COVID-19 Support for individuals and jobseekers

The WA State Government and Commonwealth Government have announced measures to support individuals and jobseekers, and families and households, who have been impacted by COVID-19. 

There's also support available from the WA Jobs and Skills Centres, and in your local community. 
 

Please note

The content provided here is for general information only, and is updated regularly.

You should always refer to the relevant State and Commonwealth Government agency websites for full details and current information. 


Follow the links to find out more.  

Help and support.

Support from your local Jobs and Skills Centre

Jobs and Skills Centres are one-stop shops for free careers, training and employment advice and assistance, and are located across Western Australia. 

Jobs and Skills Centres.

Your local JSC can provide professional and practical advice on training and employment opportunities, including apprenticeship and training information, and assistance with jobseeking including helping to update your CV and write job applications.

Support services for Aboriginal people, ex-offenders and people from a culturally or linguistically diverse background are also available.

The JSCs also have a free online jobs board, to connect jobseekers with local employment opportunities including apprenticeships and traineeships. 

Call 13 64 64 to talk to your nearest JSC — they will be happy to help you over the phone.

 

Find your nearest JSC on our map, and their email address and direct phone number.

Free and half price training

A range of free training is available to give you the skills you need to get job ready. From free infection control short courses, through to free job ready skill sets for industry areas including hospitality, cyber security, business, commercial cookery, healthcare and more there's something for everyone! 

And there's over 70 qualifications with course fees slashed up to 72 per cent!

 Take a look at what's available

Work and wander out yonder in regional WA!

Regional WA. Work and wander out yonder!
Regional WA. Work and wander out yonder!
Regional WA. Work and wander out yonder!

How would you like to have a working holiday in Western Australia’s beautiful regional areas?  Right now in regional WA there’s thousands of jobs usually taken by international backpackers and interstate travellers, that are currently vacant due to travel restrictions for COVID-19.

But these are not just any ordinary jobs – they're in some of WA’s best spots, from beautiful Broome and Exmouth up north down to Margaret River and Albany in the South West. Financial support to assist with travel and accommodation costs is available for eligible jobseekers.

Job opportunities are available in:

  • agriculture and farming — including production at vineyards and fruit orchards;
  • hospitality and tourism — for hotels and resorts, vineyards and breweries, restaurants, hotels, cafes, pubs and clubs as well as at local tourist attractions; and
  • small businesses, and customer service roles such as retail and food service. 

Ready to work and wander out yonder in WA?

If you're 18—30 years of age, and ready for new experiences working in regional WA,  go to wa.gov.au/government/work-and-wander-out-yonder and follow the instructions to register your details so that employers can find you - it's that easy! 

Support for apprentices and trainees

If you are employed as an apprentice or trainee, or have had your training contract cancelled or suspended due to the impact of COVID-19, we can help. 

For support, advice and information — including available financial support — please visit our COVID-19 Support for apprentices and trainees page.

COVID-19 Support for apprentices and trainees

A male and female apprentice working together.

Working from home expenses

If you are working from home as a result of COVID-19, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has put together some useful information about expenses that you may be able to claim. These expenses may include costs related to phone and internet, electricity, items such as paper and other stationery, and office furniture.

Full details, including a list of eligible expenses and how to calculate them, are available on the ATO website.

Visit the ATO website

Early release of superannuation funds

The Australian Government is allowing eligible individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019—20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and will not need to include it in their income tax return.

Full details about this are available on the ATO website

New Jobs Hub for jobseekers

While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, in some areas there is now an increased demand for workers. These areas include jobs in healthcare and allied health, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors — among others.

On 2 April, the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment launched a new Jobs Hub, where vacancies and employment opportunities from across Australia are all available in one place. Updated daily, the Jobs Hub is free to use and includes Australian Government jobs.

Visit the Jobs Hub

Support for those unable to work

You may be eligible for financial support through Services Australia (Centrelink)  to assist you through the impact of COVID-19.

Support is available if you are:

  • not able to work or don’t have work;
  • an employee who has been stood down or lost your job;
  • an employee whose hours of paid work have been reduced;
  • a sole trader, self employed,  casual or contract worker whose income has reduced;
  • caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus; or
  • in isolation or hospitalised, or caring for children.

Waiting periods, asset tests and some other conditions have been waived at this time, making it easier for you to access these payments quickly. 

You will still need to meet all the eligibility rules including residence rules and income tests.

What payments are available?

$750 Economic Support Payments

The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients including those receiving:

  • Youth and Newstart Allowance;
  • Age and Disability Support pension;
  • Carer Payment and/or Allowance; and
  • Parenting Payment and Partner Allowance.

You will also get the payment if you have a Pensioner Concession, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Veteran Gold Card.

A number of Department of Veterans' Affairs payments are also eligible.

Full details of the Economic Support Payment

Coronavirus $550 fortnightly supplement

If you are receiving a payment from Services Australia (Centrelink), you may be eligible to receive a temporary $550 fortnightly Coronavirus Supplement. This will be an extra $550 a fortnight, on top of your income support payment. Eligible payment types include Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY, and Parenting Payment. 
 

  • If you are already receiving one of the eligible payments, you don't need to do anything — you will automatically receive the supplement.
  • If you have not yet registered for one of the eligible payments, if your claim is approved you will get the supplement automatically. 

Find out more about the Coronavirus Supplement

 

WA Government household assistance

On 31 March, the WA State Government announced a new economic relief package to support WA households experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19, offering three key measures.

Assistance with energy bills

The Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) boost now includes new eligible applicants until 30 September 2020.

Through the EAP, any person unemployed due to COVID-19 who becomes eligible for a concession card will receive an upfront $305 credited against their electricity bill (from 11 May 2020) and up to a further $305 credited over the course of the next year. Please visit your electricity provider's website for full details. 
 

Additionally, the State Government announced:

  • there would be no new energy tariff price increases or new charges for households to at least 1 July 2021; 
  • no WA households experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 will have their power disconnected (until 30 September 2020); and
  • no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments for those experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 until further notice.  

Government duty and tax payments relief

Households that are directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 may apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty and land tax.

Support for Keystart loan customers

Keystart customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to defer principal repayments and waive interest costs by up to six months.

Keystart is also offering options to assist customers to pay their loan; including deferring repayments, reducing repayments or extending the term of the loan.

For customers that are particularly vulnerable due to COVID-19, Keystart may consider waiving interest repayments (on a case-by-case basis) for up to six months.

Find out more about support from Keystart

Rent relief for tenants

On 23 April, the WA State Government announced $30 million in Residential Rent Relief Grants for residential tenants who have lost their job and are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Grants equivalent to four-weeks rent — up to a maximum of $2,000 — will be paid directly to the tenant's landlord, to contribute to the tenant's rental payments. Applications for the grant will open on 1 May.

For further information please visit the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) website

Free child care

Children at a child care centre.

On 2 April the Prime Minister announced a plan for free child care, for parents who are using it during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support families as well as assist businesses and employees in the early childhood education and care sector to continue operating.

Under the plan, the Government will pay centres for the next six months, as long as they remain open and don't charge parents any fees.

Please contact your child care service provider for further information. 

Special benefits and crisis payments

Special Benefit payment

If you are in severe financial hardship and can’t get other income support from the Government, you may be able to access the Special Benefit payment from Centrelink. The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances.

Find out more about the Special Benefit payment

Crisis Payment

You may be eligible for a one-off Crisis Payment payment, if you're in severe financial hardship because of extreme circumstances. The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances.

Find out more about the Crisis Payment

 

A woman looking at some paperwork, appearing concerned.

Registering to claim with Centrelink

If you’re affected by COVID-19, the first step is to register your intention to claim a Centrelink payment.

Once you have registered your intention to make a claim, Centrelink will contact you to let you know what the next steps are.

You do not need to come into a service centre to register your intention to claim.

Please register online via the myGov website.


All payments will be backdated to the date you registered. 

Full details about registering your intention to claim a payment, and how to access and use the myGov website, is on the Services Australia website.

Registering for a claim

The myGov logo.

Changes to your current Centrelink payments

There are changes to the following payments and services for people affected by COVID-19 who are already receiving income support from the Government.

  • Jobseekers
  • Students and trainees
  • Families (including child support)
  • People with disability
  • Carers
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Older Australians
  • Rural and remote
  • Families and separated parents

Your workplace entitlements and obligations

It's important to know about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you're affected or impacted by COVID-19. This includes information about your pay, your leave entitlements, what happens if you can't attend work because you have to care for a family member, and working from home. 

The Australian Government's Fair Work Ombudsman has produced some helpful information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Australian workplace laws. It includes answers to frequently asked questions such as "when can employees be stood down without pay?" and "What about casual employees and independent contractors?". 

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website

Looking after your mental health

It's normal to be concerned about COVID-19, but for some people that concern can turn into feelings of anxiety and distress which can be overwhelming. At times like this, you need to look out for your family and friends but most importantly - look after your own mental health. 

Beyond Blue is one of Australia's largest mental health organisations, working all across Australia to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by mental health issues. They have some excellent information and resources on their website, and some great advice that can help you stay as positive as possible through this challenging time.

Visit the Beyond Blue website