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Millions of Victorians now eligible for $600 as Gov mulls higher payments

·2-min read
Pedestrians in Melbourne, hands holding Australian wallet with cash in it.
Here's how to know if you're eligible, and the common mistake tripping workers up. (Images: Getty).

Millions more Australians are now eligible for the $600 lockdown payments as the Government considers upping the support rate.

Workers will be able to access the payments from Friday 23 July, with the money to be delivered in arrears.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the timeline for payments when Victoria entered its current lockdown, however Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Morrison agreed to the terms of the payments earlier this week

As in NSW, workers who have lost more than 20 hours a week are eligible for $600 payments, while those who have lost between eight and 20 hours can claim $375.

However, the rate of payment could be increased if Australians are forced to endure prolonged lockdowns, Emergency Management Minister Bridget McKenzie has indicated.

"We're not having a one-size-fits-all policy model," McKenzie told the ABC.

"We're going to make sure that we step up when it's required. We're always going to adjust our response to the changing nature of this virus."

The maximum $600 payment is still $170 lower than the $770 minimum wage, and significantly below the $1,712 average weekly wage.

It’s also lower than the $750 weekly JobKeeper payments provided in Australia’s first lockdown in 2020.

Are you eligible for COVID-19 lockdown payments?

Workers are eligible for the payments if they have been affected by lockdown or movement restrictions for at least seven days.

Workers must prove they have lost income, and don’t have access to other Government support payments.

Welfare recipients who may have previously combined wages with JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payments are ineligible for the $600 payments, something welfare advocacy groups have warned is leaving people at risk.

Workers also must not have access to “appropriate leave”.

However, while many consider this requirement to include sick, annual and long service leave, the Government defines appropriate paid leave entitlements as state pandemic payments and the $1,500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments.

That means that even if a worker still has annual leave, paid sick or carer’s leave, long service leave, compassionate leave or unpaid leave, they can claim the $600 payments.

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Image: Yahoo Finance
Image: Yahoo Finance
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