Personal trainer Marcos Souza, 38, is on JobKeeper and said he has lost 40 per cent of his business since coronavirus hit. He wants to get back to work and understands that JobKeeper must be wound back. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Personal trainer Marcos Souza, 38, is on JobKeeper and said he has lost 40 per cent of his business since coronavirus hit. He wants to get back to work and understands that JobKeeper must be wound back. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

Five extra cash lifelines to help you right now

Millions of Australians desperate to access financial lifelines have been given extra breathing space, through until 2021.

The Federal Government has rolled out extensions to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs, the early access to superannuation scheme has been lengthened and so too have mortgage holidays.

These are the significant changes giving those hit hardest some additional help.

SUPERANNUATION

About 2.6 million applicants have withdrawn $31.1 billion in superannuation since the scheme started in April.

It allows people with an income fall of 20 per cent or more this year or those who were made redundant to withdraw $10,000 tax free up until June 30 and another $10,000 through until September 24.

Under changes announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, applicants will now have an additional three months to withdraw $10,000 in the second tranche through until December 31.

JOBKEEPER

Eligible workers can access up to $1500 fortnightly for full-time, part-time and casual staff until September 27.

From September 28 this will reduce to a $1200 fortnightly subsidy for staff working more than 20 hours a week before March 1 this year and be $750 for all other eligible staff.

It will then drop on January 3 to $1000 for fortnightly staff working more than 20 hours before March 1 and reduce to $650 for all other eligible recipients.

Personal trainer Marcos Souza, 38, from Elwood in Melbourne said he had lost 40 per cent of his business since COVID-19 hit and understood the subsidies must be scaled back.

"I wish we could stay off JobKeeper because I'm still healthy and able to work," he said.

"It's fair enough to wind back payments, I'm lucky because I am still able to go outside and work for a few hours."

Personal trainer Marcos Souza, 38, is on JobKeeper and said he has lost 40 per cent of his business since coronavirus hit. He wants to get back to work and understands that JobKeeper must be wound back. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Personal trainer Marcos Souza, 38, is on JobKeeper and said he has lost 40 per cent of his business since coronavirus hit. He wants to get back to work and understands that JobKeeper must be wound back. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

JOBSEEKER

Those on JobSeeker (previously Newstart) can access up to $565 fortnightly plus receive the coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight until September 24.

From September 25 this $565 rate will stay but the coronavirus supplement fall to $250 a fortnight (these are based on an individual with no children) through until December 31.

Means testing will be reintroduced and from August 4 those on JobSeeker must do four job searches a month and that increases after September.

MORTGAGE HOLIDAYS

Most financial institutions were due to end their mortgage holiday periods by the end of September but some customers have been given an extension to this.

Some cash-strapped customers may be given to the end of January to have a repayment break.

Customers should be aware interest still accrues during the repayment holiday period.

TAXATION

Already 3.06 million Australians have lodged their 2019/20 tax returns and received $4.08 billion back.

The average amount refunded is $2399.

But taxation giant BDO's national taxation director Lance Cunningham warned "it's important people get their tax returns correct".

"Some people could be over claiming expenses they are not entitled to because they haven't got the right advice or know the expenses they can claim," he said.

"The Tax Office can prepopulate information for you including interest and dividends but some of that information may not have come through yet."