Income support for sole traders
The Federal Government has established a new, time‑limited Coronavirus supplement
to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. Payments will commence from 27 April 2020.
This supplement will apply to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment
categories. These changes will apply for the next six months and will not be income
Expanded access: Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria will
provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their
The expanded eligibility applies to:
- Sole traders
- The self‑employed
- Casual workers
- Contract workers who meet the income tests.
Chris is a sole trader, running an architecture practice. The economic downturn due
to Coronavirus has adversely affected Chris’ business, and his revenue has fallen
dramatically. Chris will be able to apply for the new JobSeeker / Coronavirus
supplement and will not have his assets included as part of the eligibility assessment
for the payment.
Chris is eligible for the Jobseeker payment and, as he is married, will receive:
- JobSeeker Payment partnered rate of $510.80 per fortnight; plus,
- Energy supplement of $7.90 per fortnight; plus,
- Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight.
- Chris’ total fortnightly income support payment is $1,068.70.
Reduced means-testing: Asset testing will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus
supplement. Income testing will still apply to the person’s other payments, consistent
with current arrangements.
People will not be eligible for the payments if they are still receiving annual leave, sick
leave or income protection insurance.
Sole traders that become eligible for the Jobseeker Payment will automatically meet
their mutual obligation requirements during this period by continuing to develop and
sustain their business.
Making a claim
New applicants are encouraged to claim through online and mobile channels. To
claim online, people who do not already deal with Services Australia will need to set
up their myGov account, call to verify their identity and get a link to their Centrelink
Applicants for Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker will:
- Make an initial declaration about their identity, residency status, income and that
they have been made redundant, or had their hours reduced (including to zero).
- In the case of sole traders and the self‑employed, make a declaration that their
business has been suspended or had turnover reduced significantly.
- Applicants may also declare the amount of rent they pay in this declaration to
qualify for Rent Assistance.