*This information is correct as of 4 August 2021
With COVID-19 lockdowns unfortunately occurring across different areas of Victoria in 2021, various businesses and individuals have been disrupted in so many ways. To assist, the state and federal government have some financial aid options that may be on offer to those who have been negatively affected. Businesses and individuals may be eligible for these payments, depending on their circumstances, so ensure you research thoroughly to find out if these are available to you.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a payment designed to assist workers across Victoria, and Australia, who have been affected by a state public health order, including lockdowns, movement restrictions and/or hotspot designations. The payment depends on a range of factors, including location and your personal circumstances, so the amount can change between individuals.
More information can be found here.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
If you have been unable to work due to quarantine requirements, self-isolation or caring for someone with COVID-19, you may be eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. Full eligibility details can be found here, however it is generally for those that have been told to quarantine or self-isolate because:
- They have COVID-19;
- They have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19;
- They care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; and/or
- They care for a child, 16 years or under, who’s been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
Additional information can be found here.
A Crisis Payment is a one-off lump sum which can be given to those in extreme financial hardship who have experienced one of the following circumstances:
- They, or someone they are caring for, has been required to quarantine or self-isolate due to COVID-19;
- Experienced an incident of family and domestic violence;
- Had to leave home because of a natural or other disaster not covered by a disaster relief payment;
- Arrived in Australia as a Humanitarian Entrant for the first time; or
- Released from prison or psychiatric confinement.
Other eligibility criteria also apply. In most cases, Services Australia must be contacted within 7 days of the extreme circumstance occurring. However, if the extreme circumstance is due to COVID-19, contact must be made within 14 days. Further information about the Crisis Payment can be found here.
Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency (COVID-19)
A Crisis Payment is available specifically for those affected by COVID-19. Known as the Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency (COVID-19), it is a one-off payment and eligibility includes:
- eligible for an income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance; and
- in severe financial hardship; and
- in Australia when you claim.
More information can be found at the Services Australia website here.
COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment
The Victorian Government is providing a $450 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment to support Victorian workers, including parents and guardians, who are required to self-isolate while you wait for the results of your COVID-19 test. More information regarding this payment can be found here.
Finally, there is the Special Benefit financial payment for residents across Victoria and Australia. This is applicable to those who are not eligible for any other payments from Services Australia, however are experiencing financial hardship for reasons beyond an individuals control. This is only available to those who are ineligible for all other income support payments - more information can be found here.
Assistance for Retirees
If you have retired and live in Victoria, there are two changes that have been made to assist during COVID-19:
- Superannuation minimum drawdown requirements: For the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 income years, the Government is reducing the minimum drawdown requirements by 50%; and
- Deeming rates for pensioners: As of 1 May 2020, the lower deeming rate for pensioners is 0.25% and the upper deeming rate is 2.25%.
Further information can be found here.
Additional resources, including an Extreme Hardship Support Program from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and Relief/Food Packages from the Red Cross and Victorian Government, are also available. The Victorian Government website has further information in this regard - learn more here.