Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Media release: COVID-19 support for NSW Hunter communities

6 August 2021

Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

NSW Hunter residents whose income or hours of work have been impacted by the lockdown announced yesterday are able to claim COVID-19 Disaster Payments.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said people living or working in any of the eight eligible NSW Hunter region Local Government Areas were already able to claim the payment if they were affected by the extended lockdown in Greater Sydney.

“Now more people living or working in the NSW Hunter region may be eligible for the payment given eight Local Government Areas are now directly experiencing lockdown,”

“We continue to stand with Australians and ensure there is a safety net to support them through lockdowns, as we each do our part to get to the other side of this pandemic,” Minister McKenzie said.

Eligible people will receive $750 per week if they have lost 20 or more hours of work, and $450 per week if they have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work, or a full day of work.

People who currently receive an income support payment can also apply to receive an extra payment of $200 if they have lost at least eight hours of work and meet the other eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Minister for Government Services Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Hunter residents can claim quickly and easily online through myGov.

“Services Australia staff are ready to process applications and will make the payments as quickly as possible,” Minister Reynolds said.

“The payment will be available to eligible people who live or work in any of the eight affected Local Government Areas of Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Singleton, or have visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot.”

“In line with recent announcements the Australian Government is pausing all Centrelink debt raising and new debt recovery in locked down Local Government Areas,” Minister Reynolds said.

More information about financial support available to NSW Hunter residents and how to claim, will be available on the Services Australia website at: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19disasterpayment

Page last updated: 7 August 2021