Australia

Here’s how Victorians can access support payments for the latest COVID-19 lockdown

A raft of Victorian workers and businesses are eligible for support payments with the state again in the midst of a coronavirus lockdown.

The statewide lockdown has been extended until midnight on 27 July in response to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of the virus. 

Here are the key support measures available.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is one measure in play.

A payment of $600 has been made available to workers living in Commonwealth hotspot areas – such as Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, the City of Greater Geelong and others – who lose more than 20 hours during the period of the lockdown.

People who lose between eight and 20 hours are eligible for payments of $375.

Workers can apply to Services Australia seven days after the commencement of the lockdown – that’s this Friday, 23 July. The payments are made in arrears.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said last week the state government would also pick up the tab for support in areas outside the federally-declared areas.

“If you lose hours and you are eligible then the length of the lockdown doesn’t matter. You’ve lost those hours,  you’ve lost those wages and you should be supported,” he said. 

Business supports

Up to $200 million in cash grants has been made available to businesses affected by the lockdown, with an automatic payment set up for eligible businesses and sole traders across the state. 

This applies to up to 90,000 businesses that have received – or are set to receive – payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program.

The payments are made at $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

Mr Andrews said last week money would roll out as soon as possible.

“We will waste no time in providing affected businesses with the support they need,” he said. 

Business Council of Australia Jennifer Westacott welcomed the assistance package, saying the support will help keep many businesses afloat. 

“Every time businesses are knocked down by a new round of restrictions, it gets harder for them to get back up, so getting this support out the door quickly is critical,” she said. 

The state’s lockdown is its fifth since the start of the pandemic.

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