Understanding the Newstart for Unemployment

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If you have just lost your job and have no other substantial source of income, you may be eligible for the Newstart Allowance program. You must be over 22-years old, but not yet eligible for Age Pension. This program is specifically designed to help people get back on their feet financially, until they are able to find another job. Not only will this program make you eligible to receive regular payments to help cover your living expenses, but it can also help you find another job or receive necessary training. It is important that you fully understand the Newstart Allowance program, and how it can help you with your finance.

Apply As Soon as You Lose Your Job

One of the most important things you should do if you become unemployed and need money, is to apply for the Newstart Allowance program immediately. You do not want to wait until you are financially strapped before seeking out assistant. Also, applying for this program right away will help you determine if, and when, you will be eligible to receive these benefits. The last thing you want to do is spend all of your money and bonuses you received upon your termination, only to realize later that you must adhere to a waiting period before you benefits will start. This error could have a huge impact on your finances during this timeframe.

Waiting Periods

Once you apply for the Newstart Allowance program, you will be required to provide them with all of your financial information, including any extra pay you receive when you lost your job, any assets you have, and your partner’s salary information. They will use this information to determine if there will be a waiting period before you are eligible for your payments. Here is a look at the three basic waiting periods. All of these waiting periods can be concurrent of each other, making your official waiting period the longer of the three.

  • Ordinary Waiting Period. This is a standard one-week waiting period that almost all applicants must wait from the time they lose their jobs. The only exception is if this would place a significant financial hardship on you.
  •  Income Maintenance Period. All the extra pay you received when you lost your job, such as long service leave, annual leave, or redundancy pay, will be taken into account. You will have to wait the number of weeks of extra pay you received before your Newstart Allowance benefits will begin. For example, if you received two weeks of annual leave plus ten weeks of redundancy pay, you will need to wait a total of 12 weeds before you would be eligible for these benefits.
  •  Liquid Assets Waiting Period. All of your assets, including money in savings, investments and your partner’s income, will also be taken into account. They will access all of these things and calculate a total amount for your liquid assets. They will use this figure to determine if you should incur a Liquid Assets Waiting period and if so, how long. The maximum waiting period based on your liquid assets is 13 weeks.

Employment Pathway Plan

You will also be required to create an Employment Pathway Plan upon entering the Newstart Allowance program. This plan will include various activities that you agree to participate in while are receiving these benefits. These activities include going to apply for jobs, attending special Job Seeker Workshops, going to a training program, working part-time, or going back to school to receive specialised training or a degree.

If you have lost your job, the most important thing is that you do not panic. There is help available to help you through this difficult time and to help you find a job or receive extra training. The most important thing you can do is to seek help immediately and to not wait until you have ran out of money. This program is specifically created to help you maintain your financial stability until you are gainfully employed again.

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