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Pandemic Leave Payment Restored

What is the situation with the pandemic disaster payments, now that the rules have changed yet again? Jasmine Joyan takes you through the latest.

From 20 July 2022, workers with Covid-19 without sick leave entitlements will be able to re-apply for financial support. The payment system, which originally ended on 30 June 2020, will continue to further support workers’ claims where they are required to isolate.

The payment provides a lump sum amount to people who are unable to access their sick leave and cannot work due to Covid isolation requirements. The payment was originally created in 2020 to assist essential workers and people caring for someone self-isolating. The amount paid varies based on the hours worked and lost. Those who lose between eight to 20 hours work are entitled to $450, while those who lose more than 20 hours can receive $750.

The Labour government initially did not intend to bring back the disaster payments, but reversed this decision after pressure from the medical community and State and Territory leaders as they continue to grapple with Covid during the winter flu season.

In order to be eligible for the disaster payments, applicants must have the following: Have lost at least eight days or a full day of work; Have liquid assets of less than $10,000 on the first day of the period being claimed; Not have any paid work or income support payments; Couples can both claim but require separate lodgements.

All claims will back date from 1 July 2022. Claims must be made within 14 days of the beginning of a self-isolation period.


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