Answers to your questions about COVID-19 Disaster Payment

28 July 2021

Here are our answers to your questions about the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Man at home pensively using laptop computer.

This is a lump sum payment to help workers who have lost income due to a COVID-19 state public health order. This may involve a lockdown, hotspot or movement restrictions.

You may not need to use your leave before claiming COVID-19 Disaster Payment

We won’t consider your annual leave balance when we assess your eligibility for COVID-19 Disaster Payment. But if you decide to take annual leave you will not have lost income and therefore won’t be eligible on those days.

You’re also not required to take any of these types of leave before claiming:

  • unpaid leave
  • paid sick and carer’s leave
  • long service leave
  • compassionate leave.

If you don’t live or work in a hotspot, you may be eligible

You’ll be eligible for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if all of these apply:

  • you can’t work because you’re unable to cross into or out of the lockdown area
  • you were unable to earn your usual income of 8 hours or more or a full day’s work because of a state’s restricted movement order
  • you meet the other eligibility rules.

Sole traders are eligible for COVID-19 Disaster Payment

If you’re self-employed, you should check to see if you’re eligible for your state or territory’s COVID-19 business support payment first.

You can only get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment or a state or territory business support payment per relevant period, not both. You need to decide which payment is best for you.

You don’t have to have lost all hours of work and income

You don’t have to have lost all hours of work and income to be eligible for COVID-19 Disaster Payment. You can still be working in a second job.

You do have to have lost at least 8 hours or a full day of work in the relevant period because of the state or territory restricted movement order.

When you’ll get paid after claiming COVID-19 Disaster Payment

We’re prioritising COVID-19 Disaster Payment claims and will pay you as quickly as possible. We’ll send you an SMS to let you know you’ve successfully submitted your claim.

Please check you’ve given us your correct bank details before you submit your claim. If you’ve given us the wrong bank details, you’ll need to let us know.

If you claimed online, you can do this by using the change of circumstances task in your myGov account. If you claimed over the phone, you can call us on the Emergency information line.

You may not need to claim again

We’ll pay you automatically when we’ve granted your claim for COVID-19 Disaster Payment. This is only if lockdown continues without a break and there are no changes in your circumstances.

If lockdown continues without a break, you don’t need to claim again. After you get your first payment, we’ll pay you automatic payments for each relevant period. We’ll pay them into your account within 7 days of the claims open date. Please do not call to check on your payment unless it's been longer than 7 days.

If your circumstances change, you need to let us know.

Next steps

You can read more about the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Page last updated: 26 August 2021