1.2.20 2020 economic support payment (2020 ESP)

Background

The 2020 ESP provides 2 payments of $750 to eligible payment recipients and concession card holders. These payments are intended to address economic impacts of the global coronavirus.

Qualification

A person is qualified for the first 2020 ESP if they received any FTB for any eligibility day between 12 March 2020 and 13 April 2020 inclusive at a rate greater than nil and they were residing in Australia.

A person is qualified for the second 2020 ESP if they received any FTB on the eligibility day 10 July 2020 at a rate greater than nil and they were residing in Australia.

A person may also qualify for ESP if they are receiving another qualifying payment or are in possession of a qualifying concession card.

The following are qualifying payments:

  • Age, FTB, DSP, CP, CA, PPS, parenting payment (partnered), WP, widow B pension, newstart allowance (JSP from 20 March), DOP, Austudy, bereavement allowance, YA, partner allowance, widow allowance, sickness allowance, SpB
  • ABSTUDY living allowance
  • farm household allowance
  • payments administered by DVA.

The following are qualifying concession cards:

  • Commonwealth seniors health card
  • pensioner concession card
  • Veteran Gold Card.

Act Reference: FAAct section 110 When is an individual entitled to a first 2020 economic support payment?, section 111 What is the amount of the payment?, section 113 When is an individual entitled to a second 2020 economic support payment?, section 114 What is the amount of the payment?, section 116 Eligibility for 2020 economic support payment

Entitled to only 1 payment

A person can receive only 1 first 2020 ESP and 1 second 2020 ESP. Where a person qualifies for a first and second 2020 ESP in multiple ways (through different payments or cards) they would only receive 1 first and second 2020 ESP. A person who is paid a first or second 2020 ESP and is subsequently granted another qualifying payment or concession card backdated to or before the eligibility days is not entitled to an additional first or second 2020 ESP.

Example: On 12 March 2020, John is receiving both PPS and FTB. John receives the first 2020 ESP because of his PPS. He will not receive another first 2020 ESP with FTB.

Act Reference: FAAct section 112 More than one entitlement, section 115 More than one entitlement

Payability

The amount of the first and second 2020 ESP is $750. The amount is the same for single people and each eligible member of a couple. This means individuals who receive FTB because they both share care of a child will receive the same amount of payment. Similarly, each member of a couple in a blended family will receive the full amount of the payments.

A claim is not required for the ESP, it is paid automatically as a lump sum by Services Australia or DVA.

The ESP is non-taxable and does not count as income.

For income management and cashless debit card participants, 100% of the ESP is restricted and placed in either their income management account or on their Cashless Debit Card.

Act Reference: FA(Admin)Act Section 65JA Payment of the first 2020 economic support payment, section 65JB Payment of the second 2020 economic support payment

Nil rate, waiting periods, suspended & backdating provisions

Those whose rate of FTB is legislatively greater than nil on any of the eligibility days are taken to be receiving a qualifying payment and qualify for a 2020 ESP.

A person who is not receiving FTB on an eligibility day does not qualify for a 2020 ESP with FTB. However, if the person subsequently commences to receive FTB in respect of an eligibility day, for example, they are granted a FTB via a lump sum claim, the person qualifies for a 2020 ESP.

A person whose instalment claim for FTB is subsequently granted and backdated for a period that includes an eligibility day, with the result that the person is receiving FTB on an eligibility day, qualifies for a 2020 ESP provided they have not already received a 2020 ESP with another payment.

Limiting date

The first 2020 ESP will not be paid on or beyond 1 July 2022. However, where a person is granted an extension to make an FTB lump sum claim due to special circumstances and this claim is processed after 30 June 2022, a 2020 ESP can still be made on or after 1 July 2022.

The second 2020 ESP will not be paid on or beyond 1 July 2023. However, where a person is granted an extension to make an FTB lump sum claim due to special circumstances and this claim is processed after 30 June 2023, a 2020 ESP can still be made on or after 1 July 2023.

Act Reference: FA(Admin)Act section 65JA Payment of the first 2020 economic support payment, section 65JB Payment of the second 2020 economic support payment

Recovery of ESP debts

The first or second 2020 ESP cannot be raised as a debt unless the person knowingly made a false or misleading statement or knowingly provided false or misleading information.

Act Reference: FA(Admin)Act section 72Debts arising in respect of 2020 economic support payment

Last reviewed: 27 March 2020