Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Media release: Changes to COVID-19 Disaster Payment as NSW reaches 70% fully vaccinated

7 October 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

The Liberal and Nationals Government has signaled changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment as New South Wales reaches 70% of the adult population (16 and older) fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The temporary COVID-19 Disaster Payment provided vital support to more than two million people, with over $10 billion paid to Australians since June 2021. In New South Wales alone, more than one million people have received the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, totaling over $6.7 billion.

Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, welcomed the news and explained the changes.

“The people of NSW have rolled up their sleeves to achieve this important milestone of 70% fully vaccinated before any other state or territory,” Minister McKenzie said.

“As restrictions ease and businesses start to re-open, more people will be able to go back to work, meaning there will be less reliance on the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

“The payment will remain available at the same rate to people in NSW who cannot work due to restrictions, until the state reaches 80% full vaccination of the 16 years and older adult population.

“However, it will no longer be paid automatically. People will need to apply each week to ensure they continue to remain eligible.

“Once the 80% milestone is reached, the payment will decrease over a two week period for those receiving the full amount of COVID-19 Disaster Payment, and over one week for those on income support receiving the $200 COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Minister for Government Services, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, encouraged people who were still unable to work in NSW to re-apply.

“People whose income is still affected may still be eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Claiming online, through myGov, remains the quickest and easiest way to claim – more than 90% of claims are made online and some claims are processed within hours.”

The date for which claiming will open will differ, depending on where people in NSW are located.

Most people in greater Sydney and regional NSW received their final automatic payment earlier this week and can claim again from 10 October.

People living in the inner-Sydney suburbs will receive their final automatic payment today and can claim again from 14 October.

People in NSW who are on an existing income support payment and receiving the $200 COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be able to claim from 18 October.

Detailed information on when final automatic payments will be made and when people can claim again can be found on the Services Australia website.

“Once the COVID-19 Disaster Payment is no longer available in NSW, people who haven’t returned to the workforce will be able to test their eligibility for other support available through Services Australia,” Minister Reynolds said.

More information is available at: servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19disasterpayment

Page last updated: 7 October 2021