Media release: New COVID-19 Disaster Payment available today
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
Eligible Victorians whose hours of work and income are significantly affected due to the state lockdown can now claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
Since claiming opened at 8am today, thousands of claims have been successfully lodged and Services Australia has already started granting claims.
This payment is for people who reside or work in a Commonwealth declared hotspot and can’t attend work as a result of state imposed health restrictions lasting greater than a week.
Eligible people, for the period 4 to 10 June, will receive $500 if they’ve lost 20 hours or more of work, and $325 if they’ve lost less than 20 hours of work. They must not have liquid assets of more than $10,000 or be in receipt of other payments.
Minister for Government Services, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said Services Australia staff are urgently progressing claims from Victorians affected by the current lockdown restrictions in Greater Melbourne.
“Services Australia staff are now processing COVID-19 Disaster Payment claims and prioritising payments and services to support Victorians through this current lockdown period,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Once a claim has been lodged, using a Centrelink online account through myGov, customers do not need to do anything else.
“When their claim is approved, customers should get their payment the next business day.
“Customers will receive an SMS when their claim is submitted. People don’t need to call to check on their claim.
“We expect significant interest in this payment and ask that people be patient, especially during the first few days as Services Australia processes these claims for support.
“Payments will also be backdated to the date someone first became eligible, rather than the date the claim was lodged.”
People who can’t make a claim online can call 180 22 66 for support. Phone lines are open 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Eligible visa holders will need to call Services Australia on 180 22 66 to claim.
For more information on the COVID-19 Disaster Payment go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19
Services Australia will pay the COVID-19 Disaster Payment from the date of activation for an area where both of the following apply:
- the area has a public health lockdown for more than 7 days (Note: Victorians cannot receive this payment for the first 7 days of lockdown)
- the area is a declared COVID-19 hotspot.
To be eligible for the payment, Victorians must meet all the following criteria:
- be an Australian resident or hold an eligible working visa
- be 17 years or older
- not be in receipt of an income support payment, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment
- live or work in a COVID-19 declared hotspot
- had paid employment and because of the lockdown are unable to attend work on or after day 8 of lockdown
- lost income on or after day 8 of lockdown and don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements
- have liquid assets of less than $10,000. Note: Liquid assets are any funds readily available in cash or savings, or assets that can easily be converted into cash in a short amount of time.