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7.6 Economic Support Payments

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Last amended 
23 November 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced two $750 Economic Stimulus Payments to be paid to recipients of certain benefits from Services Australia and DVA.

Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Act 2020

As part of the 2020-21 October Budget, the Government announced two additional Economic Support Payments of $250.

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Coronavirus and Other Measures) Act 2020.

 

Test period/date

The first Economic Support Payment has a test period of 12 March to 13 April 2020.

The second Economic Support Payment has a test date of 10 July 2020.

The additional Economic Support Payment 2020 has a test date of 27 November 2020.

The additional Economic Support Payment 2021 has a test date of 26 February 2021.

 

Eligibility criteria - first and second Economic Support Payments

To receive Economic Support Payments from DVA, a person must be in receipt of one or more of the below eligible benefits during the test period (for the first payment) and/or on the test date (for the second payment):

  • Service and Partner Service Pension, Income Support Supplement or Veteran Payment
  • Disability Pension
  • Special Rate Disability pension
  • Permanent Impairment compensation*
  • War Widow(er)’s Pension or Wholly Dependent Partner payment*
  • Gold Cards
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards
  • Pensioner Concession Cards 
  • DVA Education Schemes, where recipients are aged 16 and over
  • Age or Wife Pension paid by DVA.

*Including where these payments were granted at any time in the past and taken as a lump sum rather than periodic payments.

The second Economic Support Payment is not payable to those who receive the Coronavirus Supplement for the same period.  This effectively excludes DVA Education Scheme clients from receiving the second Economic Support Payment.

Wife Pension ceased on 20 March 2020 and is therefore only relevant for eligibility for the first Economic Support Payment.

 

Eligibility Criteria - additional Economic Support Payments

To receive the additional Economic Support Payments from DVA, a person must be in receipt of one or more of the below eligible benefits on the test dates:

  • Service Pension, Partner Service Pension, Income Support Supplement or Veteran Payment

  • Disability Pension (separate to the $6.20 fortnightly payment)

  • Special Rate Disability Pension

  • Permanent Impairment compensation*

  • War Widow(er)’s Pension or Wholly Dependent Partner payment*

  • Gold Cards, Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards and Pensioner Concession Cards

  • Age Pension paid by DVA

*including lump sum payments taken in the past.

The additional Economic Support Payments are not payable to those who also receive a working age income support payment, such as JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance, for a period covering the test dates. 

Similarly, those who are in receipt of a payment through an education scheme, such as the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme, or ABSTUDY, for a period covering the test dates, are not eligible to receive the additional Economic Support Payments.

 

Rates of payment

The first and second Economic Support Payments are paid at a flat rate of $750 per person.

A person may receive only one instance of the first Economic Support Payment, and one instance of the Second Economic Support Payment.

The additional Economic Support Payments are paid at a flat rate of $250 per person.

A person may receive only one instance of the additional Economic Support Payment 2020, and one instance of the additional Economic Support Payment 2021.

 

Australian residency

These payments require the person to be residing in Australia during the test period or on the test date.  However, those who are temporarily absent from Australia during those times remain eligible, as long as they are not a temporary or permanent resident of another country.  If a veteran currently overseas can provide evidence to show that they are in that country on a visitor’s visa, they satisfy the residency requirement for these payments.

 

Deceased clients

Clients must be alive during the test period or on the test date in order to be eligible for the Economic Support Payments.

Clients who are alive and eligible for an Economic Support Payment during the test period or on the test date, but who die before payment can be made, remain eligible to receive the payment.

 

Where a claim for an eligible benefit is outstanding

If a person makes a claim for an eligible benefit (eg Service Pension) before 13 April 2020, and that claim is later accepted with coverage including any period between 12 March and 13 April, they may receive the first Economic Support Payment.  If they are still in receipt of the eligible benefit on 10 July 2020, they will also receive the Second Economic Support Payment. 

Where a person makes in a claim for a primary payment between 13 April and 10 July 2020, and that claim is later accepted for a period covering 10 July, they may receive the second Economic Support Payment, provided they have not also received the Coronavirus Supplement.

Similarly, where a person makes a claim prior to 27 November 2020 and that claim is subsequently accepted for a period covering 27 November 2020, they may receive the additional Economic Support Payment 2020.

Where a person makes a claim prior to 26 February 2021 and that claim is subsequently accepted for a period covering 26 February 2021, they may receive the additional Economic Support Payment 2021.

If a person makes a claim for Disability Pension, War Widows Pension, Wholly Dependent Partner payments or MRCA PI payments after the test period or test date, and their payment is backdated to a period including the test period or dates, they will also be eligible for the Economic Support Payments.

 

Economic Support Payments not to be paid after certain dates

The last date for payment of the first Economic Support Payment is 30 June 2022.

The last date for payment of the second Economic Support Payment is 30 June 2023.

The last date for payment of the additional Economic Support Payment 2020 and the additional Economic Support Payment 2021 is 30 June 2023.

 

Taxation

Economic Support Payments are not taxable.

 

Means testing

Economic Support Payments are exempt from income testing.  However, if the payments are used to purchase financial assets, the financial assets will be deemed to earn a certain amount of income.