The recent impact on Australia from the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has led the Australian Federal and State Governments to take decisive steps to contain the spread of the virus, and then financial measures to support the Australian economy.

Australia is fortunate amidst all this, in that we:

1. can learn from other countries (good and bad),

2. have a more isolated population, and

3. have a very well-prepared, world-class Universal (free) health system. 

We also have a strong economy and Government social support system, including the free public health care that we all want to protect.

The good news is China (a major trading partner to Australia) is coming out of this with new cases slowing drastically, and life there is resuming to some normality.  China will likely be the leader for both resuming to strong economic growth and getting life back to normal.  Other countries like Taiwan, Singapore , and Hong Kong have shown how to contain the spread very effectively, reducing the strain on their national health systems. 

Australia and also New Zealand are looking to follow their lead, using – tighter border control, restrictions on crowd gatherings of 500 or more and accelerating testing and quarantine measures.  This is all designed to flatten the curve of the virus spread and reducing pressure on our healthcare system.

You will see a range of what the experts call “Social Distancing” and basic hygiene measures being required by the Government.  This may seem alarming and at best inconvenient, but it is a way to contain the problem before it gets big – an opportunity to “put out a kitchen fire with a small fire extinguisher” well before it gets out of hand.  This will require a unified community approach – so please do what you can to contribute – regular washing of your hands, self-diagnose and quarantine when required.

Economic Stimulus Payment

About 6.5 million Australians will get a one off payment as part of the Government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

To help the economy, the Federal Government is helping with some stimulus measures – adding cash to the economy to drive spending and economic activity. 

Last time they did this in 2007 during the Global Financial Crisis, anyone earning $80,000 or less, received $900 cash to help drive the economy.  This proved effective, so doing something similar again.

This time the Government has chosen to direct the cash stimulus payments to those on Centrelink and other Government benefits.  This may likely mean many of you, our Cash Direct customers will qualify for the cash payment of $750.

If you are one of those people who qualify, you don’t need to do anything.  If you are currently living in Australia and qualify (see below) you’ll automatically receive the money sometime between 31 March to 17 April, 2020.

You can see the detail below to see if you qualify but is essentially paid to all Australians receiving a Centrelink benefit.

Key Highlights of the Payment

  • Payments should be expected from March 31 to April 17 2020
  • This payment is designed to drive economic growth related to a possible slow down due to Social Distancing and other measures in place to slow the Corona Virus spread in Australia 
  • The funds can be used on whatever you choose, and we would encourage you to spend and also consider paying down some or all of your loan with Cash Direct to reduce or remove your future loan repayments – then you will have more to spend later

Do you qualify?

Review the Federal Government site $750 Economic Support Payment Qualification

The Federal Government will pay you the $750 one-off Economic Support Payment if you get 1 of the following payments:

  • Age Pension
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Carer Payment
  • Carer Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Wife Pension
  • Widow B Pension
  • ABSTUDY (Living Allowance)
  • Austudy
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Family Tax Benefit A
  • Family Tax Benefit B
  • Double Orphan Pension.
  • You’ll also get the payment if you have 1 of the following concession cards:
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Veteran Gold Card.
  • You’ll also get the payment if you get 1 of the following Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments:
  • Veteran Service Pension
  • Veteran Income Support Supplement
  • Veteran Compensation payments, including lump sum payments
  • War Widow(er) Pension.

You’ll only get 1 payment, even if you get more than 1 qualifying payment or card.

The payment is subject to legislation passing. It won’t be counted as income for social security payments, Farm Household Allowance, and veterans’ payments. It’s tax-exempt. We won’t use this payment to pay off an existing Centrelink or Child Support debt.