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The Government introduced several payments and supports to support Australians who are financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis but what does it all mean for you? 

We break down the new payments and how people can access them and why.

On this page

State Test and Isolate payments 
Payment Finder
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
Crisis Payment
Other payments 
Contact Services Australia

State Test and Isolate Payments

NSW

The COVID-19 Test and Isolate support payment from Service NSW provides $320 to eligible NSW workers who need to self-isolate and are unable to work while waiting for a COVID-19 test result. 

You'll need to apply for the payment within 7 days of having the test.

NSW workers can apply for the $320 payment if they:

Apply online via Service NSW

Victoria

The Victorian Government is providing payments to support Victorian workers, including guardians or carers, who are required to self-isolate or care for someone self-isolating while waiting for the results of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test.

Apply now for the COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment via the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions website.

For support to apply for the payment, call the 24/7 Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option 6, then select 4.

Note: Check your local state or territory website for a similar payment if it is not listed here. 

If you’re unable to work and earn income and you’ve been directed to quarantine or isolate

You may be able to get the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if you can’t work and earn income and either:

  • a state or territory health official has told you to isolate or quarantine because you’re a close contact of a confirmed case or have COVID-19
  • you’re caring for someone with COVID-19.

You can’t get this payment if you’re getting an income support payment or have sick leave entitlements. You can’t get it if you decide to self-isolate without a health official directing you to.


Payment Finder

Services Australia used to be called Centrelink and provides Government financial support to Australians who need it. You can answer a few questions on the Services Australia website to find out which payments you may be eligible for. The Payment Finder is an online tool that helps you see what services and payments you may be able to get. 

The results it gives you are indicative only and do not guarantee you will get these payments. You still need to apply. 

The service does not take into account all of your circumstances and should be used as a guide only.

If you do not know which payments may apply to your situation, go to Payment Finder

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a $1500 lump sum payment to help people living in the ACT, NSW, NT, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia who have been personally directed to self-isolate by a health official or you’re caring for someone with COVID-19.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for people who can't earn an income because they must self-isolate or quarantine.

This payment replaced the Victorian Government’s $1500 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support Payment in Victoria.

For more information go to Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

Crisis Payment

If you’re eligible for a payment from Services Australia and are in severe financial hardship

If you’re eligible for a payment from Services Australia and are in severe financial hardship, you may be able to get either:

If you need ongoing financial support

If you need another payment or service, read more about Getting a Centrelink payment.

Info on other Centrelink payments

Contact Services Australia

Over the phone

Our advice is to call early, and if you can’t get through on that hotline, to call another line (that may be less busy) and ask to be transferred to the right area once you are through to someone.

Be prepared for a long wait. Centrelink have said that they are experiencing high call volumes and long wait times, and waiting on hold for Centrelink is nothing new. So, make yourself a cuppa, grab a book or a magazine to read and if you can, put your phone on speakerphone while you are waiting on hold.

You can find Service Australia's/Centrelink’s full list of contact numbers here.

Online

Many services, including making claims and verifying your identity can now be done online. This reduces the risk of physical or face to face contact and spreading of Coronavirus COVID-19.

Extensive work has been done to address the shortcomings the online system experienced when it was inundated with user access requests earlier in the year. The website should perform normally, however, if you do experience slowness loading or a complete failure to load pages, try again at different times throughout the day and try to avoid “peak” times like the middle of the day and late afternoon.

Go to Services Australia - Centrelink to access online services. You will need a myGov account to sign in. 

In-person

Centrelink is limiting the number of people who can be in a Centrelink/Services Australia office at once and strict social distancing rules apply and in some cases, your local office may even be closed.

They have also implemented more flexible processes so that more things can be done over the phone and online to reduce the number of people attending Centrelink in a face to face situation to further slow the spread of COVID-19.

Visit Services Australia – Centrelink for more information.


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