Changes to JobKeeper payment rate from 4 January 2021

The JobKeeper Payment eligibility rules and payment rates are changing. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s changing?

From 4 January 2021, the JobKeeper Payment rate has changed to:

  • $1,000 per fortnight for people who worked more than 20 hours a week on average during February or June 2020;
  • $650 per fortnight for people who worked less than 20 hours a week on average during February or June 2020.

This is less than the current rate of JobKeeper Payment.

What this means for you

These changes may mean people not previously eligible for JobSeeker, due to the rate of JobKeeper, may now be eligible for JobSeeker, or another benefit. 

This is because the new rates of JobKeeper are now lower than the income cut off points for JobSeeker and some other Centrelink payment eligibility.

If you are receiving JobKeeper you should consider whether your circumstances might now mean you are eligible to receive JobSeeker as well.

If you think this applies to you, you should submit an online claim for JobSeeker payment now.

You can find out more about the changes to JobKeeper Payment elibility and rates and how to start an online claim, on the Services Australia website.

If you’re not sure how to claim a Centrelink payment, this Economic Justice Australia Factsheet is handy for step-by-step instructions and guidance.

Remember, if you are receiving a Centrelink benefit and are required to report your income to Centrelink, you must include your JobKeeper payment.


What is JobKeeper Payment?

JobKeeper Payment is made by the Australian Tax Office to eligible employers to pay to their eligible employees as part of or instead of their normal wages. You should speak to your employer if you think you might be eligible for JobKeeper and are not currently receiving it.

The JobKeeper Payment has been extended until 28 March 2021.

You can find out more about JobKeeper Payment on the ATO website.

Need advice?

If you live in Victoria and would like advice about this change, or have other social security/Centrelink questions, you can call our General Advice Line, Monday – Thursday between 9:30am and 12:30pm on 0419 793 652.

If you live in another state, here’s where you can find your closest social security legal service

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