The Federal Government is extending its COVID Disaster Payment Fund as Greater Sydney and surrounding areas enter a third week of lockdown, meaning more money for thousands of hospitality workers across New South Wales.
The Prime Minister has said the liquid asset test that is applied to the payment will be waived from the third week of this lockdown. That means those who have lost working hours as a result of the lockdown will now receive payments, regardless of whether they have liquid assets of more than $10,000
The disaster payment fund gives those who would have worked more than 20 hours in the week of a lockdown $500, and those would have worked fewer than 20 hours $325.
The Prime Minister said: “What I’m announcing today, particularly in relation to financial supports, would apply to other states and territories who found themselves in a similar situation where they’re going into the third week of a lockdown in a Commonwealth defined hotspot area.
“The first of those is the liquid assets test, which is currently applied to that individual payment of $325 and $500 will be waived for access to those payments, as people go into that third week. So, that is for those in those first areas that were affected – the eighth of this month – and for the broader Sydney metropolitan area – the 11th of that month.
“You can access that payment by calling 180 22 66.
“What does that mean – the liquid assets test waiver – it doesn’t matter what funds you’ve got available to you otherwise in your bank account or that you can readily convert to cash. Recognising that we’re not just dealing with a one-week period or two-week period here, that this is now going into a third week, and with further decisions to be taken.
“The Commonwealth recognises that, and the liquid assets test will not apply to access to those payments. The second thing we’ll be doing is extending the mutual obligation waiver that applies in the Sydney metropolitan area in relation to welfare supports of payment, social security payments.”
Access to Services Australia Disaster Assistance is via www.servicesaustralia.gov.au or over the phone on 180 22 66.