Long-term unemployment quickly takes a toll and, if you live in a small city or rural area, you may be struggling to find suitable employment opportunities in your area. But moving to a new city isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have the funds to make that happen. Luckily, if you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for relocation assistance from the government.
Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job
The Australia government created the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program to help unemployed job seekers move to a new city to find a job. To be considered eligible for financial support, you must meet specific criteria. First, you must be registered as fully qualified by a jobactive provider or be actively participating in with Disability Employment Services. Second, you must have mutual obligation requirements. Third, you must have received income support payments (such as from the Newstart Allowance program) for the last 12 months. Finally, you must request assistance before moving and starting work.
The program requires the job seeker to move at least 90 minutes away from their current residence based on using normal travel routes. Additionally, if you are relocating from one capital city to another, the new location has to have a lower unemployment rate than the one in which you currently live.
If you are approved, you’ll receive a payment of up to $9,000 depending on your exact circumstances.
Individuals relocating to a capital city receive $3,000 while those relocating to a regional area receive $6,000. If you are moving with dependent children, you may be eligible for an additional $3,000.
What Can the Funds be Used For?
Any assistance provided through the program can be used for a variety of expenses. For example, you can put the money towards your first two months of rent or a rental bond and utility connection costs.
You can also use the funds for removalist and travel costs and certain employment-related expenses. Certain travel expenses are reimbursable or the employment services provider can pay the service provider directly to keep the unemployed person from bearing the cost.
In addition, there are additional benefits, loans and advances available, which could assist those without a job looking to relocate and gain employment.
Are There Job Restrictions?
Job seekers are not limited regarding the kind of employment they may seek as long as it is considered suitable. Apprenticeships are also permitted through the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program, so you can look into applicable options there as well.
However, an opportunity pursued must be considered on-going or long-term. Temporary or contract work is not eligible for relocation assistance.
How to Apply
If you meet the basic qualifications, you can speak with your assigned jobactive or Disability Employment Services provider to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program. If so, they can help you navigate the application process, and will provide any details regarding using program funds and any additional job performance requirements.