What lockdown support is available?
If you can’t work because you or someone in your household is impacted by COVID-19, there is support available, but it comes with fairly strict eligibility criteria.
There are two payments accessible to individuals: The COVID -19 Disaster Payment; and the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. Both payments are accessible through Services Australia and applications can be made through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account.
COVID-19 Disaster payments
Contrary to news reports, the COVID-19 disaster payment is not accessible to “everyone” in lockdown – strict eligibility rules apply.
The COVID-19 disaster payment is available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or who have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to paid leave entitlements. And, it only applies from the eighth day of lockdown. That is, there is nothing you can claim for the first week of a lockdown.
What’s a hotspot?
The disaster payment is only accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days as declared by the Chief Medical Officer (you can find the listing here). In Sydney’s case, the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick were Commonwealth declared hotspots from 23 June 2021 with the hotspot extended until 2 July 2021 – meaning that the COVID-19 disaster payment is available to eligible workers in those areas from 1 July 2021. Greater Sydney was declared a hotspot from 26 June 2021.