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The Government has 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
Payment Finder
Disaster Recovery - NSW Floods
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
JobKeeper Payment
Jobseeker Payment
Economic Support Payment
Coronavirus Supplement
Contact Services Australia

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

Disaster Recovery - NSW Floods

Disaster Recovery Payment

A one-off payment of $1000 for adults and $400 for children directly impacted by the March 2021 floods in NSW. 

Go to Disaster Recovery Payment to apply or find out more. 

Disaster Recovery Allowance

Ongoing support for up to 13 weeks if you can show you lost income as a direct result of the floods in New South Wales in March 2021.

Go to Disaster Recovery Allowance to apply or find out more. 

You have until 20 September 2021 to make a claim. 

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a $1500 lump sum payment to help people living in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia who are required to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 or close contact with a confirmed case. 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

JobKeeper Payment

JobKeeper stops on March 28 2021. The JobKeeper payment has been helping people keep their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.

For more information, go to JobKeeper for businesses impacted by COVID-19

JobSeeker Payment

The Job Seeker Payment replaces the Newstart Allowance. It is for people who are looking for or "seeking" work. Some older people might call this payment "the dole". It includes some recipients with disabilities (but only those who do not receive a Disability Support Pension) and parenting responsibilities that stop them from looking for full-time work.

It is different from the JobKeeper Payment. It provides financial help if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age and looking for work. It’s also for when you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study for a short time. How much you get will depend on your circumstances.

This payment was being supplemented by the $150 Coronavirus Supplement. The Coronavirus supplement finishes on March 31, 2021. 

For more information, or to make a claim online go to JobSeeker Payment.


Read more: JobKeeper and JobSeeker - What has changed?


Economic Support Payment

You don’t need to do a thing to claim the $250 payment from the Government’s Economic support package. If you are eligible, it will be automatically processed and sent to your account registered with Services Australia (Centrelink). This payment is in addition to ongoing income support payments as listed below. 

Who gets the $250 Economic Support Payments?

Generally, you won’t get the Economic Support Payment if you get $1 or more of the Coronavirus Supplement.

You’ll get the payment if you get one of the following:

  • Age Pension
  • Carer Allowance
  • Carer Payment
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Double Orphan Pension
  • Family Tax Benefit
  • Pensioner Concession Card

You need to get an eligible payment or have an eligible card on:

  • 27 November 2020 to get the December 2020 payment
  • 26 February 2021 to get the March 2021 payment.

If you claim Family Tax Benefit for 2020-21 as a lump sum, you’ll get the payment with your lump sum. This will be after you've claimed and confirmed your income for the 2020-21 financial year.


How many payments are there?

The last Economic Support Payment was in March 2021. You should have already received yours by now. 

For more information, go to Economic Support Payment.

Coronavirus Supplement

The Coronavirus supplement ends on March 31. The Coronavirus supplement is payable to people on a number of different payments from Centrelink, including Jobseekers, Youth Allowance, Farm Household, Parenting payment recipients and others.

The Coronavirus Supplement will be extended for JobSeeker recipients at a rate of $150 per fortnight from 1 January 2021 through to 31 March 2021 on top of their base rate of payment and other supplements they are eligible for. This is $400 less than the initial supplement.

It did not apply to Disability Support Pensioners. We think it should have and you can read our joint statement about that here.

For more information, go to Coronavirus supplement.

If you have questions, you can call Centrelink or check their website for more information.

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, like ABSTUDY) 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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