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How to apply for the Jobseeker Payment


As Australia’s coronavirus crisis continues to increase, unemployment is expected to soar as businesses are forced to shut their doors and stand down or sack workers.

The introduction of a number of tough new restrictions by the Federal Government – including the closure of cinemas, nightclubs, gyms and museums, an international travel ban and strict new measures on cafes and restaurants – has seen whole industries decimated and thousands of Aussies lose their jobs since Sunday.

“For most Australians, (2020) is going to be their toughest year,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an update on the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday night.

“Australians who have lost their jobs, lost hours of work, businesses that have been forced to close their business – these are heartbreaking events in our nation’s history and story.”

Queues outside Centrelink offices around the country extended for blocks on Monday and Tuesday, and the MyGov website crashed due to the unprecedented demand.

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“The demand we’re seeing on this system because of the coronavirus is absolutely extraordinary,” Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston told the ABC.

Mr Morrison said that the government was working “night and day to ensure that we can get more capacity into these systems”.

“The queues that we saw outside Centrelink, the challenges and frustrations people have had in gaining access is a sheer function of the extraordinary and overwhelming demand,” the PM said.

If you are finding yourself applying for Centrelink for the first time, Ms Ruston said there’s no need to go an actual centre – your application can be processed and completed on online or over the phone.

Here’s what you need to do to apply.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR JOBSEEKER PAYMENTS?

If you’ve lost your job or income, you want to apply for the Jobseeker payment (previously known as the Newstart Allowance).

The payment is available to Australian citizens and residents between the ages of 22 and 66.

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HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE JOBSEEKER PAYMENT?

As Ms Ruston has said, try to complete as much of the application process online before you consider going to a service centre or ringing the hotline.

Create a MyGov account or log into your existing one.

Services Australia has launched an online ‘intent to claim’ function through MyGov, eliminating the need to call or come into a Services Australia service centre to get the claim process underway.

To access the online intent to claim you just need a MyGov account linked to Medicare or Australian Taxation Office services.

Once you’ve linked either of these services, you will see a prompt on your MyGov welcome page to register your intention to claim.

Once someone lodges an intent to claim through MyGov, Services Australia will contact them as soon as possible to talk through the next steps.

For new customers this will include support setting up a Customer Reference Number (CRN).

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WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENT?

The Federal Government’s new coronavirus Jobseeker supplement is a temporary payment of $550 each fortnight that will be paid to people who either already receive income support from the government or new recipients of income support, from April 27 for six months.

This is in addition to any other payment eligible recipients receive.

WHO GETS THE CORONAVIRUS SUPPLEMENT?

The coronavirus supplement will be provided to people receiving the following benefits:

• Jobseeker Payment

• Sickness Allowance

• Youth Allowance for jobseekers

• Parenting Payment Partnered

• Parenting Payment Single

• Partner Allowance

• Farm Household Allowance

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY FUNDS?

Federal Treasure Josh Frydenberg told The Latest that cash will “start to flow” sooner rather than later, and will begin to be distributed from March 31.



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