COVID-19 Financial Support
If you have been directed to isolate due to COVID-19 you may be eligible for financial support.
TEST ISOLATION PAYMENT
Victorian workers who are required to isolate while waiting on the results of a PCR tests (or are the guardian or parent of someone who is isolating while waiting on PCR results) may be eligible for a $450 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment. Extensive eligibility criteria apply including:
- the payment is only available for workers over the age of 17;
- the person must have been likely to have undertaken paid work during the isolation period; and
- the person must have exhausted or not have the ability to access sick leave or carers leave during the isolation period.
Importantly, the payment must be applied for within two weeks of the test and you can only access one payment in a 30-day period. For the full list of eligibility criteria and details on how to apply, visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/covid-19-test-isolation-payment
PANDEMIC LEAVE DISASTER PAYMENT
If your claim is for a period of isolation beginning 9 December 2021 until 17 January 2022
Workers who have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine for 7 days or more during this period may be able to claim the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. This may also be available if a worker has had to take time off work to care for someone who has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine. Provided the eligibility criteria are met, the payment is available for each 7-day period a person is required to isolate or self-quarantine.
The payment is $750 for 7 days and if a person is positive and required to isolate beyond the initial 7 days, they may have access to a further $750 payment. Please note that a number of eligibility criteria do apply, including that you must have been directed by a health official to self-isolate or quarantine and you must not have been in receipt of any other income during the isolation period. From 10 January 2022, positive cases confirmed by Rapid Antigen Tests registered online will be accepted as evidence of the need to isolate for the purposes of applying for the payment.
If your claim is for a period of isolation from 18 January 2022 onwards
Different rules apply from 18 January 2022 for those seeking to access the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. Whilse many of the eligibility criteria remain the same, a person applying for the payment must have also lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s work and must have liquid assets of less than $10,000 on the first day of the pay period they are claiming for. Further from 18 January 2022, if a person has lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s work but less than 20 hours of work over a 7-day period of self-isolation, the payment is reduced to $450. For workers who lose 20 hours or more of work they will receive the full $750 payment (subject to otherwise meeting the eligibility criteria).
For more information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/pandemic-leave-disaster-payment-victoria
INCOLINK COVID-19 HARDSHIP PAYMENTS
If you are experiencing financial stress due to not being able to attend work for a COVID-related reason such as mandatory isolation, you may be able to access $2000 (before tax) of your available Incolink funds per month. To apply you will need to not be receiving income (including leave entitlements) and your employer will be required to complete an online form declaring that you are unable to work due to isolation requirements.
For more information visit the Incolink website at https://incolink.org.au/
There is a range of other financial assistance programs available for those experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including rental assistance. Further information can be found at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/getting-help