If you’re already receiving a particular benefit or payment and your circumstances change due to COVID-19, your benefit may remain unchanged. However, a change in circumstances that is not a result of COVID-19 will be assessed under the ordinary rules, and may impact your entitlement.
All changes should be reported to Centrelink or DVA within 14 days.
• Recipients of Carer Payment who are impacted will not have their benefits changed.
• Child Care Subsidy: if your child cannot attend childcare as a result of COVID-19, but you’re still charged a fee from your childcare provider, you may still receive the subsidy for up to 42 days of absence. This applies also to non-COVID-19 related absences. If your activity hours change, you don’t need to update your activity tests where it is due to a requirement to self isolate, or if you’re on leave.
• Newstart or Jobseeker: Recipients with mutual obligations (for example Newstart or Jobseeker recipients who usually need to be actively looking for work, volunteering, or doing some paid work) will be provided flexible options to ensure your safety. This may apply where you’re unable to satisfy these requirements because you’re self-isolating, or you’re a primary carer, caring for a child whose school has closed, or a disabled adult whose day service closes. You may receive an exemption from this requirement without a need for medical evidence.
• Youth Allowance (student): Activity requirements for study will be amended. This means that if you’re a student and you’re unable to attend studies due to the virus, you may be exempt from meeting this requirement.
• Students and trainees: If you’re self isolating at home or your education provider closes or reduces your study load, your payment won’t change. You must remain enrolled in study and have a plan to return and must tell Centrelink if this doesn’t apply to you.