What kind of COVID-19 financial support is available for Victorians? 

Last updated 10 September 2021

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

  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment: For people who couldn’t work more than 8 hours or a full day and lost income due to a COVID-19 state or territory public health order. This may involve a lockdown, hotspot or movement restrictions. Paid by the Federal Government.
  • Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment: For people who need to isolate for 14 days because you have COVID-19, are a close contact or have visited a Tier 1 exposure site, or you are caring for a child with COVID-19, are a close contact or have visited a Tier 1 exposure site. Paid by the Federal Government. 
  • COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment: For Victorian workers while they self-isolate to wait for COVID-19 test results. 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.
  • Extreme Hardship Support Program – Victoria: For people who aren’t eligible for Centrelink or other Commonwealth income support, for example temporary or provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants who have zero or limited income or savings. Paid by the Red Cross.
  • COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant: For people renting in Victoria who have lost income due to the pandemic, and negotiated a rent reduction on or after 27 May 2021. 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). 

  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 this Victorian Government website.  

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

COVID-19 Disaster Payment – not receiving Centrelink payments 

  Read more about the COVID-19 Disaster payment on the Services Australia website 

Payment amount $1500 – one-off payment for people who do not receive Centrelink income support. 
Who can access this payment If you couldn’t work more than 8 hours or a full day and lost income due to lockdown in Victoria. You can still claim this payment for work and income lost during the last Victorian lockdown even though the public health order has been lifted. 
Impact of other payments  You cannot receive this payment if you are receiving the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, Dad and Partner Pay, Parental Leave Pay, a state pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period. 
Eligibility If you do not receive Centrelink income support payments, you are eligible for the $1500 COVID-19 Disaster Payment, if between 16 and 27 July 2021 and/or during the current lockdown you:  

  • Lived in, worked from or visited Victoria,  
  • Were unable to work and earn your usual income of 8 hours or more, or a full day’s work because of lockdown in Victoria,  
  • Are an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work,  
  • Are 17 years of age or older,  
  • Did not get the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state/territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same time period,  
  • Lost income,  
  • Did not have any COVID-19 related paid leave entitlements (does not include annual leave).  
How to access Apply online via Services Australia

 

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment 

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

Payment amount $1500 – one-off payment 
Who can access this payment If you need to isolate for 14 days because you have COVID-19, are a close contact or a tier 1 exposure, or you needed to care for a child affected by either of these. 
Impact of other payments You cannot receive this payment if during the 14 day isolation, quarantine or caring period, you received any income or Centrelink income payments or JobKeeper payments or the Victorian COVID-19 Worker Support Payment. 
Eligibility You may be eligible if the Victorian Department of Health and Human services has told you to self-isolate or quarantine. You are eligible for the $1500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, if you:  

  • Have COVID-19, or  
  • Have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, including a tier 1 exposure site, or  
  • Care for a child 16 years or younger, who has COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, including a tier 1 exposure site, 
  • Are unable to work and receive income,
  • You have no appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person.
  • During the 14-day isolation, quarantine or caring period, you have not received any income or Centrelink income payments or JobKeeper payments or the Victorian COVID-19 Worker Support Payment,   
  • 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 Apply online or by phone via Services Australia

COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment

 Read more about the COVID-19 Test Isolation payment on the Victorian Government website

Payment amount $450 – one-off payment 
Who can access this payment If you are a Victorian worker self-isolating while you wait for the results of a COVID-19 test. 
Impact of other payments  You cannot receive this payment if you are receiving Australian Government income support such as the JobSeeker payment, or JobKeeper payment.
Eligibility Victorian workers can apply for a $450 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment that provides financial support while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test. You are eligible if you:  

  • Live in Victoria,  
  • Are 17 years and over,  
  • Have been tested for COVID-19 or are the guardian or carer of someone who has been tested,  
  • Are likely to have worked during the self-isolation period and can’t work due to:
    • a requirement to self-isolate after the test
    • a requirement to stay in isolation to care for someone who is required to self-isolate,  
  • Have not received income or salary during self-isolation,  
  • Have exhausted sick and/or carers leave entitlements, including special pandemic leave, or have no entitlement to such leave,  
  • Are not receiving Australian Government income support such as the JobSeeker payment, or be an employee subject to the JobKeeper payment.
How to access Apply online via the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions’s 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

Extreme Hardship Support Program – Victoria

  Read more about the Extreme Hardship Support Program – Victoria on the Red Cross website.

Payment amount $800 one-off payment for single people. Families receive more based on the number of people in your household
Who can access this payment If you are not eligible for Centrelink income support such as temporary or provisional visa holders, undocumented migrants or international students
Impact of other payments You cannot receive this payment if you are receiving Commonwealth income payments (such as JobSeeker or the COVID Disaster Payment)
Eligibility To receive this payment you must:

  • Live in Victoria,
  • Not be eligible to receive income from the Commonwealth Government,
  • Have zero or limited income, savings or community support, and
  • Be a temporary or provisional visa holder, or an undocumented migrant.

If you are still experiencing financial hardship after 2 months, you can apply again.

How to access Apply online via the Red Cross

COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant

   Read more about COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant on the Housing Victoria website.

Payment amount A one-off payment (max. $1500) to your rental provider
Who can access this payment If you are renting in Victoria and experiencing financial hardship you can apply for this payment
Impact of other payments Payments are made directly to your rental provider (landlord) so it won’t affect your income
Eligibility To be eligible:

  • You will need to provide proof of a rent reduction negotiated with your agent, lessor or landlord for a period after 27 May 2021.
  • Your income as a single must be less than $1,208.85 per week, and as a couple less than $1,813.46 to align with annual income limits of $62,860 for singles, and $94,300 for couples.
  • You must have less than $2,000 in savings.
  • You must still be paying at least 30 per cent of your income in rent after your rent reduction.

There is no citizen or permanent resident requirements. You can apply if you are a casual workers on holiday and working visas, international students, skilled visa holders, seasonal workers, New Zealand citizens and all refugee and temporary protection visa holders.

How to access  You will need to provide a statutory declaration as proof of your rent reduction. Click to download the COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant statutory declaration as a word document.

Apply via the DHHS online portal.

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.  

 

If you are behind in rent or struggling to pay rent, use Dear Landlord to understand your options.

Use Dear Landlord

 

 

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