Melburnians out of work due to lockdown eligible for new federal “disaster payment”

Melburnians out of work due to lockdown eligible for new federal “disaster payment”

Applications for the support package are set to open from next Tuesday.

The federal government has just announced a new support package that will see Melburnians who lost work due to the current COVID lockdown eligible for a payment of either $500 or $325 depending on how many hours they were working prior to the lockdown.

Labelled the “temporary COVID disaster payment”, decisions around benefits will be made on a week-to-week basis, with those who normally work over 20 hours a week able to receive $500 and those who normally work under 20 hours a week able to receive $325.

What you need to know

  • Melburnians out of work because of the lockdown are be eligible for a new support package
  • Those who normally over 20 hours a week will be able to receive $500, those who work less than that will be able to receive $325
  • Applications for the “temporary COVID disaster payment” are set to open from next Tuesday via the Services Australia website

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

Once established, the support package will become an ongoing scheme, with other Australian states and territories also eligible for the payments if they incur a lockdown for more than a week, such is the case in Melbourne but not regional Victoria (who just had their lockdown lifted).

Those who are receiving other support payments from the federal government, such as JobSeeker, will not be eligible for the payment. It is also only applicable to those over the age of 17.

So are you eligible for the support package?

If that’s the case, to gain access to the payment, you’ll need to be able to prove that you would have been working had a lockdown not been introduced and have lost income as a result, and that you’ve exhausted other support measures such as pandemic sick leave or other leave your employee may be offering you. You must also currently have less than $10,000 in “liquid assets”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the scheme in a press conference today, noting that those eligible will be able submit their applications by next Tuesday through the Services Australia website. There will also be a contact number provided for those who have queries regarding their application.

More information will be made available via the Services Australia website.