JobSeeker rate increases by $50 a fortnight: Welfare changes explained

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The JobSeeker rate for Australia’s unemployed and underemployed is expected to increase by $50 a fortnight after the government phases out its coronavirus supplement.

Currently, an eligible single person with no children is paid $715.70 a fortnight.

Of this, $565.70 consists of the JobSeeker payment and $150 consists of the coronavirus supplement.

The Federal Government will raise the JobSeeker payment by $50 a fortnight. (AAP)

The coronavirus supplement ends on March 31, 2021.

The new JobSeeker rate will therefore start at $615.70 a fortnight, equating to $307.85 a week, or just under $44 a day.

When compared to pre-pandemic levels, the increase results in a real-world increase of $4 a day for recipients.

The Expenditure Review Committee had its final discussion about the permanent rise in the JobSeeker allowance on Friday, with the proposal discussed by cabinet in Parliament last night.

This means it could be run by the Coalition party room today and then made public.

Jobseeker payment
Some of the payments introduced during the pandemic are being phased out. (Nine)

The rise could mean 1,750,000 unemployed Australians will keep some of the increased payments that came with the COVID-19 supplement.

Details of obligations for JobSeekers – such as proving how they are applying for work – is yet to be released.

9News political reporter Chris Uhlmann said there had been pressure on the government to increase the payment.

JobSeeker entitlements have been extended for months but the rate will be cut after September by $300 a fortnight.
JobSeeker entitlements have been elevated during the pandemic. (Getty)

“People have been saying forever that you can’t live on $40 a day and the committee and the government agree with that and there’s been pressure on the government to increase it,” he told Today.

“It was doubled last year with the COVID-19 payment – that’s coming down now and is due to run out by the end of March.

“So the government had to decide what to do permanently.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference to discuss JobKeeper and JobSeeker, at Parliament House in Canberra.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted at a raise in the rate last night. (Alex Ellinghausen/SMH)

JobSeeker changes explained

Until March 31 this year, the coronavirus supplement is a fortnightly payment of $150 that is applicable for those receiving the JobSeeker payment, Youth Allowance, Austudy and a number of other payments.

On March 31, the coronavirus supplement will cease and the amount JobSeekers are receiving will revert back to their pre-pandemic levels, plus an additional $50 a fortnight.

JobSeeker rates until March 31. (Services Australia)

Caring for a dependent (like a child) or children will raise your payment, while having a partner will slightly lower your payment.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume you are single with no children.

Over the past few months, you were receiving $715.70 a fortnight.

Of this, $565.70 is the government’s JobSeeker payment and $150 is the coronavirus supplement.

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From April 2021, the base rate of JobSeeker will increase by $50 a fortnight to $615.70 a fortnight, equating to $307.85 a week, or just under $44 a day.