How to claim the $750 COVID pandemic leave payment

If you’ve caught COVID in the latest wave of infections and you’re unable to work due to isolation requirements, you may be eligible for the $750 COVID relief payments that have been reinstated today.

COVID cases have been soaring, with more than 300,000 cases recorded nationwide in the past week, according to Health Minister Mark Butler, who said the actual number would be much higher.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese agreed to reinstate the Pandemic Leave Isolation Payments in response to the surge in cases.

The payments had been halted on June 30, but the Government has agreed to bring them back.

Fortunately, if you have COVID and you can’t earn any income due to stay-at-home orders – perhaps you’re a casual worker in a hospitality job – you may be eligible for government support worth up to $750 for every seven-day isolation period.


How to know if I’m eligible

These payments are designed for people who can’t work because they are isolating with COVID, or if they are caring for someone with COVID who needs to isolate.

For every seven-day period of self-isolation, quarantine or caring, you may be eligible for:

  • $450 If you’ve lost at least eight hours or a full day’s work and less than 20 hours of work, or
  • $750 if you lost 20 hours or more of work.

You may be required to isolate for the following reasons:

  • You have COVID
  • You’re required or recommended to isolate as a close contact of a person who has COVID
  • You’re recommended to isolate by an employer or educational facility
  • You’re caring for someone with a disability or severe medical condition and they must self-isolate or quarantine as a close contact of a person who had COVID-19.

There are a few other requirements to be mindful of to make sure you qualify.

If you are caring for someone, you need to be living in the same home as that person.

You also can’t claim the payment if you are able to work from home.

You also can’t be accessing any other forms of sick leave – including pandemic sick leave, personal leave and leave to care for another person – that you might get through your workplace.

You must also have liquid assets of less than $10,000 on the first day of the period you are claiming for, which are any funds readily available to you in cash or savings.

You also need to be at least 17 years old and live in Australia, be an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in the country, and be living in Australia at the time of the claim.

You must also submit a claim within 14 days of the start of your isolation or caring period.


How to claim

You can claim your disaster payment online or via phone.

If you plan to claim online, you first need to set up a myGov account that’s linked to Centrelink.

If this is the first time you are claiming a payment, you may need to prove your identity online using myGov.

You may need to enter some personal information from two acceptable identity documents, as well as your Medicare card.

Once your identity has been proved and your myGov account has been linked to Centrelink, you can log in to lodge a claim.

If you’ve already lodged a claim for a payment in the past, you can use your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN).

If you are unable to use myGov for any reason, you can call the emergency information line.


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