COVID-19 Disaster Payment was introduced in June 2021 as a temporary payment for people who lost work due to a COVID-19 state public health order. The recurring weekly payment supports people who are impacted by extended periods of lockdown, hotspots and movement restrictions. It is also available to people who supplement their income support payments by working.
Since starting, Services Australia has granted 3.7 million claims to nearly 2 million people and paid out $9.29 billion.
For detailed information on eligibility and payment rates, visit the Services Australia website here.
Changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment
Changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment come into effect when a state or territory’s population (16 years and over) reach 70% and 80% fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment will continue to be paid automatically until a state or territory reaches the 70% milestone.
Official daily COVID-19 vaccination rates for Australian states and territories are available on the Department of Health website.
What happens at 70% fully vaccinated?
When a state or territory’s population (16 years and older) reaches 70% fully vaccinated, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will no longer be paid automatically. Payments will still be available to people whose hours of work continue to be reduced due to a lockdown, however they will need to reapply each week.
The claiming process is the same as people have followed previously—and the quickest and easiest way to apply is via myGov.
The payment will continue at the current rate (i.e. the same rate that was paid before the state or territory reached the 70% milestone).
The rate that will be paid at 70% fully vaccinated is:
- $750 per week for over 20 hours lost
- $450 per week if you’ve lost between 8 and 20 hours
- $200 per week for people on income support who’ve lost 8 hours of work or more.
What happens at 80% fully vaccinated?
When a state or territory’s population (16 years and older) reaches 80% fully vaccinated, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment rates will reduce over a 2 week period and then stop.
People will need to continue to claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment each week once their state or territory reaches the 80% milestone.
In the first week after the state or territory reaches 80%, people can apply for a payment of:
- $450 if they have lost more than 8 hours of work
- $100 if they get an eligible Centrelink or DVA payment.
In the second week:
- People can apply for a payment of $320 if they have lost more than 8 hours of work.
- The payment will stop for people who get an eligible Centrelink or DVA payment.
In the third week after a state or territory reaches 80% the payment will no longer be available.
What do people have to do to continue getting the COVID-19 Disaster Payment?
Once a state or territory reaches 70% fully vaccinated, people will need to reapply each week for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment. The claim process remains the same—Australian residents must claim COVID-19 Disaster Payment online using myGov. Eligible visa holders need to call the Emergency Information line on 180 22 66. This phone line is open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Visit the Services Australia website for more information about the claim opening and closing dates for specific LGAs.
Once a claim has been finalised, people will be paid within 7 days.
What to do if you need extra support
People who are still unable to work when the COVID-19 Disaster Payment ceases can use Services Australia’s Payment and Service finder tool to identify other support they may be eligible for, like JobSeeker Payment.
More information about the eligibility, rates of payment and ongoing obligations for JobSeeker Payment are available on the Services Australia website.
People who are unable to earn an income because they’ve been directed to self-isolate, quarantine, or care for someone who has COVID-19 can apply for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. This is a lump sum payment of $1,500 for 14 days.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment cannot be claimed in conjunction with the COVID-19 Disaster Payment but it will be available until 30 June 2022.
- Read more about COVID-19 Disaster Payment on our website.