Covid-19 Financial Update #7 Centrelink Benefits – Intention to Claim and Income Testing

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Register Your Intention to Claim Centrelink Payments

Services Australia (Centrelink) has recently announced that if you’re affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can register your intention to claim a Centrelink payment.

What are the Benefits of Registering your Intention to Claim with Centrelink?

  • You don’t need to complete a full claim right now. You can register your intention to claim at a time and place that works for you and Centrelink will backdate your payment (to 23 March 2020).
  • You don’t need to physically go into a service center to register your intention to claim. You can do it all through myGov.
  • Once you’ve registered your intention to make a claim, Centrelink contact you to let you know what the next steps are. Considering the volume of calls Centrelink are currently receiving, this will avoid you having to wait on hold for hours!
  • If you’re a new customer, Centrelink will help you set up a Customer Reference Number.

I Have an Existing MyGov Account, How Do I Register My Intention to Claim?

  • Sign into your MyGov account and you will be prompted to register your intention to claim a Centrelink Payment.
  • Follow the prompts within MyGov

I Have an Existing MyGov Account but I Haven’t Received a Prompt When Logging In?

  • If you have logged in to MyGov and have not received a prompt to register your intention to claim a Centrelink Payment, this may be a result of your MyGov account not being linked to Medicare or the ATO.
  • If you haven’t linked your MyGov account to Medicare or Australian Taxation Office, you need to link to one. If you are unsure of how to link a service to MyGov, this link provides some useful details.

I Don’t Have a MyGov Account, How Do I Register my Intention to Claim?

  • To register your intention to claim, you will need to create a MyGov account. This link provides details surrounding how to setup a MyGov account.
  • Once you have setup a MyGov account, you will need to link your account to Medicare or the ATO. If you are unsure of how to link a service to MyGov, this link provides some useful details.

Income Testing – How Your Other Earnings May Impact Your Jobseeker Centrelink Payments

What is Income Testing?

The income you earn may reduce the amount of funding you are eligible to receive from Centrelink. Centrelink will therefore review your other earnings and adjust the funding you receive accordingly.

What Income is Tested by Centrelink?

Assessable income (income which is tested by Centrelink), which also includes your partner’s income, includes the following sources of income:

  • wages
  • bonuses
  • penalty rates and overtime
  • commissions
  • fringe benefits
  • amounts you salary sacrifice into super
  • real estate income from things like rental properties or boarders and lodgers
  • deemed income from financial investments
  • deemed income from money in superannuation funds if you’ve reached Age Pension age
  • income from a sole trader or partnership business
  • income from a farm
  • distributions or dividends from a private trust or private company
  • reportable superannuation contributions
  • some lump sums
  • some types of income specific to Indigenous Australians
  • Paid Parental Leave payments

What Income is Exempt from Income Testing?

Income which is exempt from income testing includes the following:

  • Rent assistance from government
  • Most payments from Centrelink – these may still count in the Family Tax Benefit income test
  • Compensation for loss or damage to things you own
  • Child support – this may still affect your Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • Any free board and lodging you get
  • Regular payments from a close relative
  • Emergency relief or similar assistance
  • Payments as a victim of National Socialist persecution
  • First Home Saver Account withdrawals or interest
  • Repayment for expenses
  • Some allowances if you spend the whole amount on what it’s meant for, for example, work travel
  • Payments through a National Disability Insurance Scheme package

I’m Single and Not a Principal Carer, How Does This Impact My Funding from Centrelink?

Your assessable income will impact on your funding from Centrelink as follows:

Your income per fortnight Amount your payment reduces
up to $104 $0
$104 to $254 50 cents for each dollar over $104
over $254 $75 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $254

I’m Single and a Principal Carer, How Does This Impact My Funding from Centrelink?

Your assessable income will impact on your funding from Centrelink as follows:

Your income per fortnight Amount your payment reduces
up to $104 $0
over $104 40 cents for each dollar over $104

I Have a Partner Who Receives a Pension Payment from Centrelink, How Does This Impact My Funding from Centrelink?

Your assessable income will impact on your funding from Centrelink as follows:

Half of your combined income per fortnight Amount your payment reduces
up to $104 $0
$104 to $254 50 cents for each dollar over $104
over $254 $75 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $254

I Have a Partner Who Doesn’t Receive a Payment from Centrelink, How Does This Impact My Funding from Centrelink?

Your income per fortnight Amount your payment reduces
up to $104 $0
$104 to $254 50 cents for each dollar over $104
over $254 $75 plus 60 cents for each dollar over $254

Your payment will reduce by 60 cents for every dollar your partner earns over $993.50 per fortnight. This amount may change if they get Pharmaceutical Allowance or Rent Assistance.

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