With another week comes another change to support payments. We sent out an update last week about the increased support available for those in lockdown – but Wednesday’s announcements have seen the program expanded once again.
It can be hard to keep up with this constantly changing stream of information. That’s why we’ve rounded up all the changes that were announced on Friday afternoon, to help you wrap your head around the new rules for the support payment.
Struggling Sydneysiders will receive an extra $150.
Individuals that lose 20 hours or more of work during the period of the lockdown will now receive $750. Previously, these payments were $600.
For those who lose between 8 and 20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown, payments of $375 will be made. Previously, this was $300.
If you lost income because you visited Sydney and were affected by the restricted movement order, you may also be eligible to claim these payments.
Welfare recipients are now included.
For both states, the biggest change to the eligibility requirements is that the liquid assets test has been removed. You no longer need to have less than $10,000 in liquid assets to apply for the support payments. This will likely make the payment available to thousands of our clients who were previously disqualified.
Other guidelines have also been altered. Previously, the payments were only available to those who were in lockdown for over 7 days. This has been altered in Victoria so that those struggling through the 5-day snap lockdown can still apply for the payment.
In both states, the respective state governments have agreed to foot the bill for payments to people locked down outside of Commonwealth declared hotspots. This means that those in regional NSW and Victoria will still be able to apply if they can prove their income has been affected.
Unfortunately, if you’re receiving another income support payment, such as Jobseeker, you still can’t claim the Covid-19 Support Payment.
Where do I apply?
You can claim the payment online through your myGov account, which you’ll need to link to your Centrelink online account. This can be done quickly through myGov and requires confirmation of your identity.
Eligible working visa holders need to call Centrelink on 180 22 66 instead, and phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm. Non-English speakers can also call the Multilingual Phone Service on 131 202.
When will the payments start to arrive?
Payments will be made in arrears on application to Services Australia, 7 days after the commencement of the lockdown.
That means they’ll start to be paid out from Friday 23 July 2021.
We hope that this information has been useful to you. We know firsthand just how tough lockdowns can be on everyone, and our hearts go out to those currently experiencing economic uncertainty.If you’re yet to file your tax return, consider doing it now. With this year’s average refund set to be nearly $3000, it’s a good way to access cash fast during the lockdown. By using an affordable online service like Ezytaxback, you’re guaranteed to maximise your return and get your payment back quickly.