• 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

  • High-risk Settings Pandemic Payment: For people who work in a high-risk setting and can’t earn an income because you have tested positive for COVID-19. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • No Interest Loans: If you are on a low income or Centrelink income support payments, or you have experienced family or domestic violence in the last 10 years, you may be able to borrow up to $2,000 without paying fees or interest from Good Shepherd.

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.

  Note that Crisis Payment for National Health Emergency and Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment has closed for applications. 

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.

High-Risk Settings Pandemic Payment

 Read more about the High-Risk Settings Pandemic Payment on the Services Australia website.

Payment amount

$450 if you lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s pay, but less than 20 hours 

$750 if you lost 20 hours or more of work. 

Who can access this payment

If you work in a high-risk setting and can’t earn an income because you have COVID-19, and are not entitled to paid leave.

Impact of other payments

You can’t claim this payment if you have exceeded the claim limit. You can get this payment and the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment a combined total of three times in a six-month period. Read more about claim limits.

You won’t be eligible if you have received Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee or COVID-19 Test Isolation Payments in the claim period.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you:   

  • Work in a high-risk setting 
  • Are a casual employee or have no appropriate paid leave entitlements (including pandemic sick leave or personal leave) 
  • Have lost at least 8 hours work, or a full day’s pay 
  • Submit a claim within 14 days of the first day you can’t go to work 
  • Are over 17 years old and live in Australia 
  • An Australian resident or hold a working visa 
  • Are living in Australian during the claim period, and when you submit your claim 
  • Have liquid assets of less than $10,000 on the first day of the period you’re claiming for (e.g. cash, savings or assets that can be easily changed into cash) 
  • Haven’t exceeded the claim limits. 

High risk settings are: 

  • Aged care, including home care with close personal care and support services 
  • Disability care, including home care with close personal care and support services 
  • Aboriginal healthcare, including workers employed by National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (NACCHOs), community health care, Aboriginal drug and alcohol services and support services 
  • Hospital care, including day hospitals and smaller facilities, paramedical, ambulance, patient transport and support. 

How to access

You must submit your claim within 14 days of the first day you can’t go to work.  

Apply via Service 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

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

The $250 payment is 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 previous program are eligible to apply for another $250 payment. 

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

No Interest Loans (NILs)

   Read more about No Interest Loans on the Good Shepherd website. 

Payment amount Borrow up to $2,000 for essential goods and services without having to pay any fees or interest
Who can access this payment If you are on a low income or receive Centrelink income support payments, and are experiencing financial hardship, or if you have experienced family or domestic violence in the last 10 years.
Impact of other payments You will be assessed to see if you are eligible, including your ability to repay the loan 
Eligibility To be eligible for a no interest loan, you must: 

  • Have a Health Care Card or Pension Card, or 
  • Earn less than $70,000 (gross annual income) as a single, or $100,000 (gross annual income) as a couple or person with dependants, or 
  • Have experienced family or domestic violence in the last 10 years, and 
  • Show you can repay the loan. 
How to access

You can call Good Shepherd’s No Interest Loan team on 13 64 57 or find out more online. 

More self-help resources

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