Are JobKeeper payments included in annual earnings?

Joslyn had her pension reduced while she was receiving JobKeeper and wants to know why.

Q. Joslyn
My husband and I are employed part time and normally earn $300 per fortnight, the allowable limit. We kept our jobs during pandemic and were paid Jobkeeper. Our pensions were reduced to $34 each per fortnight. We advised Centrelink we were receiving the payment. Once we stopped receiving JobKeeper everything went back to normal. Do we need to include the JobKeeper in our annual earnings or not?

A. It is understandable that your pension payments were reduced while you were both receiving JobKeeper, as this means that you should have been paid a minimum of $1500 a fortnight (before tax).

Many people found themselves receiving more income than usual thanks to government stimulus payments such as Job Keeper.

To answer your question about how the payments are treated, the JobKeeper payment is treated as income for the purposes of social security payments.

You have already stated that you have reported receiving JobKeeper to Centrelink, which is an important step, as those who have not reported this income may incur a debt that has to be repaid.

As employees of the company that you work for, the money you received from JobKeeper will be included as salary or wages in your regular income statement or your payment summary.

JobKeeper recipients who were receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP) faced more difficulty because of the extra payments this year.

If the amount of the JobKeeper payment reduced the DSP payment rate to nil for the maximum payment period, Centrelink can suspend the DSP payment for up to two years, although they would still be allowed to keep their pensioner concession card for up to 52 weeks.

The DSP can be restored once employment income reduces below the threshold again.

Did you receive the JobKeeper payment last year? How did it affect your Age Pension payments?

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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