Man stacking supermarket shelf

Payments from Services Australia are there to help you temporarily while you look for work.

Payments are lean and paid fortnightly:

  • If you have a partner, you may receive up to $631.20
  • If you are single with no children, you may receive up to $693.10.
  • If you have children, are over 60 or are long-term unemployed (more than 9 months) you may receive up to $745.20.

Fortunately, you can still earn extra money to help pay for your expenses and enjoy what’s important to you, while still receiving a payment. In fact, many job seekers are only able to enjoy a few luxuries because of the extra hours they work above and beyond their payments.

For work you’re paid for, you won’t see any reduction in your benefit for the first $150 you earn in a fortnight. However, for every dollar you earn over that, your payment will reduce by 50c and for every dollar over $256 your payment reduces by 60c.

Once you’re earning above the threshold – which is somewhere between $1,232.84 (partnered with no children) and $2,569.75 (single principal carer exempt from obligations) per fortnight, depending on your life situation – your benefit will eventually cease.

It may seem like you’re being penalised for working, but the process of becoming financially independent is the goal and the payment support is staggered to help you get there.

You’ll still earn significantly more by doing extra work while building up towards a full-time role. In fact, you’ll be earning around twice what you were getting from a payment, before government assistance ceases.

That makes a huge difference to your lifestyle. You have the chance to not only pay your bills and outgoings, but also enjoy doing some of the things you like.

Once you are working independently, you’ll not only have the ability to enjoy more things you like doing, you can strive for pay increases and promotions in your job. You’ll also enjoy all the social benefits of working – meeting new friends and sharing in a sense of accomplishment.

A common theme among many of our successful candidates is an increased sense of happiness and feeling good about themselves. Because we all like to know that we’re being appreciated and making a difference. That’s one of the great things about working beyond the pay check.