Changes to the Coronavirus Supplement

The federal government has announced that the Coronavirus Supplement will be available until the end of this year.

The Coronavirus Supplement is an extra payment you can get when you’re affected by COVID-19.

Previously, the Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight was available until 24 September 2020. But it has been extended until 31 December 2020 at a rate of $250 per fortnight.

When it changes, you’ll continue to get it with your income support payment.

Services Australia says you don’t need to apply for the supplement. You’ll get it if you get one of the following eligible payments:

  • JobSeeker Payment (previously Newstart)
  • Partner Allowance
  • Widow Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
  • Austudy
  • ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • Parenting Payment
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Special Benefit.

The department advises that from 1 January 2021, the amount you get will change back to the normal payment rate for your situation.

Other government health news

According to the federal government, $1.5 billion in financial support has been provided to senior Australians in the area of aged care since the pandemic began. The additional funds have been provided for infection control, staffing, communications with families and managing visitation.

$1 billion in research funds has also been allocated through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians. As part of this investment, more than $16.9 million has been awarded to researchers to study women’s health issues. Compared with men, women have a higher life expectancy but experience more burden from living with disease, rather than dying early from disease and injury.

Clinical trials grant opportunities totalling $77.2 million will provide up to:

  • $24 million for the Million Minds Mission Mental Health Research supporting access to new approaches to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery
  • $3 million for clinical trials to examine the benefits of medicinal cannabis for managing pain, symptoms and side effects for cancer patients
  • $25.2 million for international clinical trial collaborations
  • $25 million for clinical trials of new or improved treatments for rare cancers, rare diseases and other illness with unmet clinical need.

Other grant opportunities are making $9.3 million available for research:

  • $4.8 million for primary health care research
  • $4.5 million from the MRFF and National Health and Medical Research Council for research into silicosis, a preventable lung disease related to inhalation of fine silica dust from artificial stone bench tops.