With Sydney’s lockdown now set to last until at least the end of August, at least some good news has come through, with the weekly COVID-19 Disaster Payments are getting a boost. 

If you’ve lost anywhere from eight to 20 hours a week you will now be eligible to receive $450 per week, up from $375. 

If you’ve lost more than 20 hours of work then you’re eligible for $750, up from the previous $600. 

These payments will begin from next week.

The increase comes in the wake of lobbying from unions and the Labor Party, who were aiming for a reintroduction of the JobKeeper scheme.


Another important change is that those receiving payments from Centrelink such as JobSeeker and Youth Allowance are no longer ineligible for the weekly disaster payments. 

Now, those who receive Centrelink and have lost more than eight hours of work will be eligible for $200 weekly payments, on top of the payments they are currently receiving. 

“The whole point of this is that people are not able to earn that extra income they were earning, and these payments are there to support them and to ensure that there is some recognition of that, but they have been prevented from doing that, and this will provide them some additional support.”

However, you won’t be eligible for this payment if you don’t work and have lost fewer than eight hours. 

These payments can be accessed from August 3 via Services Australia. 

Here’s how to get the payments in NSW:

Who can get it

You must meet all eligibility rules to get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment – New South Wales.

You can get it even if you’re eligible on only one day during a payment period.

If you’re a member of a couple, you can both claim this payment. You and your partner will need to make separate claims.

If you’re a sole trader, you may be eligible for this payment. You should check if you’re eligible for a NSW business support payment first.

If you want to apply for a NSW business payment, you need to decide which is best for you. You can’t get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and the business payment at the same time. You can read more about business grants and financial assistance on the NSW Government website.

To get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, you need to meet all eligibility rules that apply.

This includes all of these rules:

  • you’re an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • you’re 17 years or older
  • you’re not getting an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance or Education Allowance
  • you’re not getting the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
  • you’ve lost hours of work and income due to a lockdown in your state and don’t have any pandemic-related paid leave entitlements.

You must also meet any rules for the COVID-19 health order that affected you. These may be different, depending on the circumstances for each location or movement restriction.

Read about the rules for these locations:

Lockdown is a period of restricted movement when people must stay at home and can only leave for approved reasons.

A hotspot is an area of COVID-19 local transmission declared by the Chief Medical Officer. The Department of Health website lists the current hotspots.


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