The Victorian government have announced some new supports to help businesses most affected by the current restrictions.
We’re going to specifically talk about these support measures:
1/ The Covid-19 Disaster Payment
2/ An additional $2,800 Top-Up Payment
3/ An extension to the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two
1/ 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.
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). However, In Victoria anyone who meets the eligibility criteria will be able to access the payment from day 1 of the lockdown (15 July 2021) but the payment will not be accessible until 23 July 2021.
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.
8–20 hours of work lost: $375
20+ hours of work lost: $600
The payment applies to each week of lockdown you are eligible and is taxable (you will need to declare it in your income tax return).
What are the eligibility dates for Victorians?
16 July–22 July 2021.
Applications open 23 July 2021. Applications close 12 August 2021
23 July–27 July 2021
Applications open 25 July 2021. Applications close 19 August 2021
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 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 New South Wales 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. This includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time or casual shift of less than 8 hours, and
- Don’t have paid leave available through your employer (other than annual leave), 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. 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
If you are uncertain of your eligibility, talk to Services Australia.
The government have hinted that there will be a concierge service set up to assist micro businesses apply for this payment. There is no information on this as of yet. We recommend logging into your MyGov Account and submitting an application, as this will probably be the fastest way to apply.
How do I apply?
To apply for this payment, you need to log into your MyGov account and click the link that says ‘Apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment’.
Your MyGov account must be linked to a Centrelink Online Account.
If you need help with your MyGov their support line is 13 23 07.
More information can be found on the government website here.
2/ AN ADDITIONAL $2,800 TOP-UP PAYMENT
The government last week released a Top-Up Payment to all businesses who were eligible for the June lockdown grant.
This was to be $2,000 however now includes an additional $2,800.
There is no need to apply for this, and all payments will come through automatically.
If we successfully applied for the June grant for you, you would have already received a personal email about this Top-Up from Daniel this morning.
3/ AN EXTENSION TO THE BUSINESS COSTS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ROUND TWO
An extension will open for applications by the end of July.
This is for those businesses who were eligible last time, however didn’t apply will now have a chance to register.
At this stage we don’t believe that they would have expanded the criteria but we will provide more detail once it’s released.