With the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus and ongoing lockdowns in Vic, NSW, Qld and SA, the Government has announced further financial assistance for people who are doing it tough.
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If you have had your hours of work reduced due to compulsory COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, you will be able to apply for tax-free COVID-19 Disaster Payments.
This weekly payment varies depending on the number of hours you’ve lost.
Up until 30 July 2021, if you lost 8 to 20 hours of work per week, you may be eligible to receive up to $375 each week. If you lost 20 or more hours of work per week, you may be eligible to receive up to $600 each week.
Starting from the week beginning 2 August 2021, the Federal Government has increased these payments.
This means that if you have lost 8 to 20 hours of work per week you may be eligible to receive $450 each week. If you have lost 20 or more hours of work per week, you may be eligible to receive $750 each week.
To be eligible for the Disaster Payment you must have lost income and not be entitled to any employer leave entitlements such as pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person. Also, you must:
If you currently receive income support from the government such as the Jobseeker Payment, Widow Allowance, Age Pension, Disability Pension, Carer Pension you will receive an extra weekly payment of $200 if you have lost more than 8 hours of work and meet eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
If you cannot work due to self-isolation or quarantine obligations due to COVID-19 compulsory lockdown restrictions or you cannot work due to caring for someone with COVID-19 you may be eligible for a lump sum payment of $1,500.
This taxable lump sum payment is for each compulsory 14-day period of self-isolation, quarantine or care period you provide for someone with COVID-19.
This is available if you’ve been instructed not to work by a health official if you:
To receive the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment you must:
For more details on specific state-based eligibility requirements such as the quarantine period which can vary from state to state see Services Australia – Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
There are many state specific schemes to assist you if you’re impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. To find out more please visit state-specific Government websites.
If you are feeling financial stress during the COVID-19 lockdowns, please contact us to discuss how we can help.
The Government has also released additional support for people experiencing mental health impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information refer to the Department of Health webpage Looking after your mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.