What financial support can I get during lockdown?

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All you need to know about lockdown financial support.

We know that lockdown has been tough on a lot of people. For many Australians, the physical and emotional stress caused by restrictions and numerous lockdowns is unfortunately accompanied by the financial stress of losing work. If your workplace is unable to operate or your shifts have been cut due to the current restrictions, there are a number of options available to help you stay afloat until things return to operating as usual.


While there are a few national schemes, the majority of financial support is unique to each state, so we’ll run you through what each state is providing to their citizens 👇

National Covid-19 financial support
Pandemic Leave

If you are unable to work because you need to self-isolate or are caring for someone with COVID-19, the Australian government has introduced Pandemic Leave. The eligibility criteria is quite specific and states that you are only eligible if you have been told to isolate by health officials. There is plenty of information on the eligibility criteria as well as how to apply for Pandemic Leave on Services Australia’s website. In summary, though, anyone who meets the criteria will receive:

  • $1,500 for every 14 day period you are required to self-isolate for.

It is definitely worth checking out the Services Australia Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment summary page if you have lost work due to self-isolation or quarantine.

ABA financial support

The 22 member banks of the Australian Banking Association (ABA) are offering national support for those impacted by COVID-19. The overall support package includes:

  • Home loan support available to both individuals and businesses, including deferrals.
  • Everyday banking support including refunds of merchant terminal fees for up to 3 months

They are also offering up to 3 month business banking repayment deferrals for small businesses. It’s definitely worth checking out if you or your business have experienced a serious financial impact due to COVID-19.

CommBank mortgage support

Continuing on from that exciting announcement from the ABA, if you hold a mortgage through CommBank and have been seriously affected by COVID-19, we have some good news for you! Due to the latest lockdowns, CommBank has extended their foreclosure freezes until February 2022. We are sure that mortgage holders will rest a little easier knowing that they have a whole lot longer to get back on their feet if they have lost their income due to restrictions.

New South Wales lockdown financial support

On top of the Australian Government COVID-19 financial support, which we will unpack shortly, the New South Wales Government has also put a few super useful schemes into place to help everyone through the current Greater-Sydney lockdown and statewide restrictions.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment - New South Wales

This support scheme is available to any worker who has lost their income due to lockdown. Initially a nation-wide scheme, it has now been broken up to account for the differing impacts of COVID-19 within each state. The scheme has numerous eligibility rules, including that payment recipients must have residency or a working visa and be above the age of 17. It is also important to note that the process and remuneration differs depending on whether you already receive a Centrelink payment or not. In a nutshell:

If you do not receive a Centrelink payment:

From 4 July you may receive:

  • $375 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost 8–20 hours of work per week or a full day of your usual work hours.
  • $600 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost more than 20 hours per week.

From 1 August you may receive:

  • $450 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost 8–20 hours of work per week or a full day of your usual work hours.
  • $750 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost more than 20 hours per week.

If you do receive a Centrelink payment, you may receive:

  • $200 a week on top of your regular payment.

For more information head to the Services Australia COVID-19 Disaster Payment summary page!

NSW Dine and Discover

The Dine & Discover NSW Voucher scheme has been extended to take into consideration the latest lockdown (you now have until August 31st 2021 to use them). If you haven’t yet used up your Dine vouchers, consider this a sign. It’s a great way to support a local restaurant and get a free meal while you’re at it. 

Covid support for NSW renters

If your household is really struggling to pay your rent during lockdown, check out the NSW Renters' Guide to COVID-19. From the 14th July 2021 to 11th September 20221, landlords cannot terminate or make an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for rent arrears. This is conditional, based on the following criteria:

  • You must be considered 'impacted tenant' (have a combined household income that has reduced by at least 25% compared to pre-covid)
  • You must provide notice to the landlord that you are an impacted tenant
  • You must continue to pay at least 25% of the weekly rent.
Covid support for NSW landlords

There is also some relief for landlords who have impacted tenants. So, if you’re a landlord and have tenants who are unable to cover their rent, keep this in mind:

  • Grants are available for landlords who reduce the rent of lockdown impacted tenants. 
  • Land tax relief is provided to landowners who reduce rent for COVID-19 affected tenants between 1 July and 31 December 2021.
  • Landlords who do not pay land tax can apply for up to $1500 grant per residential tenancy. 
COVID-19 NSW business owner support

If you are a New South Wales business owner who has lost revenue as a result of lockdown, there are a few financial support schemes that will become available to businesses. Here are all the ones we could find at the time of writing this article:

  • The NSW Government will offer one-off tax-free business owner grants of $7,500 to $15,000 for NSW businesses who have lost revenue in the first three weeks of the lockdown.
  • Job Saver will provide tax-free payments of 40% of pre–COVID weekly payroll, from $1,500 to $10,000 per week or $1,000 weekly for non-employing businesses.
  • Payroll tax support will provide eligible businesses with a 25% reduction in FY22 payroll tax. Commercial Tenants will not be able to be evicted without mediation for the entirety of the lockdown.
NSW COVID-19 hotline

Service NSW have set up a 24/7 hotline to handle COVID-19 inquiries including the latest updates on restrictions, cost of living assistance, financial support for businesses or rules around social distancing: Call 13 77 88.

South Australia lockdown financial support

If you are not eligible for the National Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, then the South Australian government has offered additional payment schemes to support anyone impacted by the current outbreak (time of writing, July 2021). It’s important to note that you are only eligible for one payment at any time, so if you are eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, you won’t receive additional support.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment - South Australia

This support scheme is available to any worker who has lost their income due to lockdown. The scheme has numerous eligibility rules, including that payment recipients must have residency or a working visa and be above the age of 17. It is also important to note that the process and remuneration differs depending on whether you already receive a Centrelink payment or not. In a nutshell:

  • $375 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost 8–20 hours of work per week or a full day of your usual work hours.
  • $600 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost more than 20 hours per week.

For more information head to the Services Australia COVID-19 Disaster Payment summary page!

SA COVID-19 cluster isolation payment

The SA COVID-19 Cluster Isolation Payment is a single payment of $300 available for eligible people who are part of a designated COVID-19 cluster and need to self-isolate while awaiting a COVID-19 test result. There are a number of eligibility rules, including that you must have visited one of the declared exposure sites and been required to self-isolate pending the test result.

To learn more and find out if you’re eligible or not, head to the Cluster Isolation Payment application form.

Victoria lockdown financial support

The Victorian Government introduced a few schemes to keep Victorian residents a bit more financially comfortable during their latest lockdown. At the point of this blog being published, Victoria did lift the restrictions, but we’d thought we’d keep this part in for history’s sake:

COVID-19 Disaster Payment - Victoria

This support scheme is available to any worker who has lost their income due to lockdown. It has numerous eligibility rules, including that payment recipients must have residency or a working visa and be above the age of 17. It is also important to note that the total remuneration is dependent on how many hours a week you have lost. In a nutshell you may receive:

  • $375 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost 8–20 hours of work per week or a full day of your usual work hours.
  • $600 for every week you are unable to work, if you have lost more than 20 hours per week.

For more information head to the Services Australia COVID-19 Disaster Payment summary page!

Victorian Power Saving Bonus

If you’re from a low-income household, you can now access a one-off $250 payment to help with your energy bills! To see if you’re eligible, visit Victorian Energy Compare website.

Emergency relief package

If you are experiencing financial stress and urgently need food and supplies you may be eligible for an emergency relief package. These are designed to provide basic food essentials and personal care items for a family of four for two weeks. To request one, call 1800 675 398 and select option 8.

Victoria test isolation payment

If you have had a COVID-19 test and are self-isolating until you receive results, meaning you can’t go to work and won’t get paid, you may qualify for the $450 test isolation payment. And don’t forget to check if you qualify for the National $1500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, which you may also be eligible for if you are caring for someone who has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine. 

Support for Victorian business owners

Are you a Victorian business owner experiencing reduced revenue due to restrictions? Here are a few programs and packages to look into: 

  • Eligible Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund recipients will receive $4,200.
  • Business Costs Assistance Program recipients will receive $2,800
  • The vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the Covid-19 Disaster Payment of $600/$375 per seven-day period. 

For the full list of business support payments, please refer to the Support Builds For Businesses Through Lockdown media release. 

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If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.


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