Supporting students through the effects of Coronavirus

The Morrison Government is expanding the eligibility criteria for the fortnightly $550 Coronavirus supplement to Australians receiving student support payments.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the changes would benefit about 235,000 students who receive Youth Allowance (Student), AUSTUDY and ABSTUDY (Living Allowance).

“The Government has made this decision in recognition that many full-time students also supplement their income through part-time and casual work which may not be available over coming months,” Minister Ruston said.

“We are absolutely committed to helping all Australians get through the Coronavirus pandemic so we can all bounce back stronger than ever.

“Under this change we will be able to provide more support to rural and regional students who are living away from home for their study as well as mature age students who are also supporting a family.”

The Government also passed legislation giving Minister Ruston the power to change welfare settings via legislative instrument to provide additional support when needed.

“This new power, which ceases at the end of 2020, will allow the Government to act with flexibility in the unprecedented and rapidly changing circumstances,” Minister Ruston said.

“It will allow us to alter settings associated with payment rates, means testing arrangements and eligibility criteria in a measured and timely way.”

As long as someone has applied for the payment by 13 April they will also be eligible for the $750 stimulus payment announced on 12 March, which will give them extra relief until the fortnightly $550 Coronavirus supplement will begin to flow.

For more information go to dss.gov.au/about-the-department/coronavirus-information-and-support