In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced details of a new temporary Covid disaster scheme.
It will apply to those unable to work in a Covid hotspot due to restrictions, when the lockdown extends for longer than seven days.
Morrison said those who ordinarily work more than 20 hours a week will be eligible for $500 a week, while those who ordinarily work less than 20 hours will be eligible for $325 a week. It’s similar to an arrangement that exists in New Zealand, he added.
Some limitations on eligibility will apply. Payments will be available to Australian residents, or visa holders entitled to work in Australia, who are over 17 years of age and unable to work in a Commonwealth-defined hotspot due to Covid restrictions.
To qualify, you must also self-declare that you’ve experienced a loss of income, that you would otherwise have been working during the designated period, that no other relevant leave entitlements apply, and that you have liquid assets of less than $10,000.
People in metropolitan Melbourne will be the first to access the temporary Covid disaster payment, as the current lockdown has been extended beyond seven days.
“Victorians just want to know that they are getting help next week,” Morrison said. “They want to know they will get that support, and if you meet the criteria you will get that support next week and you will get that payment next week. It will be provided into your bank account as all of these payments ordinarily are.”
Morrison said eligible people will be able to apply for the payment from Tuesday via Services Australia.