If you can’t work because you or someone in your household is impacted by COVID-19, support is available.
There are two payments accessible to individuals: the COVID-19 Disaster Payment; and, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
How to apply for support
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and the Pandemic Leave Payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account (or phone 180 22 66).
COVID-19 Disaster Payments
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a weekly payment available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or who have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to certain paid leave entitlements. If you are a couple, both people can separately claim the payment.
Timing of the payment
The disaster payment is accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days as declared by the Chief Medical Officer (you can find the listing here).
However, from 18 July 2021, the disaster payment will be available to anyone in NSW who meets the eligibility criteria.
|Area||Date of declaration||Disaster payment accessible from|
|City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick||23 June 2021||1 July 2021|
|Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong||26 June 2021||4 July 2021|
|All of NSW||18 July 2021|
How much is the payment?
The COVID-19 disaster payment amount available depends on:
- How many hours of work you have lost in the week, and
- If the payment is on or after the third period of the lockdown.
The higher payment rate applies if you have lost 20 or more hours of work per week.
|Disaster payment amount||Lower rate||Higher rate|
|First and second period of lockdown||$325||$500|
|Third period and beyond||$375*||$600|
* This payment rate applies if you have lost at least 8 hours of work per week or a full day of your usual hours of work per week.
The payment applies to each week of lockdown you are eligible for and is taxable (you will need to declare it in your income tax return).
The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available 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
- Can’t attend work and lost income on or after day 8 of a COVID-19 lockdown, and
- Don’t have paid leave available through your employer (other than annual leave), and
- Are not receiving income support payments, a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period.
A liquid assets test of $10,000 previously applied to the disaster payment but was removed from Thursday, 8 July 2021.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for those who have been advised by their relevant health authority to self-isolate or quarantine because:
- They have coronavirus (COVID-19):
- They have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19:
- They care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19: or
- They care for a child, 16 years or under, who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
The payment might also be accessible if you are a carer for someone impacted.
How much is the payment?
The payment is $1,500 for each 14 day period you are advised to self-isolate or quarantine. If you are a couple, you both can claim this payment if you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is emergency relief. It is available 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
- 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 getting any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay.
The payment is taxable and you will need to declare it in your income tax return.
If you are uncertain of your eligibility, talk to Services Australia.
If you are concerned about the impact of disaster relief payments on you, talk to us!
A targeted eviction moratorium will be introduced to protect residential tenants who have lost 25% of their income due to COVID-19.
Residential landlords who decrease rent for impacted tenants can apply for a grant of up to $1,500 or land tax reductions depending on their circumstances.
The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.