It’s a little known fact that the NSW government has some cash put aside to help people who have to take time off work to get tested for COVID.
If you suspect that you might have COVID, have developed symptoms, or have been told that you might be a close or a casual contact of a COVID positive person, you have to get tested. Once you’ve done the test, you’re required to isolate for however long it takes to get those results back. With a sudden influx of testing at the moment, as the state experiences a rise in cases likely due to the omicron variant, test results can take as long as 48 hours to come back.
In that time, if you can’t work from home, you’ll be required to take the time off work. For many people without holiday or sick leave to take this can be a real financial burden and could result in several days of lost pay.
Back in August, in response to the delta outbreak, the NSW government announced that it would be bringing in test and isolate support payments of $320 to help alleviate some of that burden.
Here’s what you need to know about the test and isolate support payments and how to claim one.
Test and Isolate Support Payments
The payments, introduced 9 September, cover anyone who has had to get a test from that time onwards (you can’t backdate your claims, unfortunately). However, there are a relatively narrow set of criteria that you have to match in order to be eligible for a payment.
You can only claim one of the $320 payments if you live in NSW, are aged 17 or older, have had a COVID test and needed to self-isolate, and have lost work due to this isolation period.
The payments are generally geared towards casual workers like hospitality and retail staff who might have had to cancel shifts.
In addition, you can’t claim the payment if you’re able to work from home, received any income during the isolation period, or have leave that you could have used.
Those claiming other COVID payments from the NSW government are also not allowed to claim these payments, neither are essential workers who are required to get tested every three days.
In order to apply, you’ll need a MYServiceNSW Account, your bank details, proof of employment, an identity document, proof of address, and details of the COVID test.
You can start your application here and the payment typically takes around three days to hit your account.