Support is available if you are impacted by the Queensland lockdowns.
Eleven Queensland local Government areas were declared a Commonwealth hotspot on 31 July 2021. If you are impacted, there is assistance available to you and your business.
There are two payments accessible to individuals: the COVID-19 Disaster Payment; and, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
How to apply for support
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment or the top-up income support payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account. Apply for the Pandemic Leave Payment by phoning Services Australia on 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 who 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.
Sole traders may apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if you are unable to operate your business from home. However, you will not be eligible if you are also receiving a state business grant such as the NSW 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver.
Timing of the payment
The disaster payment is generally accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days as declared by the Chief Medical Officer (you can find the listing here). From 2 August 2021, payments will apply from day one of the lockdown and will be paid in arrears once claims open (previously, the payment only applied from day 8 of a lockdown).
How much is the payment?
The COVID-19 disaster payment amount available depends on:
How many hours of work you have lost in the week, and
If the payment is on or after the third period of the lockdown.
The payment applies to each week of lockdown you are eligible. On 29 July 2021, the Prime Minister stated that the COVID-19 disaster payment will not be taxable.
The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:
Live or work in an area that is subject to a state or territory public health order that imposes restriction on movement and is declared a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot, or
Have visited an area that is a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot and you are subsequently subject to a restricted movement order when you return to other parts of the impacted region or interstate.
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
Have lost 8 hours or more of work or a full day of your usual work as a result of the restrictions - losing work includes being stood down by your employer, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home. Losing a full day of what you were scheduled to work but could not work because of a restricted movement order includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time or casual shift of less than 8 hours, and
Don’t have paid pandemic-related leave available through your employer (annual leave is not taken into account for this), 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. See ‘Top up’ payments for those on income support below. 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.
‘Top up’ payments for those on income support
A special separate $200 a week ‘top-up’ payment is available to those who currently receive an income support payment through social security, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay 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.
If you are a member of a couple, you can both apply for this payment.
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:
Test positive to COVID-19;
Have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case;
Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; or
Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case; or
Care for a person who has tested positive to COVID-19.
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.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment 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.
If you are concerned about the impact of disaster relief payments on you, talk to us.
For my business
The Queensland Government has announced a $5,000 Business Support Grant for those impacted by the lockdown from Saturday, 31 July 2021. Your business does not have to be in the local government areas locked down but impacted by it.
How to apply
Applications are made online through Business Queensland. Applications open mid-August.
The full eligibility details, and details of how to evidence the 30% reduction in turnover, are not available as yet. We will let you know as soon as the details are released.
The grant is limited to businesses with:
Turnover of more than $75,000 per annum, and
Annual payroll in Queensland of up to $10 million
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 on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.