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Lockdown Support for Individuals in NSW

Date: 15 July 2021

Last updated 30/07/2021

Are you unable to earn income due to the current COVID-19 lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement?

You may be eligible to apply for the following payments: The Covid-19 Disaster Payment; and the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

Information on The Top-Up payment for those on income support, NSW childcare gap fee and Eviction Moratorium is also available below.

How do I apply for this support?
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and the Pandemic Leave Payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account (or phone 180 22 66).

Covid-19 Disaster Payments

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a weekly payment available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to certain paid leave entitlements. If you are a couple, both people can separately claim the payment.

What is the timing of the payment?

The disaster payment is accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days, as declared by the Chief Medical Officer. However, from 18 July 2021, the disaster payment will be available to anyone in NSW who meets the eligibility criteria. And to Anyone from Victoria from the 15-27 July who was in a hotspot and impacted by the lockdowns.

How much is the payment?

The COVID-19 disaster payment amount available depends on:
• How many hours of work the individual has lost in the week, and
• If the payment is on or after the third period of the lockdown.

**From 2 August 2021, COVID-19 Disaster payment increases to $750 per week for those who have lost 20 hours or more of work, and $450 for those who have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours, or a full day of work. Disaster payment applies from day 1 of a lockdown (where the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days). Media Release – COVID-19 Disaster Support Payment boosted

What is the eligibility criteria for the payment?

The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:

  • Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
  • Are aged 17 years or over; and
  • Can’t attend work and lost income on or after day 8 of a COVID-19 lockdown; and
  • Don’t have paid leave available through your employer (other than annual leave); and
  • Are not receiving income support payments, a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period.

*A liquid assets test of $10,000 previously applied to the disaster payment was removed from Thursday, 8 July 2021.

“Top-up” Payments for those on income support

A special separate $200 ‘top-up’ payment will be made to those who currently receive an income support payment through social security, in addition to their existing payment, if they can demonstrate they have lost more than 8 hours of work and meet the other eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

The payment is claimed through Services Australia and myGov and will be a separate stand-alone payment. It will be paid weekly for however long the lockdown, and Commonwealth Hotspot remains in place.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for those who have been advised by their relevant health authority to self-isolate or quarantine because:

  • They have coronavirus (COVID-19);
  • They have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19;
  • They care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; or
  • They care for a child, 16 years or under, who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

*The payment might also be accessible if you are a carer for someone impacted.

How much is the payment?

The payment is $1,500 for each 14 day period you are advised to self-isolate or quarantine. If you are a couple, you both can claim this payment if you meet the eligibility criteria.

What is the eligibility criteria?

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:

  • Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
  • Are aged 17 years or over; and
  • Are unable to go to work and earn an income; and
  • Do not have appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave, or carers leave; and
  • Are not getting any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

*The payment is taxable, and you will need to declare it in your income tax return.

If you are uncertain of your eligibility, talk to Services Australia.

NSW Child-care gap fee

From 19 July 2021, the Government is enabling childcare services in NSW Local Government Areas to stay at home orders to waive gap-fees for parents keeping their children at home due to current COVID-19 restrictions. The gap fee is the difference between the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) the Government pays to a service and the remaining fee paid by the family.

The child-care gap fee waiver is only applicable where the childcare service opts in.

The Local Government Areas were expanded and now cover the City of Sydney, Municipality of Woollahra, City of Randwick, Municipality of Waverley, Bayside Council, Blacktown City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Municipality of Burwood, Camden Council, Central Coast Council, City of Campbelltown, the City of Canada Bay, City of Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland City Council, City of Fairfield, George’s River Council, City of Hawkesbury, Hornsby Shire, Municipality of Hunter’s Hill, Inner West Council, Ku-ring-gai Council, Lane Cove Council, City of Liverpool, Mosman Council, North Sydney Council, Northern Beaches Council, City of Parramatta, City of Penrith, City of Ryde, Shellharbour City Council, Municipality of Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, The Hills Shire, Wollondilly Shire, City of Willoughby, and Wollongong City Council.

Eviction Moratorium

The NSW Government has introduced a targeted eviction moratorium to protect residential tenants. The moratorium applies where:
• You have lost work/income because they or a member of their household contracted COVID; or
• The household’s take-home weekly income has reduced by 25% or more (including any government assistance received) compared to the weekly income received in the 4 weeks before 26 June 2021; and
• They continue to pay at least 25% of the rent payable.

60-day freeze on evictions
Tenants who can’t pay their rent in full because the COVID-19 outbreak impacts them can’t be evicted between now and 11 September 2021.

Financial support for landlords
Residential landlords who decrease rent for impacted tenants can apply for up to $1,500 or land tax reductions depending on their circumstances. The land tax relief will be equal to the value of rent reductions provided to financially distressed tenants for up to 100% of the 2021 land tax year liability.

If you are unsure how these economic updates will affect you personally, Roberts & Morrow’s experienced team is available to help – call our office today or email enquiries@rm.net.au.

**The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice, and you should not act specifically based on this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

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