The Federal government has announced a COVID Disaster payment to provide financial support for workers in areas defined as COVID-19 national hotspots which are undergoing lockdown for more than seven days.

This payment can be applied for using your Centrelink online account through myGov from Tuesday 8 June 2021.

For employees:

To be eligible, you must meet all of the following:

  • be an Australian resident, permanent resident or eligible working visa holder
  • live or work in a Commonwealth declared hotspot
  • unable to work and earn income as a result of a state lockdown
  • the lockdown is for 7 days or more
  • have liquid assets of $10,000 or less.

If you are eligible, you will receive one payment for each period of lockdown. You’ll get either:

  • $325 if you’ve lost 19 hours or less of work
  • $500 if you’ve lost 20 hours or more of work.

You can’t get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment if you’re getting any of these:

  • income support payments
  • Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
  • business support payments.

For employers:

So that your employees are eligible to receive this payment you will need to ensure:

  • the employee has used up all leave entitlements except annual leave and any other pandemic leave state-based entitlements. This would include any accrued time in lieu or RDO’s.
  • the employee has been stood down in accordance with the agreement or contract if the employee cannot usefully be employed during that period because of that circumstance.

This document contains general advice only and is prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial circumstances and needs. The information provided is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should speak to a licensed financial advisor who should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances.  While The Field Group believes the information is accurate, no warranty is given as to its accuracy and persons who rely on this information do so at their own risk. The information provided in this bulletin is not considered financial product advice for the purposes of the corporations Act 2001.

About the author

The Field Group is composed of experts in the fields of Xero accounting, personal tax, self-managed superannuation, audit services, business services, bookkeeping, bench marking, business structuring and ATO Compliance. Based in Melbourne, The Field Group are also able to work with clients all over Australia and are the market leader for accounting services in the Ringwood, Croydon, Chirnside Park, Lilydale and general Melbourne eastern suburb region.

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