Individuals & Business - Lockdown Support Available in Queensland
On 31 July 2021, eleven Queensland local government areas were declared a Commonwealth hotspot. If you are impacted by the lockdown, there is assistance available to you or your business.
There are two payments accessible to individuals: the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a weekly payment available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or who have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to certain paid leave entitlements. If you are a couple, both people can separately claim the payment.
Sole traders may apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if you are unable to operate your business from home. However, you will not be eligible if you are also receiving a state business grant such as the QLD 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant.
Timing of the payment
The disaster payment is generally accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days as declared by the Chief Medical Officer (you can find the listing here). From 2 August 2021, payments will apply from day one of the lockdowns and will be paid in arrears once claims open (previously, the payment only applied from day 8 of a lockdown).
How much is the payment?
The COVID-19 disaster payment amount available depends on:
- How many hours of work you have lost in the week, and
- If the payment is on or after the third period of the lockdown
From 2 August 2021, if the hours of work lost are between 8 and 20 (or a full day of work), the payment is $450, and if over 20 hours of work is lost the payment is $750.
The payment applies to each week of lockdown that you are eligible for. On 29 July 2021, the Prime Minister stated that the COVID-19 disaster payment will not be taxable.
The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:
- Live or work in an area that is subject to a state or territory public health order that imposes a restriction on movement and is declared a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot, or
- Have visited an area that is a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot and you are subsequently subject to a restricted movement order when you return to other parts of the impacted region or interstate.
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia, and
- Are aged 17 years or over, and
- Have lost 8 hours or more of work or a full day of your usual work as a result of the restrictions - losing work includes being stood down by your employer, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home. Losing a full day of what you were scheduled to work but could not work because of a restricted movement order includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time or casual shift of less than 8 hours, and
- Don’t have paid pandemic-related leave available through your employer (annual leave is not taken into account for this), and
- Are not receiving income support payments, a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period. See ‘Top up’ payments for those on income support. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
'Top up' payments for those on income support
A special separate $200 a week ‘top-up’ payment is available to those who currently receive an income support payment through social security, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay in addition to their existing payment if they can demonstrate they have lost more than 8 hours of work and meet the other eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
If you are a member of a couple, you can both apply for this payment.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for those who have been advised by their relevant health authority to self-isolate or quarantine because they:
- Test positive for COVID-19
- Have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case;
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; or
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case or;
- Care for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
How much is the payment?
The payment is $1,500 for each 14 day period you are advised to self-isolate or quarantine. If you are a couple, you both can claim this payment if you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available if you:
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
- Are aged 17 years or over; and
- Are unable to go to work and earn an income; and
- Do not have appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or carers leave; and
- Are not getting any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The payment is taxable and you will need to declare it in your income tax return.
2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants
The $5,000 grants will be made available to small and medium businesses across Queensland affected by:
- the Queensland COVID-19 lockdown that commenced on Saturday 31 July 2021, or
- lockdowns in other states.
Your business doesn't have to be located in South East Queensland, but you must have experienced at least a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of lockdowns.
Small and medium businesses are defined as having:
- a turnover of more than $75,000 per annum
- an annual payroll in Queensland of up to $10 million.
How to apply
Applications will open in mid-August. Please
You will need to apply online with supporting evidence. Grants will be processed in the order they are received.
You will be paid the grant funds within 2 weeks of being notified that your application has been approved.