COVID-19 Disaster Payment: Where to go for all the information
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.
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:
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 email@example.com. We’ll take care of you.
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