Coronavirus support for job seekers

The Australian Government is providing support for individuals, including increased support payments, to assist them over the last 12 months due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

If you're a job seeker speak to APM Employment Services to find out if you're eligible for one of our programs and fast track your path to employment.

Greater and faster support

More people can access income support payments and a new time-limited Coronavirus supplement. This started being paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight, but has since been reduced since 1 January 2021.

The Coronavirus supplement will end on 31 March 2021.


The income support payment categories for the Coronavirus supplement are:

  • Job Seeker Payment (including Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Wife Pension)
  • Youth Allowance Job Seeker
  • Parenting Payment (Partnered and Single)
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit recipients

If you're eligible for the Coronavirus supplement you will receive $150 per fortnight (as of 1 January 2021).

Expanded access

For the period of the Coronavirus supplement, there will be expanded access to the income support payments listed above.

If you meet the government's income tests as a result of the impact of the Coronavirus on employment, you will now be able to apply for JobSeeker and Youth Allowance Job seeker payments if you are:

  • permanent employee stood down or lost employment
  • sole trader
  • self-employed worker
  • casual worker
  • contract worker

This could also include a person required to care for someone who is affected by the Coronavirus.

Reduced means testing

Asset testing for Job Seeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker and Parenting Payment will be waived for the period of the Coronavirus supplement. Income testing will still apply to other payments, consistent with current arrangements.

Reduced waiting times

The one week Ordinary Waiting Period has already been waived.

Faster claim process

To ensure timely access to payments, new applicants are encouraged to claim through online and mobile channels. If applicants do not have internet access, they can claim over the phone.

From April 2020, Services Australia allowed new applicants to call to verify their identity to reduce the need to visit a Services Australia office.

To claim online, people who do not already deal with Services Australia will need to set up their myGov account, call to verify their identity, and get a link to their Centrelink online account.

Job seeking arrangements

Those receiving Jobseeker Payment have an obligation to actively look for work or build their skills, but the Government is making sure this can be done flexibly and safely.

Job seekers who have caring responsibilities, or who need to self-isolate, are able to seek an exemption from their mutual obligation requirements without the need for medical evidence.

Activities can be rescheduled if the job seeker is unable to attend as a result of the Coronavirus.

Mutual obligations

These can be tailored for each individual to suit not only their needs but also the needs of the community.

In some circumstances, job seekers can undertake training or volunteer within their community to meet their mutual obligation requirements.

Sole traders that become eligible for the Job Seeker Payment will automatically meet their mutual obligation requirements during this period by continuing to develop and sustain their business.

For more information

Download the factsheet: Income support for individuals.

For more information on the Australian Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus visit

Businesses can visit to find out more about how the Economic Response complements the range of support available to small and medium businesses.

Last updated: 18 January 2021