COVID-19 Commonwealth assistance

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


COVID-19 Disaster Payment

If you have reduced your employees’ hours of work due to compulsory COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, they are able to apply for tax-free COVID-19 Disaster Payments. This weekly payment varies depending on the number of hours lost.

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

Who is eligible for the Disaster Payment?

To be eligible for the Disaster Payment your employee 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, they 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 (a separate Disaster Payment may apply to some Centrelink and DVA Payment recipients),
  • 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,
  • not be getting their usual income and you (the employer) must not be getting ‘Retaining Domestic Airline Capability’ payments on their behalf.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

If an employee cannot work due to self-isolation or quarantine obligations due to COVID-19 compulsory lockdown restrictions or cannot work due to caring for someone with COVID-19 they 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 they provide for someone with COVID-19.

This is available if they’ve been instructed not to work by a health official if they:

  • 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 they must:

  • be at least 17 years old,
  • be an Australian resident or hold a visa that allows them 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 (including support for businesses) to assist people if they are 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 or your employees 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


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