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COVID-19 Disaster Payments for individuals

The Prime Minister announced that a COVID-19 Disaster Payment would be made available for eligible individuals. Payments have been increased to support households impacted by extended lockdowns, as well some of the requirements for the payments have been amended. The payment was also made non-taxable on 29 July 2021.

The main criteria for an individual is that they are unable to work due to COVID restrictions. Services Australia has a list of recognised events that indicate the periods for which a claim can be made.

Payments depend on, location, period the claim is for, and number of hours of work lost.

Services Australia will apply the appropriate rate for each eligible payment period. Payments range from $325 to $750 /week.

 Individuals that meet the criteria may be entitled to the payment even if they are only eligible one day of a recognised COVID-19 period of restricted movement, lockdown or hotspot. Couples must make separate claims for the payment.

The payment has also been amended to be recurring for impacted individuals should the Commonwealth declared hotspot and lockdown restrictions continue. The “liquid assets” test has also been removed, meaning individuals with more than $10,000 in cash or shares may apply from that date.

Individuals who continue to work may also be eligible for the payment, provided they have lost more than 8 hours or a full day of work because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Individuals can apply through Services Australia, with Australian residents using their myGov account. Eligible working visa holders will have to contact Services Australia directly to make their claim.

Visit the Services Australia website for more information

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment and

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment/who-can-get-it