COVID-19 Safety Net Package for Individuals and Sole Traders
By Paolo Coniglio, 20.03.2020
Sole Traders and Individuals who felt ‘neglected’ over the release of the first package have been the focus on the second package which has been defined as the ‘Safety Net Package’. Measures include.
The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support and establishing a new time-limited (6 months) ‘Coronavirus Increased Supplement’ at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker payment, Youth Allowance Job Seekers, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefits. Asset Testing and the Liquid Asset Test Waiting Period applicable to the Newstart Allowance will both be waived during this period. Eligibility has also been extended to Sole Traders and Self Employed whose income has been affected by the Coronavirus by 20% or more.
People will not be permitted and will need to declare that they are not, accessing employer entitlements (such as annual leave and/or sick leave) or Income Protection Insurance, at the same time as receiving Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker under these arrangements.
Payments to Support Households
Two $750 household support payments have been confirmed over the release of the two stimulus packages: one payable on the 13 April 2020 and a second one due to be paid on the 13 July 2020. Eligible recipients of these payments are social security and veteran income support concession card holders.
Early Release of Superannuation
Sole Traders and Individuals whose income has been affected by 20% or more by the Coronavirus will be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the year 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. Eligible individuals will require to apply online via their myGov account.
Reduction of Superannuation Minimum Breakdown Rates
The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years. This measure will benefit retirees by providing them with more flexibility as to how they manage their superannuation assets.
Reduction of Social Security Deeming Rate
As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent. The change will benefit around 900,000 income support recipients, including Age Pensioners.
This blog and attached resources are of general nature designed for informational and educational purposes only. They should not be construed as professional financial advice for your individual business. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.