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Government temporarily doubles unemployment payments amid COVID-19 outbreak

23 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                                                       

Luke Michael | 23 March 2020 at 4:43 pm


Government temporarily doubles unemployment payments amid COVID-19 outbreak
23 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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  • 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.

    • 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.

      • Mary says:

        I semi agree with Linda.
        For everyone else that has shared their situation and for losing their job I also agree with you.

        Though I believe who ever is on a pension should get the same increase On payment and not just jobseekers and widowers etc.

        Now I say this because being on a pension and receiving Centrelink payment we all have a story.
        Now yes Maybe their are some out their that are just too lazy and are taking advantage of the system.
        But We can’t assume or judge as Linda had mentioned that their buying drugs and alcohol With their money, but those that are doing that have an addiction and is a sickness they have which we cannot blame them but just Have an open mind and look at the bigger picture as their people that are sick and need help because their addicts.

        Anyway when I mention we all have a story for an example I’ll share mine with you.

        I was fully employed as a beauty therapist, got my dipoloar as soon as I finished school, I was so young, working, making great money and was so good at my job.
        My mom was born overseas so her English isn’t very good.
        My mum had a very bad fall and ended up in hospital.
        She fractured her ankle and so therefore was a life changing to what she could do and now couldnt.
        My mum is also suffering slowly memory loss and almost burnt the house down 4 times because she will forget the stove Is on.
        My mum has no family here and all her family are overseas.
        My father passed away when I was 18 and my half brothers and sisters don’t talk to my mother which is very sad.
        So it’s been my mum and I ever since.
        Once I knew my mum couldn’t be by herself anymore and needed full time care I had quit my job and had been Be her side helping her ever since.
        She never how to drive as once she fell in love with my dad overseas he had brought her to Australia with him as he was already living in Australia 20years before with his first wife who died by cancer and then found love again and remarried my mum.
        My dad was mentally and violently abusive towards my mother and wasn’t allowed to go anywhere or have any friends.
        Now to get to my point.
        When I had stopped working because I needed and wanted to take care of my mum which I am not complaining at all in doing so cause I will do it over and over again.
        Though back to what I was saying is receiving fortnightly payments which I am so grateful we have centerlink as most countries don’t have what we have at all. So please don’t get me wrong I am not complaining I am very grateful but payments is very less to what we would make if we were working.
        It’s really imapacted on me getting approved on loans, paying taxes. Setting a good future for more opportunities you can make for yourself if you were employed .

        So what I’m really trying to say is evey penrsioner might agree with me on this but receiving payments from centerlink is a big change and big difference with how much pay we receive from Centrelink then if we were working.
        And my story isn’t that I didn’t have a choice to continue working If I wanted to
        But also didn’t leave me much choice to not take care of my mum because she doesn’t have any family besides me, her daughter .

        So if jobseekers are recieving extra payments then why not Carers and every other pensioner.

        We had a really tough year with jobs lost etc But we all know it’s not forever and won’t be forever but for Carers, for people with disabilities our role continues And most has continued for a long time.
        So sending a bit of extra money our way helps so much even if we used some of it to be pamperd or get the iPhone 11 or 12 we really want but can’t afford it even put some money a side and save it instead for a wedding you were invited to but didn’t have anything to Where , HONESTLY IT WOULD BE NICE TO A GET A LITTLE ABIT MORE, ONLY TEMPORARY FOR ALL PENSIONERS AS FOR THOSE LOSING THEIR JOBS, STOPPED WORKING TO CARE FOR YOUR LOVED ONES , THOSE THAT HAVE AN ADICTION, DISABLED, BEEN INJURED etc Should receive any extra payment the government decides to give out.

    • 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

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • Gay Carey says:

          Yes as a pensioner living on $300 per week $700 odd per fortnight it is very hard for us to live and not feel stressed. The unemployment benefits being commented on are not the legitimate people who have lost their jobs due to this virus. I have seen and I am sure there are a lot of people who have seen there are young people who refuse to work and will never work but be on the dole for their entire lifetime. Maybe the government should try again to stop these unemployed no hoppers by given them a time frame to find a job and then take the dole off them it they do not.

          • Charmaine de Burgh says:

            Exactly There are so many people who don’t want to work, only those who have lost there jobs due to Coronavirus should be eligible for this payment.

        • Veronica says:

          Hi Linda. I’m 65, I’m also on Job seeker. I think because of my age I might be receiving $50 a fortnight more? I receive about $620 a fortnight…. I’ve been looking for a job now for two years. Even though there are hundreds of jobs around, there’s thousands of people applying for them. I’m a Bookkeeper but have no interest in working 14 hour days and being paid for 8 hrs a day, so I apply for cleaning jobs, night packing and admin work …. I get pretty upset when people say that people refuse to work and buy drugs and alcohol because this is not the majority, it’s the minority…. I don’t drink but I smoked for 42 years and gave up because no way in the world could I be on Centrelink and afford to pay Insurances for a car, house and contents, land tax, rates, car rego, dog and cat registration plus food, petrol plus gas, electricity, phone, petrol and internet etc….Now smoking would cost me $25 a day …..$350 a fortnight!!! No way could I afford that, so I paid $620 to give up smoking with a 100% money back guarantee! I gave up 20th January 2019, nearly 15 mths ago, so that’s nearly $12,000 that I have put towards my bills….. I don’t know if you smoke, I don’t know if you rent or have a mortgage, but these three items are the biggest bills you can have, so anyone who reads this and smokes, give it up! I did after 45 years, plus I had to borrow as much as I could from Centrelink to pay for session…’s very easy to give up, doing it the way I did…. I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you or anyone else who reads this this who I used I suppose you could text me and I’ll look the number up for you (0407 154 868) …. Anyways, I actually retire in about six months, I’m not sure how much the pension is, but I would like to earn some money to be able to go out for dinner or coffee with my friends, maybe save see more of Australia…I will also need some money for emergencies… One of my friends baby sits 3 nights a weeks also works 15 hours a week in an office doing odd jobs in Admin, she’s 68…. All of Australia has changed because of this Coronavirus, so many people through no fault of their own have lost jobs and will receive Centrelink Payments for 6 months! It sounds like I will be getting an increase as well for six months which will be greatly appreciated… When this payment stops, the Centrelink payments will return to normal…. your pension rates so far are staying the same, but they will continue…. Have you thought of seeing someone who will help you budget better or they can set up a budget plan for you…. I could not live without one…

        • Johnny Treak says:

          That was just one example to show how inaccurate and unfair your comment was Linda. There are tens of thousands more like that and I’m talking pre-corona. Most people want to work but the long term unemployed numbers have been increasing for some time. Not because of choice or the pathetically insufficient $275/w, but because the government has not addressed structural issues in our economy and there aren’t enough jobs. Instead of complaining, why not spare a thought for the family’s who lost an average income of $75k who then had to try to survive on $40/day. While the pension is indexed to wages, unemployment benefits are linked to prices (not including rent/house prices) and have barely moved since ‘94. Also, I’d like you to research how many people have received benefits for more than 5 years and how many are addicted to drugs. Then do some research on the causes of drug addiction and tell us how the stories of abuse, violence and family dislocation have impacted your opinion. What you’ve said is not only devoid of reality, it’s deeply disrespectful and dismissive of EVERYONE needing govt assistance. And you say all this despite the fact that you yourself receive govt assistance and seem to be struggling too. Shameful

        • Rachel Williams says:

          Long term unemployed like me with 70 points of disability, a sole parent, caring for my father with cancer and stuck on Newstart? I was able bodied, married, employed, educated before I lost everything at once. The rate of payment kept us stuck in a cycle of entrenched poverty, trying to survive on next to nothing became a full time job.

          I can finally afford to go to the dentist and buy new school uniforms thanks to these payments. I can get a second pair of shoes. Why do you scorn me Linda?

        • Matt says:

          You are all so worry yes some people are drugs or alcohol but a lot of are up doing it harder then you being on the pensioner an you have been pay 350$ dollars more for years think about it

        • Ben says:

          Some people have made some really good comments and others may be venting their understandable frustration with life on Centrelink benefits. I worked as a social worker finding people with disabilities jobs and had a car crash at work that has left me disabled and I receive the DSP. We are lucky with live in a country that has a safety net however having said that I think all payments should be raised to an equal figure because as this post proves it divides people who in reality live in the same situation. Perhaps if people worked towards a common goal together and become a group of the underprivileged and disenfranchised who fight for a better quality of life for all Australians especially those who cannot care for themselves. We need to stop fighting each other and direct energy towards those in power who make these decisions that affect all of our lives!

      • 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) !??!?!

        • 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.

          • Catherine Cridland says:

            I have checked on the Centrelink app for all my future Jobseeker payments, and it just says the same and unchanged amounts. I lost my job due to this pandemic. I was working in IT in a very busy place where I was often working up to 12 hours per day and did not get any overtime paid to me in my monthly salary. Now, I have no other choice but to try to withdraw from my superannuation early (which has not yet been made possible as the Govt has not yet opened those floodgates) in order to pay my rent. There is a very real possibility that I will become homeless because I can no longer afford my rent, or even afford to move either. Oh, and I also have asthma (lifelong)

          • Ab says:

            Will it show up in the app that they are paying you extra? I’m confused as to how you will know your getting the extra money… I am newly unemployed due to the virus and have never been on Newstart

        • Belinda says:

          The payments start to be doubled on the 27th of April, I have read that on a few different breaking news on the Facebook page

        • veronica says:

          kicks in April 27th 🙂

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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…

    • 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 🙂

    • 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.

    • Claire says:

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

    • 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

      • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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.

      • Sammy says:

        I am like you I was never unemployed. But i am over 60 now and no one even want to know you. In one year i sent so many applications but not even 1 interview. It makes me sad when some people judge ( like ” bloggers, drinkers, druggy……) i am none of those and paid my taxes more than 34 years) now i am unemployed more than a year with the job seeker payment. So so sad.

        • Ken says:

          Indeed sorry for you. There are some many different scenarios of people on jobseeker. Those policy makers should really take a closer look and treat them differently. The design of low amount of jobseeker payment is to disencorage ppl from staying on n it – however in the case of older people or those with partial disabilities, they should get more support. Just like people got laid off from covid 19 impact, it is not totally their fault but they still have to live on – when 1100 is given to ppl for this time being, it is actually an acknowledgement that allowance of mere 550 forenightly is not adequate to live upon. When government pushes ppl on jobseeker to get off welfare, they kind of over simplify by depicturing them of “capable of getting jobs but they won’t”. There is difference of “won’t” and “can’t”. Also such depicturing demonized this group of ppl, that lead public to thing they are “lazy alcoholic drug addictives who live on welfare”. Maybe there are some, but not in general – even for this type of sickening group, they need help – not only by giving money but also help in other aspects. So in a nutshell, the current social security system has many holes to amend – what it is now doing is somehow inhuman, narrow minding, misleading public, over simplifying to meet the gov budget screezing purpose. The silver lining of this pandemic is it giving us an opportunist to relook at it – people has to right to live safely, with basic needs met, and supported when in need.

    • Ami Jade says:

      Personally, I’m stunned that you so grossly generalize every unemployed person. I suppose, pension receivers were not included due to the pension being a higher rate perhaps?!!. You are truly offensive!!!

    • 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

    • Chris says:

      We have suffered more in the long turn as we can’t get jobs at 60. This helps us get a bit back. You are offendiing most people.who have tried. Think about that. Don’t prejudge.

    • Steve says:

      Not all people on unemployment are alcoholics and drug addicts some have had no choice to be on it due to companies shutting down and getting rid of casuals

    • Brendon Quin says:

      I just lost my job due to the virus, i am now on new start/job seeker payments for the first time in my life. How do you expect me to live on 530 a fortnight, whilst people on the pension get 850 up to and above 1000 a fort night. And as for your comment about job seekers using their allowance for alcohol… shame on you.. your comments are greedy and ignorant. WAKE UP TO YOUR SELF..

    • Jd says:

      Yeh unemployed dont get enough money to buy drugs they barely get enough to live let alone buy drugs, such an out of date point if view imho

    • Tim Clift says:

      Ive got a lot of health issues but don’t qualify for disability due to how hard the qualifications are even my dr was telling them I should qualify constantly in hospital etc. and I’m on Newstart and I am struggling due to all the mets I have to buy, rent and as a single father support myself and my 7 year old not everyone buys alcohol and drugs who are on Newstart. I find this highly offensive and would have expected more wisdom from our older persons its a old stereotype from the lying media. Don’t judge a book buy the cover! pensions should be much higher I believe for your generation though.

    • Tracey says:

      Not all people use that money for drugs and alcohol I lost my job due to this crisis and I don’t drink or take drugs I think it’s a bit presumptuous to say that. We are all suffering right now and the last thing we need right now is people making assumptions.

    • Sskilts6 says:

      I feel exactly the same as a single mother on the pension. I couldn’t afford pull-ups for my 10yo daughter tonight as the cheep toilet paper i usually buy, I couldn’t get so had to pay more than double what I usually pay & then there wasn’t the range of pull-ups so i also had to buy the more expensive ones for my 4yo. My 10yo refused to sleep the night before as i had ran out & she was to scared to wet the bed. All pensioners are having to spend more but not getting more & they want to give people that didn’t even want to work before all this more money. It’s just not fair

    • lorraine collins says:

      I assure you that NOT ALL unemployed people are drug addicts nor drinkers!.. as a 63 year old recent widow who has lost her job and is too young to receive the aged pension I find your comment hurtful. I have no choice in what payment I receive and am appreciative of any at all. I neither take drugs nor do I drink , but do have utilities and food etc to buy so any increase is not only appreciated but needed and happily received.

    • Susan says:

      This totally out of order I am sure if the tables were turned you would be complaining our rents are 350aweek or more which is actually more than what we get and when you want to do things and can’t because they won’t consider your age when you want to work and your health is bad as well and you don’t smoke or drink and believe me I see plenty of other smokers drinkers one which bashes and destroys property gets away with it everytime and we have to sort out their dirty work because they make my family homeless don’t dare tell me we don’t have rights

    • katie harrington says:

      I understand your dissapointment. Im very sorry you face this shortage of money. But i think your placing blame onto the wrong people. And i just want to say that most people on benifits dont use drugs or alcohol, its the small minority of people wo face the disease of addiction that makes people assume the worst.You shouldnt blame people who cant find work. Theses days you have to be able to have money to study, if you dont have money you try settle for a job that requires no training but thats rare. Its quite hard with millions applying for jobs daily.People on unemployment benifits are actually facing similar anguish. Newstart recipients only get like $500 a fortnight. So you gotta think after rent , food ect they are living below the poverty line much like yourself. So as much as i can empathise with your anguish and anger. Instead of blaming those unemployed maybe direct that rage at the government particularly the liberal government They DO NOT have your best interests in mind . Otherwise why would they allow you to suffer. So Blame them instead . Im sorry for your pain and sadness and anger over your being let down by the liberal government. Take care and i hope things improve so you get more $.Thank you 🙂

      • Become a political leader that will fix the problem says:

        The Only way to stop this bs with payments is the following You get like minded people all around australia you get in one room and become a political party you then go around the country and each person in each area learn what people want and promise it to them and if you can get the entire group into poliitics at once voted in guess what happens you change the country SOUNDS EASY DOESNT IT Well not so fast you got 10 000 dollars to enter into the race to get into politics AHHHH THE POOR ARE TAKEN DOWN A NOTCH AGAIN

    • Linda says:

      I am also a pensioner. Whenever the welfare rates rise so to do the services like water and electricity, insurance, housing rates rent, food etc. because the welfare jobseeker rate has risen so will the prices for pensioners carers and disability and so many costs will become unaffordable and many of our elderly and vulnerable will be driven onto the street. Shame on the Morrison govt for treating us like lower class citizens not equal in society because of age.


        Yeah the payments are based on cost of living everything you get goes back into living thats the point of these payment your not meant to be rich BUT IT CLEARLY ISNT ENOUGH

    • Keith says:

      As an unemployed 65 yr old I also live fortnight to fortnight, and who can afford alcohol and drugs, that money will allow me to catch up on some basics like fixing the car an buying some much needed clothes that are worn out and so on. Yes pensioners should have also received the same payment but i dont make the rules not every unemployed person is a 20 something yr old that living with 6 others in the same house spending their time surfing etc the Australian population is ageing and the vast majority of unemployed was older gen. prior to this crisis. Get your facts right before making broad blank statements

    • Susan Wilsmore says:

      I just wonder I didn’t get extra 550 forthright I’m on a dissibly pension I get 750 payment another one in July

      • WTF Disability is really wierd When Newstart is used as a disabilty paymen says:

        Funny Anyone here ever get into this position before i had and still sometimes have medical problems that made it impossible for me to work called edema if your feet are as big as an elephant getting shoes to fit impossible. But i was at a point where I wasnt sick / disabled enough to be on disability pension but not abled enough to actually look for work because if i did find it physically i couldnt do the work so i was AND THIS WAS DONE BY A DISABILITY JOB SEARCH Worker told that i was now on newstart but had to look for no jobs go home come back in 6 months we will tallk again because of the amount of doctors certificates i had for the problem.

    • Roslyn Thompson says:

      I hear you. I get a carers payment. My husband gets more than me on newstart. Not everybody does the wrong thing. We have a mortgage. The extra money has saved us from losing our house.

  • 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

  • Richard Whereat says:

    When are these payments supposed to start getting doubled?

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • Aarron Lane says:

        Those on new start now job seeker have needed more money for a long time, being an amputee on a pension I’m grateful for what I get of course a bit more would be great. Those of you who tar everyone with the same brush annoy me. Not everyone on welfare is an alcoholic or junkie truth be told I have no doubt that the majority want to work myself included. I can’t spend much time on my feet but I can drive a tractor and did up north in the banana farms. Now back in the south east I’ll be trying too find work three days a week once my new prosthetic is ready. In the 24 years that I’ve been disabled not once has an employment agency found me a job not so much as even an interview and the last place I went too, the first question I asked was can I get funding for training on a machine. The answer was no. So my reply was, well then let’s not waste each other’s time and I walked out and found casual work on my feet which i knew was doing me more harm than good. Yet I hear stories of some getting big money for courses. Another fine example after the floods and cyclone Yasi in 2011 I saw the ads asking for tenders for all the roadworks needed throughout Qld. I said too the agency I was with I need to get some tickets their reply was the same oh we don’t have funding for that. So I ask where is all the government money ( peoples taxes ) going?. These agencies are a rort just like we are discovering some of the sorts with the NDIS. Keep in mind that the man at the head of the fraud squad an AFP man of 30 years quit in protest at the lack of resources.

    • 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.

    • Marius says:

      It’s not just jobseekers getting this payment! Get off your dam high horse already! Many people have been let go from their employer because of this virus! So many judgemental people on here it’s ridiculous! You people are selfish and greedy simple as that! If a pensioner is struggling on their payments just imagine the struggle of someone on unemployment benefits who get half of what a pensioner gets, you don’t know why alot of people are on unemployment benefits, but they must be healthy according to you!

    • Christine King says:

      It is so hard to get on disability payments these days. Even though I am in constant pain, but have no feeling in my feet because of neuropathy. Fall over because I am unstable on my feet. Suffering from depression because of loss of quality of life. Over 60 and have lost my husband of over 30 years along with a few other medical issues. I am not entitled to DSP. I still have to report every 2 weeks and struggle daily. I am not healthy enough to work. Also the neuropathy is spreading to my hands. In the future I will lose the use of them also. Not all people should be judged the same.

    • Anne Wilson says:

      I have a problem with long term unemployed who have already received the $750 and are now getting an increase in their fortnightly Unemployment rates. This does not seem fair at all. I know people who are not working and are 18 years of age no intention of working, would rather sit at home and play video games and hang out with mates. I also know of people who are physically unable to work and are never going to work. These people received thee $750 payment and now they are getting $555 extra a fortnight. Where is the fairness in this. Yes those that have been put of work due to Covid-19 deserve the extra payments. I am on a Disability Support Pension and I am struggling. Where is our extra support. We all should have been given the $555 extra a fortnight to begin with. The Government don´t have a clue!!

  • 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

  • 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.

    • Julie wilson says:

      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.

    • Ben says:

      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’

    • Suzanne Boyle says:

      So ignorant and selfish I have a job a good paying job but have been unable to work due to medical reasons since last year, I have a mortgage and bills just like everyone else and I’m a frontline worker that is high risk so my doctor will not clear me to return to work am I undeserving also?

  • 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.

  • 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.

      • Marius says:

        You already get near on double compared to unemployment benefits, so if you’re a struggling jist imagine what someone who gets half of what you do is going through!!!

    • Branden says:

      So do U think your the only person that has to care for someone I’m doing the same thing but for my father and mother that are unwell but trust me don’t think for a second we are on a holiday what a stupid stupid thing to say how dare u put others down in times where everyone is being effected in one way or another and not in a good way what U think because Newstart gonna get a hole $120 more its just gonna be a party…that’s so sad that someone could even possibley think in that kind of way in a time where we should be all sticking together and helping one another is sooooooo UN AUSTRALIAN

  • 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.

    • 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..

  • 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.

    • 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..

  • 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

  • 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

    • Branden says:


  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • Troy says:

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

  • Sheral says:

    Your right they HV a certain duration and those who qualify for payments get their same old payments and get the $750 x2 payments.

    Those who claimed from Monday 23 M March get the $550

    Its clearly mentioned in their article. Why isn’t all new start recipients not given the $550 increase. The ones who have just signed up are going to receive the double payment. Not the ones who are to be paid before March 23rd.

    • Roslyn Thompson says:

      It doesn’t make sense to me either. My husband lost his job 20 months ago. So he got the extra money. We might not have kept on top of our house payments . Should be the same amount for everybody.

  • Lotty says:

    My son finishing 3rd yr nursing degree while working full time as wardsman since left school will be getting the same as someone who lost their job in hospitality or retail and is allowed to stay at home while he is on the frontline and must work for his pay. There are no allowances for him.

  • Ash says:

    It’s stunning to see some people talking as if there’s a difference between people who just recently lost work and those who were surviving on payments before. As if everyone before you were unworthy, lazy, drug addicts who don’t deserve to be able to buy food to eat or rent. I’ve struggled to find and maintain work due to severe mental illness, how do you imagine it feels to hear I don’t deserve to live above the poverty line because someone else needs to as well? To be looked down on as if it means I must have an addiction, and that I wouldn’t be worthy of help if I did have one? It’s bad enough that it’s only now the government thinks the unemployment payment should be livable. I don’t matter to them at all, quite clearly, it isn’t people like me that they temporarily raised the rates for. If anyone asked me, I’d say pensioners, carers, people on disability payments, workers, students, unemployed, and more – every single person on low incomes or struggling financially should be getting these supplements, it should arguably be the permanent baseline for financial aid, but I can’t make that happen. It wasn’t my decision to only provide the aid to some, it was the decision of Scott Morrison and the LNP. If you’re angry at anyone for not having enough to survive on, for being excluded from such help, be angry at them. Be angry with us, not at us, or else nothing will change for anyone and it will be worse for everyone once the end of those six months come. We can argue from here to extend the aid to others, to even make it permanent, rather than arguing to take it out from under people who had the least to give it to people who had slightly more.

  • LaLa says:

    How much is the Coronavirus Supplement?

    It is worth $550 a fortnight ($275 a week). It means the JobSeeker Payment, which used to be known as Newstart, will effectively double.

    Who is eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement?

    It goes to anyone receiving:
    JobSeeker Payment (formerly known as the Newstart Allowance)
    Sickness Allowance
    Youth Allowance for jobseekers
    Parenting Payment Partnered
    Parenting Payment Single
    Partner Allowance
    Farm Household Allowance
    Youth Allowance students and apprentices

    When does it start?
    Payments will begin on April 27 and will be available for at least six months

    (ABC News: Xavier La Canna)

  • Sandra dixon says:

    Hi im sandra Do You kno if apllying for unemployment this week , will it be back dated from march 1st 2020.? Id seen it on TV news ,1st march.. tyvm regards Sandra xx

  • Kate Hussey says:

    Will these payments register on Centrelink online ? If so how long before pay day ? I’m due to be paid on the 29th April and it’s not showing . Thanks

  • Andrew says:

    I lost my Job due to workplace harassment after holding the most recent job for 14 years. I have multiple injuries but the road to DSP is stacked in favor of the govt so you are required to look for work even if you cant. I had no assistance and went into bankruptcy. I say to the nation welcome to my world and the world of the Centrelink roundabout that many have had to endure!!! This outbreak has been nothing less than a God send for me. Its business as usual. 5 weeks to get Newstart think yourself fortunate. i battled for 7. The nation is now experiencing what many in overseas countries live with every day. Get you priorities right and stop complaining about Covid impact and think of those who endure this everyday.

  • Sarah Phillips says:

    I am due to be paid on the 27th but the coronavirus supplement payment is not showing up on my online Centrelink account. When will my first coronavirus supplement payment be???

  • TenTribesOfTexas says:

    Please explain? What are the income thresholds for new jobseeker payments with virus supplement? Can jobseekers earn up to $75,000 like a spouse can for couples?

  • Olivia says:

    It is now the 24th of April. My next jobseeker payment is on the 27th of April but is not showing the supplement payment of $550 just the normal fortnightly jobseeker payment. Does anyone have any further information about this?

  • Bill says:

    I’m 63 and have never received a government benefit of any kind. I lost my high paid job a few years ago and have gone through my savings and the proceeds from the sale of my house. The corona virus has given me a kind of emotional cover so I have applied for Newstart with great reluctance and even shame (my family is full of rich judgemental people). I’m not sure I even want this indignity or if I should just curl into a ball and disappear.

  • Louise says:

    Bill.. you are you.. you are not your family or their opinions… no one should ever make you feel inferior.. EVER. Stand proud no matter what your circumstances are. A big heart is worth way more than money… And there’s no point in being the richest man in the cemetery. Do you.

  • Gary Stephen Rutherford says:

    Ah, the voice of righteous entitlement denouncing those evil dipsomaniac drug addicts for their unmitigated audacity in not simply doing us all a favour and topping themselves, when far more deserving bottoms had found all the available seats in the sick little game of musical chairs that this alleged society has become. Such a comfort to have someone to kick, isn’t it? If those who have worked most of their lives are deserving of the support and recognition of the community, how much more so those who, because of a failed system based in an expectation of people earning a living, but unable to provide anything even close to employment opportunities for all who need them, are denied even the dignity of earning a living. Try living like a cockroach for a few years, and see if substance abuse doesn’t start to look pretty good. If only our supposedly fair-go egalitarian little nation could function without creating an underclass that is not only denied virtually all privileges that others take for granted, but can also provide a target for the bigotry and vilification of our brave and humble citizenry. Nothing like insult to injury, is there? For decades pensioners have received almost twice the amount paid to unemployed, two advances a year for $1000 instead of one for half that, and an almost innumerable list of other petty kicks in the guts designed to demonstrate utter contempt and loathing for those betrayed by a psychopathically insouciant ruin of a system. The grotesque guilt of the many is never quite concealed by their even more hideous malice. Nice try. And Luke, for God’s sake mate, if you are going to write a story about a pay rise, give us a few possibly pertinent details, Like when it starts? Maybe I can find a job in Journalism?…

  • Gary Stephen Rutherford says:

    For those still wondering about the commencement of this payment, after enduring thirty minutes of bad Vivaldi to speak to Centrelink, I am informed that even though this is a rise, albeit temporary, in your usual payment, it is regarded as a separate payment, which is why it does not show up on the Centrelink website when you look at your next payment. Good old Centrelink implementing sensible policy to deliver certainty and eliminate confusion… It will be paid from 27/4/20. (As Centrelink payments are retrospective, it will appear in the first full payment after this date). No really, I think I’d make a good Journalist…

  • says:

    Celebrate the inspirational work being done to address the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in regional agricultural communities. Go to

    • Ruth Deana PAPALII says:

      Yes I get tired of People saying unemployed People do not want to work. For Years and Years I have put CVs in and went to so many Interviews at Work & Income I have lost count.

      And for that rude person who said Unemploynent spend it on drugs and alcohol.

      I do not take drugs or drink alcohol…

      Because of her jeolusly she judges everyone else…

      People get sick of being turned away all the time because of Peoples judgement and ages.


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