On 15 July 2021, the Federal Government and the Victorian Government jointly agreed on a revised COVID-19 support package for the current snap lockdown.
Under the announcement, the Federal Government will provide income support (COVID-19 disaster support payments) to individuals that live and/or work in a Commonwealth Government designated COVID-19 hotspot. Of relevance, the Commonwealth Government has currently identified Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff and Surf Coast Shire as designated hotspot areas. For those individuals who live and/or work outside of the above designated hotspot areas whom are nevertheless impacted by the snap lockdown, the Victorian Government will fund the COVID-19 disaster support payments.
Pursuant to the revised COVID-19 disaster support payment, if the individual has lost between 8 to 20 hours of work due to lockdown 5, the individual will be eligible to apply through Services Australia for a payment of $375. If the individual has lost 20 hours or more of work due to lockdown 5, the individual will be eligible to apply through Services Australia for a payment of $600.
There is no designated waiting period in order to be eligible for the above payments. Thus, if a snap lockdown only applies for the 5 days, the individual can still be eligible for the payments if they satisfy the lost hours of work condition above.
Also, unlike the previous COVID-19 disaster support payment announced by the Federal Government during Victoria’s lockdown 4, there is now no “liquid assets test” in order to be eligible to receive the COVID-19 disaster support payment. Thus, any individuals that lose the required hours of work are eligible for the payment from the Federal Government irrespective of the amount of available cash reserves they hold.
Further details regarding the payment the COVID-19 disaster support payment will be released on the Services Australia website shortly. Individuals will need to apply for the COVID-19 disaster payment via a MyGov account.
Business support package
In conjunction with the COVID-19 disaster support payments for individuals, the Victorian Government announced business support funding for those businesses that will be impacted by the current lockdown.
Under the package, automatic payments will be made to those businesses and sole traders who successfully applied for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund or the Business Costs Assistance Program grant during the May-June 2021 snap lockdown. The new support payments will be for $3,000 and $2,000 respectively and will be paid out in the coming weeks.
Businesses that will be eligible to receive the business support grant will include restaurants, cafes bars, event suppliers, tourism and accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.
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