Media release: COVID-19 Disaster Payment changes as Victoria reaches 80% fully vaccinated
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
The temporary COVID-19 Disaster Payment will wind down in Victoria as 80% of the state’s population are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Since it was introduced in mid-2021, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment has supported over 734,000 people in Victoria who have received a combined $4 billion. Across Australia, more than 2.3 million people have received a COVID-19 Disaster Payment, totaling over $12.5 billion.
Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, welcomed the news and explained the changes.
“The people of my home state of Victoria have shown great resilience and commitment to reach this important milestone,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Now that 80% of Victoria’s population aged 16 years and older have been fully vaccinated, changes to the payment will come into effect.
“After Victoria reached 70%, restrictions eased and businesses began to re-open.
“We have also seen a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 Disaster Payment claims as more people return to work.
“While it’s fantastic to see people returning to work, the payment will remain available for another two weeks in Victoria for workers who are still impacted by restrictions.”
People need to apply each week to ensure they remain eligible and the payment rate will decrease over a two week period before it stops.
In the first week after a state or territory reaches the 80% milestone, people can apply for:
- $450 if they’ve lost 8 hours or a full day’s work or more
- $100 if they’re getting a Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) income support payment and have lost work.
In the second and final week after reaching 80% the payment:
- rate decreases to $320 for those who have lost 8 hours or a full day’s work or more
- stops for people getting a Centrelink or DVA income support payment.
Minister for Government Services, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, encouraged people who are still unable to work in Victoria to re-apply for the payment.
“I’d like to reassure people that support is available,” Minister Reynolds said.
“People whose income is still affected are encouraged to reapply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment while it is available and consider the other longer-term support if they need it.
“People living in Victoria will receive their last payment at the higher rate from 5 November.
“From 12 November they can claim the $450 COVID-19 Disaster Payment for the period of 5 to 11 November.
“After that, there will be one more COVID-19 Disaster Payment available at a reduced rate before it stops.
“Claiming the COVID-19 Disaster Payment online through myGov remains the quickest and easiest way—over 90% of claims are made online and some are processed within hours.
“Please visit the Services Australia website for detailed eligibility information.
“If your hours have reduced or you have lost your job entirely, you may be eligible to claim an income support payment once the COVID-19 Disaster Payment stops.
“There are also other payments available to people who are in severe financial hardship, such as Crisis Payment.
“People who haven’t returned to the workforce or can’t get enough hours work should test their eligibility for other support through the Services Australia website.”
More information is available at: servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19disasterpayment