Coronavirus Relief for Unemployed Workers: How to Find Help
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it was hard to imagine just how big the economic losses would be. As time rolls on, more and more people are feeling the financial pain of this crisis. According to some recent reports, up to 1.4 million Australians will be forced out of work and eligible for unemployment benefits, and this may be the beginning of job losses.
With no definitive end in sight and rising unemployment, many are wondering how they will be able to pay for basic expenses. Thankfully, the government is actively helping with coronavirus relief for unemployed workers — and so are thousands of individuals through online fundraising. In this article, we outline where to find coronavirus relief for unemployed workers.
Coronavirus unemployment benefits through the government
On 25 March, the Australian Federal Government announced a stimulus package to help Australians facing loss of work due to the coronavirus. The $130 billion wage subsidy program will help bridge the gap for those looking for work. The implemented wage relief measures will be in place for the next six months and will complement state efforts to combat coronavirus-related hardships and cover cost of living expenses.
JobSeeker payments for the unemployed have benefited from a $550 supplement, which means those on the benefit can access $1,100 a fortnight. The newly announced JobKeeper payment aims to ensure that employers remain connected to their employees and provides $1,500 a fortnight to cover the wages of some six million impacted workers.
Who qualifies for coronavirus unemployment?
According to Services Australia, anyone who is unemployed due to no fault of their own is eligible for benefits of some kind. In most cases, the criteria covers anyone who is unable to work due to lack of available roles and forced closure of businesses across multiple industries. This means that people who lost their jobs due to coronavirus-related hardships will be able to receive unemployment benefits.
Under the first stimulus package announced on the 12th March, freelancers, contractors or self-employed workers were not eligible for unemployment benefits. The second packaged accommodating this gap to account for those who run their own business and help them access income support payments, while also operating their business if able. This extension to include sole traders will be available for six months, with this category of worker being eligible for jobseeker payments, and will be entitled to receive the coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight.
To receive the JobSeeker or JobKeeper benefits, you must apply through the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
Specific unemployment benefits to help with cost of living
As more jobs are threatened because of the global health crisis, it is important to save money where possible. If you’re currently unemployed, you’re no doubt facing difficult decisions as unexpected expenses arise with no steady income to pay them.
To help, most Australian mortgage lenders are offering coronavirus relief and mortgage support policies. Many are allowing homeowners to completely pause or reduce mortgage payments for three to six months. The exemptions and relief policies do not apply to everyone – proof of a financial hardship related to the coronavirus may be requested to qualify for mortgage relief.
Several companies and organisations are taking it upon themselves to help those affected by the pandemic. We compiled a list of where to find financial help during coronavirus, which details the companies and industries that are offering relief during this time.
Online fundraising for people unemployed due to coronavirus
In times of crisis, communities come together and support one another. Crowdfunding is a valuable way to offer financial assistance to those who need it. It has numerous benefits, including:
- No application process
- No long wait periods before funds are received
When savings are tight and your income is dwindling, crowdfunding can offer immediate relief. Unlike state and federal payments, which can take three to four weeks to arrive, crowdfunding platforms will send your donations within days, which gives you the ability to pay existing expenses in right away.
Finding financial support through fundraising for coronavirus
Communities near and far are coming together to support one another and offer financial support to laid-off workers. Although people are currently confined to their homes because of shelter-in-place mandates, they can still begin fundraising for coronavirus. Through a simple online fundraiser, anyone has the power to offer financial support to those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
Examples of coronavirus unemployment relief fundraisers on GoFundMe
Countless people have come to GoFundMe, the #1 leader in free fundraising online, to start fundraisers for unemployment relief. Community members are rallying together to raise funds for unemployed workers.
Here are just some of the many inspirational fundraisers on GoFundMe:
- Help Save Mojo’s Bar is helping bridge the revenue gap for a popular Fremantle bar
- State Buildings Family Fund has raised over $40,000 for staff who do not meet government criteria for wage support
- Help Books of Wonder Relocate! helped a locally-loved bookstore relocate after a 25 year lease expired
Get unemployment relief during the coronavirus outbreak
If eligible, you should apply for unemployment benefits through the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website. In the meantime, you can set up an unemployment relief fundraiser on GoFundMe for quick financial help. Know that even in isolation, you are not alone. We make it easy to create fundraisers within minutes — all you need to do is to tell your story.