Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian have announced a raft of new support measures for the state of NSW in response to the prolonged lockdown in Greater Sydney.
The Federal Government’s support package will be available to those in the Greater Sydney area (a declared COVID-19 hotspot). The NSW Government will match the measures for those across the remainder of NSW provided that they meet the eligibility requirements.
In his announcement, the Prime Minister declared that these support packages would be available to any state or territory that experienced an extended lockdown.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
The Federal Government has expanded the support available to individuals when there is a Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot under the existing COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
From week 4 of the lockdown (18 July), the following weekly payments can be claimed by individuals who have lost more than 8 hours or a full day of work in a week:
- lost 20 hours or more $600 (previously $500)
- lost between 8 and 20 hours $375 (previously $325)
Additionally, from early August these weekly payments will see a further increase as follows:
- lost 20 hours or more, increased to $750 (previously $600)
- lost between 8 and 20 hours, increased to $450 (previously $375)
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also announced that these payments will be tax-free.
Individuals will need to meet the additional eligibility criteria which includes:
- Australian resident or working visa
- 17 years or older
- Not in receipt of certain support payments
- Live in, work from or visited a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot
- Not receiving the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
- Lost income on or after day 8 of the lockdown and don’t have any appropriate pandemic-related paid leave entitlements.
- The requirement to have liquid assets of <$10,000 will not apply
Payments will continue whilst the hotspot and lockdown restriction continue without the need to reapply every 7 days.
Sole traders may also apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if they are unable to operate their business from home and are not receiving another state or territory pandemic or business support payment such as the NSW COVID-19 Business Support Grant, or JobSaver.
As at 13 July 2021, the Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot covers Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong.
From 18 July the expanded COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be available across all of NSW for those individuals that meet the eligibility criteria.
Applications will continue to be made through Services Australia. Click here to find out more information.
Tenant eviction moratorium
Residential tenants who have lost 25% or more of their income due to COVID-19 and meet other to be specified criteria will have a moratorium on eviction for 60 days
Further details of how this measure will apply are expected to be released shortly, with NSW legislation to follow.
Mental health support
The Federal and NSW governments will provide an additional $17.35m to support mental health programmes in NSW targeted through existing providers.