COVID-19 Disaster Payment ($325 to $750 pw)

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The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a one-off cash payment for each week of lockdown (*updated 8 August).

The COVID Disaster Payment is not state-specific.

  1. You need to live or work in a Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot
  2. The lockdown needs to last for more than seven days

A hotspot is an area of COVID-19 local transmission declared by the Chief Medical Officer. The Department of Health website lists the current hotspots.

Eligibility Criteria

To receive the payment, you must:

  • Be an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • Be 17 years or older
  • Not be getting an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay
  • Not be getting the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
  • Have lost income on or after day 8, and you don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements.

For the first two weeks of a lockdown, to receive any payment you need to have liquid assets of $10,000 or less.

That means if you have more than $10k in the bank worth of savings – or trust fund money, or shares – you wouldn’t be eligible. Your car is not a liquid asset.

Additional requirements apply to SA & VIC, see the link at the end of this post to Services Australia to see the specific rules for your state.

How much is the payment?

If you’ve lost less than 20 hours of work, you can receive $325.

If you lost 20 hours or more of work, you can receive $500.

If the lockdown enters a fourth week or more, those payments are bumped up to:

$375 or $450 (depends on the date) if you’ve lost between 8 and 20 hours of work a week

$750 if you have lost 20 hours or more a week.

These rates – of $375 and $750 per week – are the ceiling and will stay that way for no matter how much longer the lockdown lasts. The $10,000 asset test also does not apply from the third week going forward.

Please go to the Services Australia website for details specific to your situation, the payment amount depends on where you live and what date range you’re claiming (link below).

How can I apply?

You won’t need to visit a Service Centre or bring in your ID before you start your claim.

To apply for the payment, you need to have an online myGov account, linked to Centrelink.

Centrelink will ask you a series of questions to determine if you’re eligible to claim the payment.

If you’re eligible you will receive the payment directly into your nominated bank account. This will usually happen within 24 hours of your claim being finalised but may take longer, dependent on your financial institution.

See your state specific requirements and ask any questions in the chat on the Services Australia website.

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