JobKeeper Extension No. 2 and the JobSeeker Supplement have now come to an end. Hopefully this funding has helped keep you in a position to take advantage of the recovery the economy is likely to see.
For those that weren’t eligible, or those that still need support, we’ve created a list of sources who may be able to assist you further.
Support for families – the government provides support for families in the form of payments, such as family tax benefit, for those that meet certain criteria. If your income has dropped you may be eligible for this payment when previously you weren’t. See here for further information – Payments for families – Services Australia. If you have previously received a payment you might be eligible for increased support – contact Centrelink to revise your income estimates so they can update your payment amounts.
If you are unemployed or under-employed – consider applying for the JobSeeker payment. See here for further details – JobSeeker Payment – Services Australia
If you can’t work because you must isolate, quarantine or care for someone with COVID-19 you might be eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. This payment only applies in Queensland. Further details can be found here – Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment – Queensland – Services Australia
If you need assistance with paying your home energy bills (gas and electricity) you may be eligible for the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme. This only applies in Queensland and is a one off support amount of $750 every 2 years. See here for further details – https://www.qld.gov.au/community/cost-of-living-support/concessions/energy-concessions/home-energy-emergency-assistance-scheme
If you are a small business based in regional Queensland you may be eligible for a COVID-19 Adaption Grant. This is no longer available for South East Queensland businesses but if you are in a regional area you can still apply. See here for further information – Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program | Business Queensland
Government Guaranteed Bank Loans – available until 30 June 2021, the Government is offering support via the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. You business needs to have received JobKeeper for the period up to 28 March 2021 to be eligible. See here for further information – Coping during Coronavirus (COVID-19) | ReachOut Australia
If you are having trouble meeting your financial obligations please contact your bank and any other suppliers as there may be support or relief they could offer.
You should also consider cost saving strategies in your business and personal budgets:
If you are in business there are many strategies for keeping a rein on costs. See here for some great information that may assist – Reducing costs | Cost cutting ideas for immediate savings – NAB
- Contact providers (eg electricity, telephone and insurances) and see if you are on the most cost effective option
- Negotiate a better deal with your bank / financier. Be armed with information regarding what other banks have on offer that is comparable to your loan/s and start a conversation with your bank. Don’t take no for an answer and perhaps consider changing banks to get a better deal.
- Negotiate a better deal with your landlord: See here for information regarding commercial leases Coronavirus (COVID-19) support for commercial tenants | Business Queensland or see here for information regarding residential leases Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information — Tenants Queensland (tenantsqld.org.au)
Personally, you should consider reducing discretionary spending – eg. Eat in more, put your gym membership on hold and exercise in the park instead, cut back your streaming services by holding only 1 subscription such as Netflix. Do a budget to determine what you can afford (Budget planner – Moneysmart.gov.au) and if neccessary seek help from a financial counsellor such as National Debt Helpline – Free financial counselling (ndh.org.au)
There may be other services available that can offer you support. For example:
- One off Crisis Payment – Crisis Payment for Other Extreme Circumstances – Severe financial hardship – Services Australia
- Small interest free loans – Household Relief, NILs – Seeds of Hope Community Services
- Food and other emergency support – The Salvation Army Australia | Hope where it’s needed most, Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Ltd, Find Help – St Vincent de Paul Society – Good Works (vinnies.org.au)
- Support with your general wellbeing – Coping during Coronavirus (COVID-19) | ReachOut Australia, Supporting you through the Coronavirus pandemic – Beyond Blue