Hospitality workers who lose work as a result of testing positive, self-isolating or caring for a positive case are entitled to a lump sum payment of $750, through the Government’s Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

As COVID cases spike across Australia, the federal government has outlined and adjusted support for people unable to earn an income due to caring or self-isolating.

Before Monday, January 10, this payment was available only for people who had been directly informed they had tested positive by a health official.

This rule has now been altered, allowing anyone who has tested positive using a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to access the $750 payment, so long as they can provide evidence.

Other permitted reasons are:

  • You are informed by a health official that you’re a close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • You care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19.
  • You are informed by a health official that a child you care for who is 16 years or under, is a close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • You are caring for someone who has COVID-19.
  • You are caring for someone with disability or a severe medical condition who must self-isolate or quarantine because they’re a close contact of a person with COVID-19.

In good news for the hospitality industry, this payment is open to anyone with the right to work in Australia. However, if the worker has entitlement to sick leave, personal leave or carer’s leave, they will not be permitted the payment.

The claimant also cannot received income or salary from paid work during the isolation, nor any ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Parental Leave, or Dad and Partner Pay.

They are also unable to claim the payment if they are receiving any payment whilst awaiting a PCR test result, such as the Victorian COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment, the NSW Test and Isolate Payment and the SA COVID-19 Cluster Isolation Payment.

The payment is available for each seven day period of self-isolation, so if someone tests positive, recovers, and then is a close or household contact, they would be entitled to a second payment.

As it stands, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is not available to people whose place of work has had to close as a result of staffing or financial issues.

Further information about the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, including state-by-state specifications, is available at the Services Australia website.

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