Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

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

8 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 the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reaches 70% of the 16-years-and-older population fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The temporary COVID-19 Disaster Payment provided vital support to 2.1 million people, with Services Australia paying over $10.2 billion to Australians since June 2021. In the ACT alone, 64,000 people have received the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, totaling over $260 million.

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

“The people of the ACT have worked hard to achieve this important milestone of 70% fully vaccinated,” 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 the ACT who cannot work due to restrictions, until the ACT reaches 80% full vaccination of the 16-years-and-older-population.

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

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

“It will then cease as more people are expected to return to the workforce.”

Minister for Government Services, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, encouraged people who were still unable to work in the ACT 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—over 90% of claims are made online and some claims are processed within hours.

“People in the ACT will receive their final automatic payment from 8 October, and can claim again from 15 October.

“Please visit the Services Australia website for detailed information on when your last automatic payment will be made and when you can claim again.

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

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

Page last updated: 8 October 2021