• Renter
  • COVID-19 affected person
  • VIC

What is this resource?

The Federal and Victorian Governments are offering a number of different types of COVID-19 financial support for individuals.  Here’s a rundown of the various kinds of support available during the pandemic:

Overview of payments

  • Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment: For people who need to isolate or quarantine because you have COVID-19 or are a close contact, or you are caring for someone with COVID-19 or are a close contact. Paid by the Federal Government.

  • Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee: For Victorian workers who are not able to work because you are ill or caring for someone, and not entitled to paid leave. This includes if you are a casual employee or self-employed. Paid by the Victorian Government.

  • Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency (COVID-19): For people who are on a Centrelink income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance, who has to quarantine or self-isolate (or caring for someone who is quarantining or self-isolating), and in severe financial hardship.  Paid by the Federal Government.

  • Help to pay your rent:  If you are in a private rental and you’re behind in rent, you may be eligible for a one-off payment through the Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP).

  • $250 Power Saving Bonus: Victorian households can use the Victorian Energy Compare website to find a better price on your energy bill, and the Victorian Government will give you $250.

For an overview of all the support available for Victorian individuals and families during this time (including financial, utilities & bills, food, emergency relief and hardship support) see the Victorian Government’s website.

If you’re a business looking for help, visit the Victorian Government’s business grants and support website.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

Read more about the Pandemic Leave Disaster payment on the Services Australia website.

Payment amount

$450 for 7 days of isolation – if you lost at least 8 hours, or a full day’s work

$750 for 7 days of isolation – if you lost 20 hours of more of work 

Who can access this payment

If you need to isolate because you have COVID-19 or are a close contact, or you needed to care for a someone affected by either of these.

Impact of other payments

You cannot receive this payment if during the isolation, quarantine or caring period, you received:

  • any income, earnings, or salary
  • Centrelink income payments or JobKeeper payments,
  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment or the Victorian COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment, or

if you’re an essential worker who is able to work.

Eligibility

You may be eligible if you or someone you’re caring for has to self-isolate or quarantine, if you:

  • Have COVID-19 (confirmation by PCR or home RA Test), or
  • Are required to isolate as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, or
  • Care for someone or a child 16 years or younger, who has COVID-19 or is a close contact with someone who has COVID-19,
  • Are unable to work and lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s work in a 7-day period of self isolation, quarantine or caring,
  • Have liquid assets (e.g. cash or assets that can easily changed for cash) of less than $10,000 on the first day of the period you’re claiming for,
  • Have no sick leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person,
  • During the isolation, quarantine or caring period, you have not received any income or Centrelink income payments or JobKeeper payments, COVID-19 Disaster Payment or the Victorian COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment,
  • Are living in Australia during your self-isolation, quarantine or caring period,
  • Are in Australia at the time of your claim,
  • Are an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work,
  • Are 17 years of age or older.

If you’re a member of a couple, you can both claim this payment. You and your partner must complete separate claims.

How to access

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

Claims open at 8am on Wednesday 20 July 2022. Apply online or phone Services Australia if your claim is for before 18 January 2022.

 

Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee 

 Read more about the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee on the Victorian Government website.

Payment amount

Up to 38 hours a year of sick or carer’s pay at national minimum wage ($20.33 per hour)

Who can access this payment

If you are a Victorian worker who is a casual employee or self-employed and you are not able to work because you are ill or caring for someone, and are not entitled to paid leave.

Impact of other payments

You can’t claim the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and the Sick Pay Guarantee at the same time.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:  

  • Are 15 years or over
  • Are a casual employee or self-employed with no other employees (such as a sole trader or an independent contractor)
  • Are not entitled to paid personal, sick or carer’s leave in any of your jobs
  • Work physically in Victoria, no matter where you live
  • Have the right to work in Australia
  • Work in an eligible occupation (see below for list of occupations)
  • On average, work at least 7.6 hours per week in an eligible occupation(s).

Eligible occupations are:

  • Hospitality workers
  • Food preparation assistants
  • Food trades workers
  • Sales support workers
  • Sales assistants
  • Other labourers who work in supermarket supply chains
  • Aged and disability carers
  • Cleaners and laundry workers
  • Security officers and guards

See full list of eligible occupations on the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee Guidelines website.

How to access

You can claim for a minimum of three hours and a maximum of 12 hours per day. You can claim all 38 hours in one application if you need to.

You must submit your claim within 60 days of the absence from work. Note that you cannot claim for any absences before you registered for the Sick Pay Guarantee.  Check your eligibility and register online via the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee website.

Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency (COVID-19)

 Read more about the Crisis Payment on the Services Australia website.

Payment amount

One-off payment equal to a week’s pay at the maximum basic rate of your income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance. 

Who can access this payment

If you are eligible for an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, or are in severe financial hardship, you can apply for this payment.

Impact of other payments

You can receive a maximum of 2 Crisis Payments for National Health Emergency in a 6-month period. However, you can only receive 1 payment per quarantine or self-isolation.  

If claiming this payment for caring for someone with COVID-19, you cannot claim this payment if someone else has already received the payment to provide care for the same person.  

Eligibility

To receive this payment you must be:  

  • Eligible for Centrelink income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance,  

  • In severe financial hardship,

  • In Australia when you claim.  

You must also either be: 

  • Required to be in quarantine or self-isolation in Australia,

  • Caring for someone required to be in quarantine or self-isolation in Australia. 

You must also contact Services Australia within 14 days of entering quarantine or self-isolation or caring for someone who is.  

You can’t receive this crisis payment for lockdown.  

How to access

Apply online via Services Australia.

$250 Power Saving Bonus

   Read more about the $250 Power Saving Bonus on the Victorian Energy Compare website.

Payment amount

$250 – one off payment

Who can access this payment

Applications will be open to all Victorians households who visit the Victorian Energy Compare website or engage with an energy affordability service through one of our participating community outreach partners. 

Impact of other payments

Households that have previously claimed a $50 or $250 Power Saving Bonus prior to 1 July 2022 will be eligible for this new payment. The payment program is scheduled to run until 30 June 2023. 

Eligibility

From 1 July 2022, the new $250 payment will be open to all Victorian households who use the Victorian Energy Compare website to compare their energy deal and seek out a better price. Only one bonus is available per household.  
 
To be eligible for the new $250 Power Saving Bonus, Victorian households will need to: 

  • Have a recent residential electricity bill and be the account holder for that bill 
  • Visit the Victorian Energy Compare website or engage with an energy affordability service through one of our participating community outreach partners. 

Concession recipients who have already received a $250 Power Saving Bonus payment through the current phase of the program are eligible to apply for another $250 payment when the new phase of the program opens on 1 July 2022. 

How to access

The quickest way to submit an application for the $250 Power Saving Bonus will be through the Victorian Energy Compare website.

Victorians who do not have access to a computer or the internet can call the Victorian Energy Compare helpline (1800 000 832) or receive support from a community outreach partners. 

Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP)

Payment amount

A one-off payment to help cover the cost of your rent.

Who can access this payment

If you are living in a private rental and are experiencing financial hardship, including if you receive Centrelink income support payments, you can apply for this payment.

Impact of other payments

Payments are made directly to your rental provider (landlord) so shouldn’t affect your income. Check with your local housing service if you’re unsure.

Eligibility

If you are behind in rent or have missed a rental payment, you may be eligible for financial support through the Victorian government funded Private Rental Assistance Program.

How to access

Find your local housing and homelessness service and call them to ask about accessing PRAP.

If your local PRAP service is Launch Housing, you can apply online.  

 

 

Dear Landlord: A free self-help tool for renters in Victoria

If you are behind in rent or struggling to pay rent, Dear Landlord can help you understand your options based on your circumstances. Simply answer a few questions and Dear Landlord will help determine the best way forward, whether that’s helping you draft a payment plan request to your rental provider, request a rent reduction, prepare a VCAT review application, get ready for a VCAT hearing, end a lease, and finding further financial or legal help.

Use Dear Landlord

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