Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Media release: COVID-19 Disaster Payment available for Katherine, Robinson River and surrounding homelands

18 November 2021

Senator The Hon Bridget McKenzie

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience

Senator The Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Government Services

Senator Dr Sam McMahon

Country Liberal Party Senator for Northern Territory

The Liberal and Nationals Government has confirmed eligible people who live or work in the Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot of Katherine, Robinson River and surrounding homelands will be able to claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment from 23 November.

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help workers who lose work due to a COVID-19 state public health order. The tax free payment has been in place since June, and has supported over 2.3 million people across the nation, providing over $12 billion in support.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the payment recognises the impact restrictions can have on people’s ability to earn an income. 

“The Liberal and Nationals Government understands the impact the pandemic has had on the lives and livelihoods of Australians which is why we are committed to supporting Northern Territorians who have lost income or hours of work due to restrictions,” Minister McKenzie said.

“People will be eligible for the payment if they live or work in the Municipality of Katherine, Robinson River and surrounding homelands and have lost at least 8 hours of work, or the equivalent of a full day of work,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Those eligible 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.

“People currently receiving an income support payment can also claim a payment of $200 if they have lost 8 hours or more of work, or a full day’s work, and meet other eligibility requirements.”

Minister for Government Services Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said eligible Territorians can get ready to claim now by creating a myGov account, if they don’t already have one.

“The quickest and easiest way to claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment is online through myGov. Over 94% of claims have been made this way,” Minister Reynolds said.

People in Katherine, Robinson River and surrounding homelands will be able to claim financial support from Tuesday 23 November, with payments backdated to the start of the lockdown period.

“Claims also remain open for the previous lockdown period, 5 – 7 November 2021 in Katherine and Tindal. If eligible, you’ll need to lodge a separate claim for each period of lockdown.

“You’ll also need to lodge a new claim each week you remain eligible should the current lockdown be extended.”

Country Liberal Party Senator for Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon welcomed the news for Commonwealth support for workers affected by restrictions.

“As soon as I was made aware of the outbreak on Monday afternoon, I contacted Minister McKenzie’s office to make sure that disaster payments would be made available for residents of Katherine and Robinson River,” Senator McMahon said.

More information about the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, and how to claim, is available on the Services Australia website at: servicesaustralia.gov.au/covid19disasterpayment

Customers who are unable to access myGov can call 180 22 66 or visit the Katherine Service Centre.

Page last updated: 18 November 2021