The Federal Government has unveiled a new financial support package to help people living in states and suburbs who have been forced into snap COVID-19 lockdowns.
Victoria will be the first beneficiary of the package, known as the Temporary COVID Disaster Payment, announced today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The payment will be based on specific criteria with people who would ordinarily:
- More than 20 hours per week – payment will be $500
- Less than 20 hours per week – payment will be $325
How to Qualify:
- You must reside or work in an area defined as a Commonwealth-determined hotspot.
- Immediately prior to the lockdown, you must be engaged in paid employment and unable to attend work and therefore unable to earn an income as a result of state health restrictions.
Is there an age limit?
Yes, you must be aged 17 and over.
What if I have savings?
- To qualify, you must self-declare liquid assets of less than $10,000.
- You must not be receiving an income support payment or pandemic payment.
What if I have sick leave or annual leave?
You are not required to use annual leave, but if your employer has other leave entitlements, such as special pandemic sick leave, you must exhaust those entitlements first.
Is there a minimum lockdown length?
Yes, the payment provides support for periods of time where the lockdown has been greater than seven days.
Does it have to be a full state lockdown?
This can be as specific as a postcode right through to a full state or territory, as long as it’s defined as a Commonwealth hotspot.
How is the payment made?
Payment will paid directly into your bank account. If eligible you will be paid in the same week.
Where and how do I apply?
A 1800 telephone service will be set up to apply. According to Scott Morrison, “the most effective way” is to apply online through Services Australia.
Who is covering the cost of the plan?
Still being discussed. National Cabinet is looking at two options, comprising sharing costs between State and Federal Governments. Alternatively, State Government could pay business costs and Commonwealth household costs.
More to come shortly.