It might feel like a long time ago now but one of the first measures the Federal Government announced in response to the coronavirus pandemic was $750 cash payments for people on a range of welfare benefits.
The money was due to get to most eligible people by now.
So where is that up to and what happens next?
Coronavirus update: Follow the latest news in our daily wrap.
When will I receive my $750 payment?
The first $750 Economic Support Payment is being made to people who were receiving an eligible payment.
That includes anyone who was already on JobSeeker, the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension between March 12 and April 13 this year.
Most were due to receive their $750 by April 17 and Services Australia says that has happened, with more than $4.5 billion hitting the bank accounts of more than 6 million Australians so far.
If you made a claim to receive one of those eligible payments before April 13 and it’s approved, you’ll also get the $750.
It could take a bit more time though because it can’t be paid until your claim is processed.
“Payments have already been made to most people and payments will continue to be made, including to those whose claims are currently being finalised, in the coming weeks,” Services Australia’s General Manager Hank Jongen said.
Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
What about the second $750?
If you’re receiving an eligible payment on July 10, you’ll automatically get the second Economic Support Payment from July 13.
But not everyone who receives the first $750 payment is entitled to the second.
Instead, people on the JobSeeker Payment, as well as Austudy and Youth Allowance among others, will receive the coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight instead.
That payment is due to start on April 27.
It’ll be automatically be added to your regular payments for six months.
Services Australia says more than 6 million people have received the first $750 payment. (ABC News)
I thought the JobSeeker partner income test was being raised but I’m still not eligible?
The government is increasing the amount of money your partner can earn before you’re unable to access the JobSeeker payment, from $1,858.50 to $3,068.80 per fortnight.
But the change doesn’t come into effect until April 27 so, if you’ve already registered your intention to claim or you’ve submitted one, it might be rejected.
If that’s the case, Services Australia says you don’t need to do anything — your claim will automatically be reassessed after April 27.
If you haven’t made a claim yet, it says you should hold off and wait for the threshold to change at the end of the month.
And remember: the personal income test still applies.
Government Services Minister Stuart Robert says you can now get Customer Reference Numbers online. (AAP: James Gourley)
I’m still having trouble getting through to Centrelink — what can I do?
You’re not alone, many people say they’re struggling with online systems or spending hours on the phone on hold.
Or they’re receiving a much-anticipated call, only to have it drop out.
Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said as of Friday, April 17, people could now get their Customer Reference Number (CRN) online without having to call or go into a Centrelink office.
“You can go to MyGov right now and get a CRN, so your Customer Reference Number, to get access to a payment, right now, online, with a 100-point check,” he said.
“There’s an enormous amount of tech going in, an enormous amount of resources going in.”
Your questions on coronavirus answered:
Mr Robert said staff were working as hard as possible to respond to an “unprecedented crisis with unprecedented demand”.
“To give you an understanding, we normally process 10,000 claims a week for JobSeeker.
“This week we’ll process 210,000 claims, 21 times [more than usual].”
“There’s always more to do but we’ll ask people to be patient.”
What you need to know about coronavirus:
Video: Four Corners looks at how coronavirus unleashed a financial wrecking ball right through the Australian economy.
Ask us your coronavirus questions