Am I eligible for the JobKeeper payment? Here’s what you need to know

The Australian Government’s $130 billion JobKeeper package is an extremely important piece of legislation, impacting people all over the nation as we deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Think you’re eligible? Here’s what you need to know.

Scott Morrison
Photo – AAP Image

The JobKeeper payment is beginning May 1st and will provide $1,500 a fortnight to businesses and employees impacted by the coronavirus restrictions.

It’s estimated that the JobKeeper payment will be accessed by about 6 million Australians. The wage subsidy is set to deliver $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) to employees impacted by coronavirus for a maximum of six months. This makes it the largest financial package in Australia’s history.

Below you can find the criteria to see if you are eligible, as well as some responses to frequently asked questions.


You will need to have been employed at your job on March 1st 2020 or earlier. If you were stood down or have found another job since then, you can still be eligible. Regarding citizenship, you will need to be/have one of these:

  • An Australian Citizen
  • A permanent Visa
  • A Protected Special Category Visa Holder (living in Australia for 10+ years)
  • A Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder

Everyone is eligible, regardless if they’re full-time, part-time, or a sole trader, however, casual workers need to have been consistently employed by the same employer for at least one year.

If you ordinarily receive more than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, you will continue to receive your normal wage, however, if you ordinarily receive less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, your employer must pay you a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight before tax.

Payments will cover from March 30 and will be paid to employers, who must in turn distribute them to staff.

Responses to frequently asked questions

The subsidy will be taxed like any other payment. It’s also worth mentioning there will be no superannuation included. If you have already applied for JobSeeker payment, you will only be entitled to one of the packages, and the Tax Office will decide for you.

If you’re currently receiving another Government benefit like Youth Allowance, you should still be fine to receive JobKeeper. Also a word of caution: try and do all your claims online, otherwise expect long queues outside Centrelink if you need to visit.

The JobKeeper package is on track to subsidise wages for 6 months. Hopefully we can all be back on the streets much sooner.

For employees, head here for more information, and for employers, head here.

In other good news for businesses, this week the government also announced a new rental relief package for commercial tenants.