation but millions of other people would have to do the same thing. Homelessness would increase big time. How dare you say this? Millions of people are going to be homeless because of this disease at no fault of their own.

    • Avatar VeeJay says:

      Michelle one should never generalise.I am extremely ill but do not qualify for a DSP as my illness does not meet the criteria let alone have I had the capacity to ever complete an application for a DSP.I live in Australia with no family support all while raising a child on my own without the other parent’s input let alone even mandatory child support I have been exsisting on New Start for 10 years.When I am so sick amd dragging myself on the floor just to get to the lavatory it’s not because I choose this as a lifestyle…why would I after being a very successful chef and then project manager.My severe ill health is what stops me from having a career not $250 a week.I have lived in isolation for years and can’ t go most places most of time.It took a crisis for my crisis oops my life to improve.At least my child will be able to eat properly now that I will receive this doubled income.Stay safe and all the best to you.

  • Avatar Ninik Keenan says:

    What about the casual worker like who have no more shift til indefinately and company shutdown but don’t get separation letter

  • Avatar Julietta says:

    *When* does this double payment begin?

  • Liam says:

    Scomo claiming that this package was to assist the vulnerable, yet where is the assistance for the vulnerable in the community, I see there is assistance for long time unemployed dole bludgers and drug addicts, are they the most vulnerable?? I think not, the most vulnerable are old aged and disabled people, and once again they have been completely overlooked by this government in this package.. I can understand that there is a need to help those who have lost their employment due to this pandemic, but the people who are already on Jobseeker payment are not those people, they were on jobseeker before this pandemic then they in no way whatsoever have been affected financially by this and therefore really have no right to a payment increase, especially when it is basically a massive kick in the guts and a huge slap in the face to the vulnerable in the community who are now paid less than the long time unemployed, unwilling to work people.. And to use the word vulnerable and then announce a package that completely disregards the vulnerable is a disgrace.. Scomo I used to think you were okay, now I see you are so out of touch with reality that it’s time you stood down.. Give the extra $550 supplement to the people who have lost their employment as a result of this pandemic sure, I’m not questioning that, in fact I believe they should be given more if their earnings were more than $600/wk because for them $550/wk will not cover their expenses and had it not been for this pandemic they would not be seeking government assistance, but people unemployed in no way as a result of this pandemic were already getting the Jobseeker payment and therefore they don’t deserve what is essentially for them a massive free handout. And anyone who has annual leave it investments, people who have worked hard to get those investments are not even entitled to government assistance, instead they are told to first use up their annual leave and acrued sick days then they are entitled to apply once that money has been exhausted, and people with investments are told they are not entitled to Jobseeker benefits because they own investments (property, shares, etc) and are told that they would have to sell off their investments, all be it at huge loses due to the state of the economy, in effect costing them thousands of their hard earned money just to sell off what they have worked so hard for.. It hardly seems fair to those people either. It seems the only.people to really benefit.from this package announcement are the long term unemployed, who make up a great deal of the drug addicts among the population, and that’s who the government decides to call the ‘vulnerable’ and who the government decides they are going to give the most assistance, it’s an absolute disgrace and Scomo you need to step down immediately and sell off all your investments to survive, let’s see if you think your pathetic announcement is fair then, but no way U would do that and that is why U don’t really care who you are hurting with this announcement.. Junkies getting paid more than the old aged and disability pensioners, that makes alot of sense for a package to help the vulnerable, I never knew junkies and drug dealers were vulnerable, in the end that’s the only people this package is really going to help out, not the vulnerable, they were the forgotten yet again.

    • Avatar Julie wilson says:

      Hi
      Sorry your not seeing the big picture here.
      My husband and I support 2 of our Grandchildren aged 15 an 9. We are not recoognise as there carers. We have supported them their entire life on our income 1 is special needs. We don’t get anything to help us we do it out of love not money…… My husband is 62years old and I am 56. I resigned from work 15yrs ago to care for these children. My husband and I have made selfless sacrifices no handouts so these children dont miss out. Dont be judgemental as there are many individuals out there with individual needs we are all have different and genuine needs. So people be Australian and have each other’s back, the good the bad and the ugly.

    • Avatar Ben says:

      https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2019/11/a-sad-and-sorry-history-of-newstart/

      It was the Gillard government that in 2012 also introduced tougher eligibility requirements for the DSP. The changes had their intended effect. The number of new DSP participants fell from a peak of almost 89,000 in 2009-10 to around 32,000 in 2016-17. Most applicants were forced onto Newstart – and $170 less a week. These days, 42 per cent of Newstart recipients have an illness or disability preventing them from working full-time – up from 25 per cent in 2014.

    • Jacqui says:

      Jobseeker are Australia’s poorest, they are the growing numbers living on the streets, many have health issues but don’t fit the criteria for a pension since the government clamped down, others that have a roof over their heads are living hard & don’t forget many work for their allowances while still having to apply for jobs that they never get a look in for, people put these people down & accused them of being the ones who spend money on drugs etc. Lately people have been flooding to bottle shops & now the battle shops are offering home delivery, alcohol is a drug so don’t blame jobseeker for the collective problem bc I bet most of the sales are due to those who only just found themselves in the same boat as the already on jobseekers reality also many that were already on that allowance worked 30 or 40 years paying taxes before they lost their jobs. The people who make big money on drugs live well, have assets etc, the poor create the rich & wealthy people can afford better drugs like cocaine so painting everyone with the same brush is ignorant & during this crisis people need to stop complaining about this & that being unfair, when I was a child & said it’s not fair my dad would say what’s not fair ‘jack Robinson’s bum’

  • erkan says:

    Ridiculous, They should have a special newstart for people that just lost their jobs and have additional obligations.
    There is no change to the already unemployed and increasing their income is a waste of taxpayer money that should go to recently unemployed taxpayers. They should add a temporary supplement for mortgage and rental assistance. Govt needs to rethink.

    • Avatar Ty says:

      No need to worry Erkan, I was on newstart before this and my payments havent increased. Go find something legitimate to complain about

  • Lance says:

    I am personally dismayed by the Federal Government’s attitude to other sectors of welfare recipients, no temporary increase for Aged Pensioners, Disability recipients or Full time Carers.
    I am a full time carer of my 80 year old mother who has pulmonary disease, asthma and recurring bladder cancer. While these new Job Seekers will be able to put their feet up and enjoy a holiday, I still have to take care of my mother and prevent her from catching this virus, because it is likely to kill her in her current immune deficient state.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for supporting the people in these trying times, but the job seekers will receive a $550 supplement to existing payments, bringing the total to $1,100 per fortnight for the next 6 months, and the maximum rate of a Carer Payment is $827.10 per fortnight for singles. I assume the Aged Pension and Disability Payment have similar fortnightly payments.
    Someone needs to bring this up with Parliament, or at least the Prime Minister.

    • Glenn says:

      I am a Full Timer Carer for my wife, who has cancer, epilepsy, neurofibromotosis,optical degeneration, and she is a falls risk. Each time I do the shopping I am putting her at risk, firstly because I have to leave her by herself at home, (it’s too risky to take her with me now) and secondly I risk contracting the virus while shopping and then passing it on to her, which would be life threatening. I also have cardiovascular disease and had two stents put in my chest in January this year which puts me in the high risk category. I had a full time job until about 3 years ago. I can no longer work and now get half as much money to live on through the Carers allowance. I know what it’s like to be made redundant and I sympathize with those people who have recently lost their jobs. What I would like to know is why job seekers will receive $550 on top of the existing $550 bringing it to $1100 per fortnight for 6 months and yet there is no increase to the Carers, Pensioners and Disability Pensions. So It seems to me that Pensioners, Carers and people on Disability Pensions aren’t classified as vulnerable to the Federal Government.

  • Avatar Ben says:

    $550 pf extra for existing Newstart recipients is ridiculous, especially if they are lifetime bludgers, which there are far more than people lead on. My partner works 40 hours pf afternoon shift at a shopping centre so she can look after our daughter while I’m at work and she netts less pf than the money being offered to Newstart under stimulus. She also cannot apply for the $550 pf Coronavirus supplement as her gross pay is about $10 over the cutoff pf. I work as an airport refueller and will be having my hours cut anywhere from 60-100% as of next week. If My hours are cut to 75% I still won’t qualify for $550 pf. We rent and have a mortgage in another state and have no savings due to the last 12 months of my partner having her casual hours cut from Woolworths due to their underpayment debacle and major car repairs. Sorry to rant but until we get any stimulus, apart from sticking our hands in our super we have to lose 90-100% of our income to gain 1/4 of it back.
    Need to freeze loans and rents yesterday.

    • Avatar Casey says:

      These “lifetime bludgers” that you speak of are mostly people with disabilities, illness or ongoing medical conditions that haven’t been accepted onto DSP. Most can’t find suitable work, hence are unable to work and have to live on $300 LESS per fortnight than those on DSP, despite often having the exact same limitations, medical costs etc., simply because maybe one or more of their medical conditions can’t be either fully diagnosed, treated or stabilized. Not to mention having to constantly look for work that they can’t even physically/mentally do even if they did get offered a job. They are stuck living below the poverty line, can’t work due to illness or disability, hence are stuck on it for potentially a lifetime and you want to deny them a 6 month TEMPORARY increase, when people have been calling for an increase to the Newstart allowance for years.. Right. Maybe before you judge everyone on jobseeker payments, remember you too could be one of these statistics pretty soon. Next year people may be calling you a dole bludger simply because there aren’t enough jobs to go around. Not to mention if you happen to get one or more ongoing medical conditions in the meantime and happen to get stuck on it due to your limitations, then according to other people you might become a “lifetime bludger” that shouldn’t get any pay increase, not even temporarily, even though you might have to choose between buying food or your medicine..

  • Avatar Carole says:

    To vilify one section of society is normal, sadly. Wit jobs gone overseas, as well as mechanisation, there will never be enough jobs for everyone!!! I am 62, 20 years ago I would have been eligible for the Old Age Pension, now I am on JobSeeker, or whatever they are calling it these days! Most of the people on Jobseeker are over 50’s, and the face is – nobody will employ them!!! I am a case in point, I have a degree, I have worked for 48 years, now that I am unemployed, I am scum and a drain on society, and automatically a junkie! I actually have never smoked, never taken drugs, hardly ever drink alcohol! Ironically, when I was a teenager in the 70’s, I went to the CES (Commonwealth Employment Service), and was offered the dole!! I got one cheque, and then I got a job!!! It’s so easy to criticise than actually do something!!!

  • Monique says:

    I believe the new level of support to be appropriate to job-seekers under the current circumstances – it was always inappropriate low.
    However the fact that job seekers now receive more than Australian’s living with disability and reliant on the Disability Support Pension is simply wrong.
    Not all living with disability are able to access additional support from the NDIS but it would be fare to say that all people living with disability incur additional expenses as a consequence of their circumstances.

    Its a strange (and concerning) thing that under Liberal Party government some people in society are somehow more worthy (and entitled) than others. The LNP is an inequality spreading government. They really do need to fix anomaly. Increase Disability and Age Pension to the equivalent base rate being paid to job-seekers.

    • Avatar Casey says:

      The Liberal party are the worst, but please don’t ask for the ‘same’ as jobseekers or after 6 months you will be getting almost $300 LESS per fortnight! You will also get $750 LESS of the bonus. While it may ‘seem’ like jobseekers are getting more, we’re definitely not in the long run. But yes I agree that everyone should be paid more on a permanent basis (and it should be the same for everyone, whichever pension you’re on -with people on DSP able to claim extra if they have certain medical expenses above the standard allowance). That’s the only way to make it fair, it still costs the same to live whether you’re old, young, in the process of looking for work, or unable to work..

  • Avatar Robyn leicester says:

    I have spent the the last 3 years early morning till late at night just as if I was a over time worker living on carers I find this a little hurtful that jobseekers get 750 and then there money doubled make it fair for all I am I’ll my self and push everyday

  • Avatar Nadine says:

    Sorry to say but I think everyone should stop winging about bonus payments bc the $ will be still here when we all dead and gone , so atm everyone just need to do their part and stop being selfish and be their for one another and be strong & positive and help one another through this after all we are one we are Australians, stick together mind over matter, will power and take care to all

  • Josie says:

    I’m on dsp and also worked on a casual basis up until last week when I was put off due to the virus as I worked in the travel industry. People on dsp need the extra payment per fortnight as medications are becoming unavailable from the pbs and we are being asked to by much more expensive brands. We can’t just not buy it as it is needed. I am struggling to make ends meet after loosing my wage and now having to pay for extra things I normally don’t have to. It needs to be fair Mr Morrison add dsp onto the fornightly supplement and lots of people with a disability also have very bad depression. And it is kicking in big time with all this money related stress.

    • Avatar Casey says:

      Please talk to your doctors, in the past when my medications have been taken off the PBS, there’s usually an equivalent that is on the PBS. Get your doctor to switch to an equivalent that’s on the PBS, tell them you can’t afford the full price. DSP get more overall than Jobseeker payment, a lot of people on jobseeker are still in the exact same position as you but get much less overall -the temporary doubling will help out but it’s only temporary, DSP will still be getting a lot more in the long run, so if you want to make it ‘fair’, either DSP would have to get less (I’m not suggesting this as a valid option for one second!), or jobseeker would have to get more on a permanent basis. As a ‘jobseeker’ with disabilties, I’d be happy to go without the $550 increase and get a permanent increase equivalent to the DSP! I don’t understand how it’s ‘not fair’, if I could get DSP tomorrow I’d be happy to switch and miss out on the $550 because it would mean I would get an extra $300 per fortnight indefinitely, not just $550 for 6 months.

  • Avatar Ree says:

    No australian should have been left out of the stimulus especially pensioners, this is not right they are already struggling and it is well known that the pension rates put pensioners well below the poverty line in general, where do you think they are now, now the over 70s and unwell have to isolate for their own safety

  • Avatar Ant says:

    Was wondering when the double payment will go forth as my payment still says $570

    • Barry smith says:

      I received jobseeker payment today did not receive sup payment, my neighbours jobseeker payment is next week and he received sup payment about 5 pm today. I’m under the impression that double payment starts around the 17th although Centrelink app future payments still do not show it.

  • Avatar Irene Keevers says:

    My daughter is stranded in Newcastle and cannot get home without money and temporally staying at a friend’s house , she applied for benefits but nothing so i am keeping her in food . I am on the aged pension and rent privately so I also have bills too so come fast track the benefits for everyone, I wish she could come home and be safe with me .

  • Avatar Troy says:

    Can I get the actual due dates for the unemployment people and other people who are eligible newstart allowence double newstart payment

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