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COVID-19 Disaster Payment: Where to go for all the information

COVID 19 Dister Payments

In recent times, many people have suffered from the loss of work due to a COVID-19 public health order. Depending on the state, some of these orders have required people to stop working for weeks and months at a time because of lockdowns or other restrictions.

To help financially support people who have lost work because of a COVID-19 public health order, the federal government announced several payments, including:

  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment
  • Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

This payment is a lump sum amount paid out for every week a person loses hours of work, due to COVID-19.

Payment amount and eligibility

If you lose 20 or more hours of work a week, you’ll receive $750 a week; and if you lose between eight and 20 hours, you’ll receive $450.

Your eligibility for adisaster payment and the amount you’re entitled to depends not only on your lost hours, but other factors too.

These include whether you’re already receiving a Centrelink payment, a state or territory pandemic payment, or a state small business payment for the same period.

If you’re receiving a Centrelink payment, for example, you won’t necessarily qualify for the full COVID-19 Disaster Payment, but you may be entitled to a $200 top up each week.

If you’re a sole trader and you’re eligible for a state small business payment, you’ll want to compare it with the disaster payment and decide which one would be best for you (you can’t get both at the same time).

Payment is now tax-free

Following a recent legislative amendment, the disaster payments (including those dating back to the payment’s introduction on June 3) are now tax-free.

It means recipients will take home more than they did under the $90 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy program, which was taxed.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

This payment is a lump sum amount paid out if you must quarantine, self-isolate, or care for someone with COVID-19.

Payment amount and eligibility

You may be eligible for a $1500 payment if a health official has advised you must quarantine or self-isolate. The directive may be given to you if:

  • you have COVID-19
  • you have been close to someone who has COVID-19
  • you care for a someone who has COVID-19
  • you care for a child who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is paid out for every 14-day period you have to be in quarantine or isolation. You need to make a new claim for every 14-day period.

The payment is taxable and will be treated as a form of income for tax purposes.

The payment also needs to be included on your family income estimate if you receive Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Subsidy.

Services Australia

The agency that administers the payment, Services Australia, recently restructured its COVID-19 support payment web content to group the information by state.

This content covers the following:

  • Who can get the payment — you must meet all the eligibility rules.
  • What the locations are — there are different locations where COVID-19 lockdowns, hotspots or movement restrictions apply; and different payments periods.
  • How much can you get — the amount depends on your situation.
  • How to claim — Australian residents must claim online, using a myGov account linked to Centrelink.
  • What you need to do if you get a payment — to keep getting the payment, you must tell Services Australia about any changes to your circumstances within 14 days.

Get information for your state

How much of the payment you can get will depend on your location and individual circumstances.

Visit Services Australia’s website to get information on the support you can access in your state if you couldn’t work due to COVID-19 public health orders or restrictions:

Services Australia Payment Guide

Need help?

Applying for a government payment can be daunting. If you need help with your payment application, we can assist.

We can help you confirm your eligibility for support or simply give you advice.

Contact us at 1300 888 803 or We’ll take care of you.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This blog has been prepared by Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. ABN 81 601 145 215. The information and opinions contained in this blog is general information only and is not intended to represent specific personal advice (Accounting, taxation, financial, insurance or credit). No individuals’ personal circumstances have been taken into consideration for the preparation of this material. The information and opinions herein do not constitute any recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any particular financial product. Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. recommends that no financial product or financial service be acquired or disposed of or financial strategy adopted without you first obtaining professional personal financial advice suitable and appropriate to your own personal needs, objectives, goals and circumstances. Information, forecasts and opinions contained in this blog can change without notice. Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information at any particular time. Although care has been exercised in compiling the information contained within, Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. does not warrant that the articles within are free from errors, inaccuracies or omissions. To the extent permissible by law, neither Modoras Accounting (QLD) Pty. Ltd. nor its employees, representatives or agents (including associated and affiliated companies) accept liability for loss or damages incurred as a result of a person acting in reliance of this publication. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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