Australian Government

The servicesaustralia.gov.au website contains the latest information about the Federal Government’s financial assistance for individuals affected by COVID-19. COVID-19 Disaster Payment

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

This is a lump-sum payment to help workers unable to earn an income due to a COVID-19 Public Health Order. You may be able to receive this payment if:

  • you live in, work from or have visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot
  • you live in, work from or have visited a location subject to a state or territory restricted movement order
  • you had paid employment and because you were in the COVID-19 hotspot or are subject to restricted movement, you can’t attend work
  • you don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements
  • you aren’t getting Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay
  • you aren’t getting a state based pandemic payment.

How much is provided is dependent on the individual’s circumstances.

70% Vaccination Rate

NSW has now reached 70% of the population over 16 being fully vaccinated. This means that the automatic payments will stop for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

If your income is still affected by movement restrictions, you will have to reapply for the payment every week to confirm your eligibility.

80% Vaccination Rate

When NSW reaches 80% of the population over 16 being fully vaccinated, the payments will reduce over two weeks.

The first week after NSW reaches this target, you may receive a single payment of:

  • $450 if you’ve lost more than 8 hours (or a full day) of work and you are not receiving an eligible Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) payment
  • $100 if you’ve lost more than 8 hours (or a full day) of work and you are receiving an eligible Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) payment

The second week after NSW reaches this target, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will:

  • be one $320 payment if you’ve lost more than 8 hours (or a full day) of work and you’re not getting an eligible Centrelink or DVA payment
  • finish if you’re receiving an eligible Centrelink or DVA payment.

Click here to find more information if you are not receiving an eligible Centrelink or DVA payment.

Click here to find more information if you are receiving an eligible Centrelink or DVA payment.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

This is a lump sum payment to help you during the 14 days you need to self-isolate, quarantine, or care for someone.

If you’re found eligible, you will receive a payment of $1,500 for each 14 day period that you have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone with COVID-19.

Click here to check eligibility criteria for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

Click here to see how to claim the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency (COVID-19)

This is a one-off payment for those who have been affected by COVID-19. In order to be eligible for this payment, you must:

  • be eligible for an income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • be in severe financial hardship
  • be in Australia when you claim
  • have proof of a COVID-19 test requiring you, or the person you are caring for, to enter quarantine or self-isolation.

You will only be able to receive one payment per quarantine or self-isolation. The payment you will receive will be equal to one week’s pay at the basic maximum rate of your income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

Click here to claim the Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency (COVID-19).

Family Tax Benefit

You may be able to claim the Family Tax Benefit if you are caring for a child and:

How much receive will depend on your individual circumstances.

Click here for more information on eligibility criteria and how to claim the Family Tax Benefit.

Special Benefit

If you are not eligible for any other income support from the Commonwealth Government, you may be able to access the Special Benefit payment if you are suffering from financial hardship beyond your control.

Click here for more information on eligibility criteria and how to claim the Special Benefit payment.

Reduction of the Minimum Superannuation Drawdown Requirements for Retirees

On 29 May 2021, the Commonwealth Government announced an extension to the temporary reduction in superannuation minimum drawdown rates. This is an extension on the measure that was introduced in 2020 as part of the government’s response to COVID-19 which was in place for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.

This means that you will be able to continue to make use of of the 50% temporary drawdown reduction until Thursday 30 June 2022.

Click here to find out more information on Superannuation Drawdowns from the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO’s) website.

Reduction of the Social Security Deeming Rates for Retirees

Deeming refers to a set of rules that measures your income against your financial assets to determine how much income support you can receive from the Government.

The Morrison Government has retained lower deeming rates for the 2021-22 financial year, while increasing the asset thresholds where they apply. These lower deeming rates were brought in during 2020 to help Australian retirees through the COVID-19 crisis.

Click here for more information about deeming from the Services Australia website.

Longer-Term Financial Help

If you require financial help after these payments are no longer available to you, you may be able to access one of the following payments.

New South Wales

Test and Isolate Payment

Eligible workers in NSW may apply for a one-off $320 payment if they are unable to work due to self-isolation requirements and are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

Anyone wishing to receive the Test and Isolate support payment must agree to follow the NSW Health self-isolation guidelines.

Click here to see eligibility criteria for the Test and Isolate Payment.

Click here to apply for the Test and Isolate Payment.

Extreme Hardship Support Program

The Australian Red Cross is providing financial relief to people in NSW suffering from hardship that require urgent needs to be met.

This relief is restricted to temporary/provisional visa holders or undocumented migrants who are unable to access Commonwealth Government income support and have zero (or very little) income, savings, and community support.

Click here to find out how to apply on the Australian Red Cross’ website.

NSW Government Website Information for Homeowners

The NSW Government has put together a guide for homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. You can access their guide via the following links: