COVID-19 Commonwealth assistance

With the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus and ongoing lockdowns in Vic, NSW, Qld and SA, the Government has announced further financial assistance for people who are doing it tough.

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COVID-19 Disaster Payment

If you're not receiving Centrelink income support

If you have reduced your hours of work due to compulsory COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, you are able to apply for tax-free COVID-19 Disaster Payments.

This weekly payment varies depending on the number of hours you've lost.

If you have lost 8 to 20 hours of work per week they may be eligible to receive $450 each week. If you have lost 20 or more hours of work per week, you may be eligible to receive $750 each week.

Who is eligible for the Disaster Payment?

To be eligible for the Disaster Payment you must have lost income and not be entitled to any employer leave entitlements such as pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person. Also, you must:

  • be an Australian resident or hold a visa that allows them to work in Australia,
  • be at least 17 years old,
  • not be receiving an income support payment from Centrelink, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay,
  • not be in receipt of the $1,500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state or territory pandemic payment or small business payment for the same period.

Extra $200 weekly payment available for some income support payments

If you currently receive income support from the government such as the Jobseeker Payment, Widow Allowance, Age Pension, Disability Pension, Carer Pension you will receive an extra weekly payment of $200 if you have lost more than 8 hours of work and meet eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

If you cannot work due to self-isolation or quarantine obligations due to COVID-19 compulsory lockdown restrictions or you cannot work due to caring for someone with COVID-19 you may be eligible for a lump sum payment of $1,500.

This taxable lump sum payment is for each compulsory 14-day period of self-isolation, quarantine or care period you provide for someone with COVID-19.

This is available if you've been instructed not to work by a health official if you:

  • have COVID-19,
  • have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19,
  • are caring for a child 16 years or under who has COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

To receive the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment you must:

  • be at least 17 years old,
  • be an Australian resident or hold a visa that allows you to work in Australia,
  • be unable to go to work and earn an income,
  • have no leave entitlements including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person.

For more details on specific state-based eligibility requirements such as the quarantine period which can vary from state to state see Services Australia – Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

Specific state and territory support

There are many state specific schemes to assist you if you're impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. To find out more please visit state-specific Government websites.

Looking after yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns

If you are feeling financial stress during the COVID-19 lockdowns, please contact us to discuss how we can help.

The Government has also released additional support for people experiencing mental health impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information refer to the Department of Health webpage Looking after your mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

This information is accurate as at 26 August 2021, but is subject to change.

Important information: This document is issued by IOOF Investment Management Limited (IIML) ABN 53 006 695 021 AFSL 230524.
This is general advice only and does not take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this information, you should assess your own circumstances or seek advice from a financial adviser and seek tax advice from a registered tax agent. Information is current at the date of issue and may change.