Government Assistance during Lockdown

Jul 21, 2021

The Federal Government provides a number of COVID assistance payments for people affected by quarantine or lockdown requirements.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

The payment that the majority of people impacted by a lockdown may be eligible for is the COVID-19 disaster payment. This payment is available for people who live, work or visited a declared COVID hotspot that is subject to a restricted movement order. As of the 21st of July 2021 this includes Greater Sydney, Victoria and South Australia. This payment is intended to apply to any area locked down for seven days or more. To be eligible for this payment you need to:

  • be an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives a right to work in Australia
  • be 17 years or older
  • not be in receipt of income support payments such as a government pension, JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or Parental Leave
  • not be in receipt of a pandemic leave disaster payment, state pandemic payment or state small business payment
  • have lost at least one day of income

To be eligible for a payment of $375 per week, you need to have either lost between 8 hours and less than 20 hours of work per week or a full day of your usual work hours per week.

If you lost 20 hours or more of work per week, you'll receive $600 for each week you are eligible.

If you are a member of a couple you can make a separate claim for each person.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Pandemic Leave disaster payment is a lump sum payment for people who have been directed to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone by a health official. To be eligible for this payment you need to:

  • be an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives a right to work in Australia
  • be 17 years or older
  • be unable to work and earn an income
  • not be in receipt of income support payments such as a government pension, JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or Parental Leave
  • have no available leave entitlements

If you are eligible for this payment you can receive $1,500 for each 14 day period you've been told to self-isolate or quarantine. At $750 per week, this payment is higher than the COVID-19 disaster payment but you need to be earning no income and have no available leave entitlements.

Small Business Grant

If you are a business, you may be eligible for business assistance instead. We have written a blog on the South Australian business grant which you can view by clicking this link.

Which Support do I choose?

You may be eligible for more than one type of grant but you can only claim one at a time. Business grants are generally higher but you may not be eligible if your income is under $75,000 or you cant meet the other requirements. The pandemic leave disaster payment is $150 more per week than the COVID-19 disaster payment but it is only available if you are earning no income, have no leave available and of course have been directed to isolate.

Applications for the COVID-19 disaster payment and the pandemic leave disaster payment are made through MyGov. Small business grants are applied for through State Revenue Office websites. For South Australia, applications for the COVID-19 disaster payment open on the 28th of July and you'll have four weeks to lodge your application. For Greater Sydney applications are already open and for Victoria, applications open on the 23rd of July.