Sydney workers, help is on the way.
On Saturday, June 26, a number of NSW regions including Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour went into lockdown in response to a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases.
As such, non-essential businesses have either closed their doors or are running with less staff, leaving many without a source of income in these uncertain times.
Responding to the needs of Australians who have found their work severely impacted, the Federal Government has announced its COVID-19 disaster payment will soon be eligible to people in NSW who need it.
Over the weekend, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed that the COVID Disaster Payment would be available to workers impacted in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra areas from June 30.
These areas were determined according to what was considered a hotspot at the time. But since a much wider catchment of Sydney and NSW has since gone into lockdown, it’s likely the government could extend the parameters.
A release from the Minister for Government Services states eligible people will receive $500 if they’ve lost 20 hours or more of work, and $325 if they’ve lost less than 20 hours of work. To be eligible, you must not have liquid assets of more than $10,000 or be in receipt of other payments.
*Update 13 July 2021*
To be eligible for a payment, you must:
- Be unable to attend work and have lost income
- Not have access to paid leave
- Not be be receiving income support payment
- Not be receiving a state pandemic payment
- Not be receiving Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the liquid assets limit of $10,000 would be waived from the third week of a lockdown.
Pandemic leave payment
The federal government has also made available something called a Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
You can access this payment when a local health authority has told you that you need to isolate or quarantine or care for someone with COVID-19 and have lost money as a result.
These payments apply to Australian residents and those with working visas.
The payment is $1,500 for each 14-day period someone needs to self-isolate or quarantine. A new claim must be made for each 14-day period, and Services Australia has set up and accelerated application process for the payment.
As with the above COVID disaster payment, those with any income from paid work, other leave entitlements, or who are on income support payments, are not eligible.