*This article is up-to-date as of 28 July 2021
28 July update: COVID disaster payments to increase by $150 a week for locked-down Sydneysiders
As reported by the ABC, locked-down Sydneysiders will receive an additional $150 a week if they have lost more than 20 hours of work, or an extra $75 if they have lost fewer than 20 hours, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.
It brings the COVID-19 disaster payments to $750 a week for people who have lost most of their work, and $450 for those who have lost some of it.
As a result of the extension of the lockdown in Victoria announced on Thursday 3 June, the Australian federal government announced a new payment to those that have lost work.
From now on, anybody who loses work in any state or territory that goes into a lockdown of longer than seven days will be able to access the “temporary COVID disaster payment”, but only from week two onwards.
This is a lump sum payment to help workers unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 state public health order. This may involve a lockdown, hotspot or movement restrictions.
Are international students eligible for this payment?
Yes! You are eligible for the payment as long as:
- You’re an Australian resident, permanent resident or eligible working visa holder
- You’re aged 17+ and living in a Commonwealth-defined COVID hotspot area
- You would have worked if the lockdown had not happened (and have lost income)
- You don’t have access to special pandemic/sick leave (or you have none remaining)
- You have less than $10,000 in “liquid assets” (i.e. savings, shares, or loans)
- You’re not on income support payments from the Commonwealth (i.e. JobSeeker)
If you’re a member of a couple, you can both claim this payment. You and your partner will need to make separate claims.
You can get this payment even if you’re eligible on only one day of a recognised COVID-19 period of restricted movement, lockdown or hotspot.
How much money will I get?
The amount of money you will receive depends on your situation. For detailed information, click here.
When does payment start and how do I apply?
Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm (AEST).
You can call Services Australia’s Multilingual Phone Service on 131 202 to speak to someone in a language other than English.
You do not need to have a myGov account or contact Centrelink as an international student when applying for this payment.
When does the payment end?
The Prime Minister has said the payment would be done on a “week-by-week basis”. This means that if a lockdown goes beyond two weeks, people will have to reapply to have another weekly payment for as long as the lockdown lasts.
The payment will end when the Commonwealth no longer defines an area as a hotspot, which is declared by Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.
If you’ve already submitted a claim, you may not need to claim again. Read more about payments for your location.