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JobKeeper v JobSeeker


JobKeeper in an entitlement for Employers to assist in employment costs. It is not something an individual can claim in their own right.  In order to receive a payment, both the employer and employee must meet eligibility criteria.

Eligible employers are businesses (including companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders), not-for-profits and charities:

  • With a turnover of less than $1bn that have lost 30% or more of their revenue compared to a comparable period a year ago.
  • With a turnover of $1bn or more and with at least a 50% reduction in revenue compared to a comparable period a year ago.
  • For registered charities the threshold is a decline in turnover of 15% or more, under changes announced on 6 April.

Eligible employees:

  • Were employed by an eligible employer at 1 March 2020
  • Can be sole traders, full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020.
  • Are at least 16 years of age.
  • Are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a protected special category visa, a non-protected special category visa who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a New Zealander on a special category (subclass 444) visa.

Assuming the employer is eligible based on the above requirements they will receive $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible worker.  They will then pay this to the eligible employee.  The payment is taxable and does not attract superannuation entitlements.  The employer can then choose to pay additional wages plus superannuation entitlements for each employee.

Important points to consider-

  • If you are entitled to the JobKeeper and were earning less than the $1,500 per fortnight you will receive the full $1,500 payment!
  • If you are eligible for both payments you would receive a higher rate under the JobKeeper entitlement.
  • If you are in receipt of an Age Pension and also eligible for the JobKeeper it is likely this will reduce your Age Pension under the Income Test.


JobSeeker Payment started on 20 March 2020. It’s the main income support payment if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age.

JobSeeker Payment has replaced other payments including:

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance

Most existing recipients of the above payments have been transferred to JobSeeker Payment automatically.

Previously the maximum JobSeeker payment for a single adult was $565.70 or $510.80 for each member of a couple. However, a recently legislated stimulus package includes a Coronavirus supplement payment that is paid in addition to the standard JobSeeker payment.

The Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight will be paid to new and existing recipients of JobSeeker Payment.

The supplement will be paid over the next six months and will be paid automatically with the person’s ordinary fortnightly entitlement. It will be paid from 27 April.


To qualify for the JobSeeker payment you’ll need to meet all of the below criteria:

  • you’re between 22 and Age Pension age
  • you meet residence rules
  • your income and assets are under the test limits (refer here).

You also need to meet rules for either of these situations:

  • You meet our definition of unemployed or have recently lost your job.
  • You’re sick or injured and are unable to do your usual work or study for a short time.
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  1. Steve Solomonson on April 17, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Thank you for the excellent clarity in the detailed explanation about JobKeeper.

    • The Muirfield Team on April 22, 2020 at 9:13 am

      You’re welcome Steve, glad that you gained some clarity.

  2. Nova on September 24, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Hello, i hope you could help us with our situation.
    My husband was made redundant in May and applied for Jobseeker on 19 August. Yet his claim has not been finalised as of today. I was told by Ctrlink that the process took longer for him because he has a Pty Ltd (which isn’t trading or generating income anyway). We were told just to wait. At the time he applied, he already self-served IMP (redundancy payment) and our combined asset and liquid asset was below the limit.

    On 16 Sept, he received a 90k lumpsum court settlement which we told Ctrlink about. Now that money will be counted as Liquid Asset

    I wonder how the reinstanted LAWP will affect his JS claim? Because eventhough his claim was submited more than a month ago it has not been finalised. Will it mean he won’t be eligible for JS payment afterall?

    • The Muirfield Team on September 24, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Nova

      Thanks for the question. I can confirm the liquid asset waiting period is calculated and commences from the time you apply for JobSeeker. The fact it may take Centrelink some time to process your application shouldn’t impact the wait period.

      Good luck


  3. Nova on September 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Courtney , thank you for responding. When he applied for JS back in August, the LAWP was waived and we didnt have liquid asset above 11k anyway.

    You also previously stated that the LAWP is only applicable for new JS applicants from 25 Sept onwards. If my husband’s JS claim was submitted in August but only get approved after 25 Sept, will the reinstated LAWP apply to him?

    Thank you

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