Please see below for all important questions regarding Incolink COVID-19 payments
Q. Do we need to reapply for the GRA with the merger of the two accounts?
A. No, you don’t, and you also no longer have to wait 14 days. If you were in the Severance Account, there was no option to claim this tax free. Now, you can if you are made redundant. Also, Initial Claims were capped at $5,673 and this has been increased to up to $8,000.
Q. Why can’t I get my GRA tax free money now?
A. If you are made redundant and wish to receive your tax-free GRA, you will need to wait a short period while the accounts are merged into a single account. The merge is taking place to make it simpler for workers and for Incolink to accommodate for all the COVID-19 hardship payments.
Q. Can I get hardship payments if I’m forced into isolation or stood down by my employer under government direction and how much will I get?
A. Yes, you can receive the COVID-19 Hardship payment of $2,000 if you have to self-isolate or if you are stood down. And it is taxed at the ATO rate of 32%. You can re-apply for this every 28-days if you continue to be eligible.
Q. Why do I have to pay 32% tax on a hardship payment if I have to self-isolate or am stood down?
A. Because it is Federal Government Law.
Q. Will my account balance be affected by any of these changes?
A. No, this is your money and your balance will only reduce if you make a claim to withdraw any of your funds.
Q. Why have Incolink merged the Severance & Genuine Redundancy Accounts?
A. Incolink is simply moving to one account to make it easier and fairer for workers and had to do this as part of making the Incolink COVID-19 payments available. The tax that a worker pays doesn’t change; genuine redundancies are still tax-free. However, due to the system change, until the 24th April, Incolink have to withhold tax of 32%. After the 24th April, all genuine redundancies will continue to be tax-free. Incolink will support workers to get their tax back at tax time.
Q. Why do we have to wait until 24th April to get the genuine redundancy benefit of the new merged account?
A. Incolink are working around the clock to merge these accounts as quickly as possible and ensure all members get paid correctly. We will keep you notified of the process at all times.
Q. Will the creation of a single account affect my claim if I am made redundant?
A. No, the merging of the accounts means you will no longer have to wait for the usual 14-days to move from a severance account to a redundancy account, in order to receive your claim. Those who previously were in a severance account can also now apply for a genuine redundancy payment with no tax.
Q. Does taxing the hardship payment benefit Incolink?
A. No, Incolink withholds and pays this tax to the ATO twice weekly as this is federal government law. There is no financial benefit to Incolink at all.