The Australian Government Department of Human Services offers the Newstart Allowance for those looking for financial help while looking for work. This helps support you while you do activities that could help increase your chances of finding a job.
To be eligible you need to be older than twenty-two years and actively looking for paid work. You also have to be prepared to enter into the Employment Pathway Plan and meet the requirements. The Employment Pathway plan is a critical path that directs you with a series of outlined activities. You must follow what is on your pathway to help you get a job or you will not be eligible for Newstart Allowance and no longer receive benefits. This is reviewed on a regular basis and can be negotiated with an Employment Services Mentor or counselor.
To keep getting Newstart Allownace you have to always be participating in activities that lead towards finding work such as filling out job applications, training or studying or working part –time. Sometimes you can receive a short-term exemption from having to do some of the tests if you are working.
There are a number of tests you have to take as well, including an income / asset tests and activity test requirement. You also have be a resident of Australia.
Another consideration has to do with whether or not you pay or receive child support. All changes in circumstances can affect the amount that you can be paid.
Those over 55 years of age can apply for Newstart Allowance as well. The rules are a bit more flexible for older applicants. They are also more flexible for those who are caring for children under the age of sixteen.
You can also apply for Newstart Allowance if you are disabled. Job Services Australia or Disability Employment services can help disabled people find work while collecting Newstart at the same time. Training is also available for the disabled who want to learn how to work computers and telephones.
Newstart Payment Basics :
The payment rates for Newstart Allowance are updated each year on March 20 and September 20, with the idea of making sure they are congruent with the Consumer Index Cost of Living. The lowest amount you can make is if you are single with no children, in which case the maximum fortnightly payment is $501.00. If you are a single, principal carer who is foster parenting, home schooling or who has a large family, then you can be eligible for $699.90. There are various waiting periods that can be associated with different types of claims. An ordinary waiting period for a Newstart Allowance is about seven weeks.
If your payments have lapsed and you are reclaiming them, then you might have to wait thirteen weeks for your application to be processed. Your application might be processed faster if you are undertaking a recognized labor market program or rehabilitation program. For more about the waiting periods for assistance go to http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/waiting-periods at the Department of Human Services.
The program also expedites Newstart Allowance payments for those in severe financial hardship. To be eligible for this your total income must be less than the rate of the payment paid according to an income and assets limit, your readily available funds are less than the allowable limit and there is no other course of action that you can be expected to take to better your financial position.
A special calculation is used to determine eligibility for the hardship payment and you might be eligible if your pension is reduced, you own an asset that you can’t sell, you cannot borrow money, you cannot borrow against an asset, you cannot qualify for any other type of Australian Government assistance, and you make less than $13,247 annually. This also applies if you are single with no children or $1,333.80 if you are single with children.
Other Benefits That Can Exist With Newstart Allowance
If you qualify for the Newstart Allowance then you might also automatically qualify for some other types of benefits. Areas to consider looking at are the Health Care Card, the Income Support Bonus, JobSearch Facilities, Jobs, Educational and training Child Care Fee Assistance, Local Connections to Work, Pensioner Concession Card, Pensioner Education Supplement, Remote Jobs and Communities Program and quite a few more.
For more information about the Newstart Allowance programyou can visit the Newstart Allowance page at the Department of Human Services website at