If you are unable to work because you or someone in your household is impacted by COVID-19, there is support available, if you meet the eligibility criteria.
There are two disaster payments available:
- The Covid-19 Disaster Payment; and
- The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
Both of these payments are accessible via Services Australia, where applications can be made via a MyGov account or a Centrelink account.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment
Unfortunately, this payment is not accessible to everyone who is subject to a ‘lockdown’ or ‘stay at home’ order, instead strict eligibility rules apply.
You are eligible to claim the disaster payment if:
- You are an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Temporary Visa Holder who has the right to work in Australia, and
- Are aged 17 years or over, and
- You cannot attend work and have lost income on or after day 8 of a lockdown;
- Do not have access to paid leave entitlements through your employer; and
- Are not getting an income support payment, a state/territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, or state small business payment for the same period.
This payment is only applicable from the eighth day of lockdown. You are unable to claim for the first week you are affected by lockdown.
You will also be required to declare that you do not have liquid assets of more then $10,000 available.
The Disaster payment is only accessible if the hotspot declared by the Chief Medical Officer which triggers the lockdown lasts more than 7 days. You can keep up to date with hot spot locations here.
With the most recent case, the following areas were initially declared a ‘hotspot’ on the 23rd June 2021, with them still being considered as hotspot locations on 2nd July 2021. This therefore means that the COVID-19 disaster payment is available to eligible workers who in the below areas from 1st July 2021.
|Hotspot Location||Date of Declaration||Date Disaster Payment Accessible|
|City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West, Randwick||23rd June 2021||1st July 2021|
|Greater Sydney including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong||26th June 2021||4th July 2021|
To claim, you must be living or working in a hotspot location and make the claim within the relevant claim period.
What Can I Claim?
The COVID-19 disaster payment is based on the number of hours of work you have lost in the lockdown period.
The payment then applies to each relevant period of lockdown and is a taxable income. You will therefore need to ensure that you declare it in your income tax return.
You can claim:
|Number of Working Hours Lost||Amount of Disaster Payment Available|
|Less than 20 hours of work||$325|
|20 hours or more of work||$500|
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
The pandemic leave disaster payment is available for people who have been advised by their relevant health authority to self-isolate or quarantine because they:
- Have COVID-19
- Have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
- Care for a child aged 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; or
- Care for a child, aged 16 years or under, who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
You may also be eligible for this payment if you are a carer for someone who is impacted as above.
What Can I Claim?
The payment available is $1,500 for each 14-day period that you are advised to self-isolate or quarantine. If you are a couple, then both people are eligible to claim the payment providing you meet the eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for the Pandemic Leave disaster Payment, you must meet the below criteria:
- Be an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or temporary Visa Holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
- Be aged 17 years or over; and
- Are unable to go to work and earn an income; and
- Do not have appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or carers leave; and
- Are not receiving any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living allowance, paid parental leave, or Dad and Partner pay.
This payment is taxable income. You will therefore need to ensure that you declare it in your income tax return.
If you are concerned about how the disaster relief payments with impact you and your financial goals, please don’t hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9299 2292.