If you're struggling to make ends meet due to loss of work, lockdown or being required to self-isolate, you may be eligible for financial support.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help workers who are unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 lockdown, declared hotspot or period of restricted movement.
Lockdown is a period of restricted movement when people must stay at home and can only leave for approved reasons. A hotspot is an area of COVID-19 local transmission declared by the Chief Medical Officer. The Department of Health website lists the current hotspots.
For more information on eligibility criteria for NSW and Victorian residents, visit the State Government websites:
Who can get it
To get the payment, you need to meet the general eligibility rules and any rules for the COVID-19 health order that affected you.
If you’re a member of a couple, you can both claim this payment. You and your partner will need to make separate claims.
You can get this payment even if you’re eligible on only one day of a recognised COVID-19 period of restricted movement, lockdown or hotspot. Check the key eligibility dates.
How much can you get
How much you get depends on your situation.
First and second period
You’ll get the following amount for the first and second period of a restricted movement order.
If you lost less than 20 hours work per week, you’ll get $325 for each relevant period, if you're eligible.
If you lost 20 hours or more of work per week, you’ll get $500 for each relevant period, if you're eligible.
Third period and beyond
From 15 July 2021 people in parts of Sydney will get the following amount for the third and subsequent periods of a restricted movement order.
If you’re eligible, you’ll get $375 if you either lost:
between 8 and less than 20 hours of work per week
a full day of your usual work hours per week.
If you lost 20 hours or more of work per week, you’ll get $600 for each relevant period, if you’re eligible.
A full day of your usual work is what you were scheduled to work but could not because of a restricted movement order. This includes not being able to attend a full time, part time or casual shift of less than 8 hours.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a taxable payment. This means you’ll need to include it in your income tax return.
It can be paid from the date of activation for an area where both of the following apply:
the area has a public health lockdown or period of restricted movement for more than 7 days
the area is a declared COVID-19 hotspot.
How to claim
If you’re an Australian resident
Australian residents need to claim online.
If your myGov account isn’t linked to Centrelink, you can prove who you are through myGov to link to Centrelink.
If you’re an eligible working visa holder
Eligible working visa holders need to call 180 22 66 to make your claim.
Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm. You can also call the Multilingual Phone Service on 131 202.
Other services available
If you must self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone with COVID-19, you may be eligible for Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. If you need longer term help, check to see what other payments you may be eligible to get by using this payment guide.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.