From Monday 10 January, Australians who test positive to COVID-19 and lose work as a result may be eligible to access a payment of up to $750.
The positive result can come from via a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
These changes announced by the Federal Government late last week will be scaled based on the number of hours of work the individual has lost or expects to lose during an isolation period of up to seven days.
Specifically, under the changes made to Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments:
- Individuals who have lost or expect to lose 20 hours or more will continue to be entitled to $750.
- Individuals have lost or expect to lose at least a day of work or up to 19 hours will be entitled to $450.
The Pandemic Leave Payment is also open to Australians who are isolating following being deemed close contacts and those who are caring for someone with COVID-19.
To receive the payment, Australians will need to have advice of a positive test from a testing clinic or health professional or evidence that they have registered a positive result from a home-administered RAT with their state health authority.
Each state and territory have implemented the same criteria for the distribution of Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments:
- You have coronavirus (COVID-19); for isolation periods starting before 10 January 2022, you must have been directly informed you have COVID-19 by a health official.
- You’re informed by a health official that you’re a close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- You care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19.
- You’re informed by a health official that a child you care for who is 16 years or under, is a close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- You’re caring for someone who has COVID-19.
- You’re caring for someone with disability or a severe medical condition who must self-isolate or quarantine because they’re a close contact of a person with COVID-19.
Australians who have lost at least a day of work because they are isolating due to being COVID-19 positive, caring for someone who is COVID-19 positive or meet the definition of a close contact may be eligible for up to $750 effective 18 January.
A financial hardship test will also be introduced - with Australians who have available funds of $10,000 or more deemed ineligible - to ensure the taxpayer funded payments are targeted to those who need them most.
Australians will have 14 days from the commencement of their isolation period to claim the payment.
Claims can be made using the myGov portal through an eligible Centrelink Online Account or if a person can’t use online services they can call 180 22 66 for assistance to claim this payment.
Image by Emma Shulzhenko via Unsplash