Australia markets closed

    +43.30 (+0.56%)
  • ASX 200

    +46.50 (+0.62%)

    -0.0157 (-2.22%)
  • OIL

    -2.65 (-3.49%)
  • GOLD

    -50.40 (-2.63%)

    -32.82 (-0.10%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -1.43 (-0.27%)

    -0.0074 (-1.14%)

    +0.0005 (+0.05%)
  • NZX 50

    +44.99 (+0.37%)

    -229.78 (-1.79%)
  • FTSE

    +81.64 (+1.04%)
  • Dow Jones

    -127.93 (-0.38%)
  • DAX

    -32.76 (-0.21%)
  • Hang Seng

    -297.89 (-1.36%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    +107.41 (+0.39%)

$250 or $1.5k in COVID cash? Exactly what every Aussie can claim

Confused? Understandable. We break down what you can claim. (Images: Getty).
Confused? Understandable. We break down what you can claim. (Images: Getty).
  • Who can claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payments, and how much

  • Who can claim the Centrelink COVID-19 Disaster Payments

  • What you can claim if you've been diagnosed with COVID-19

  • And, what you can claim if you're waiting for a negative result

Sydney’s lockdown is set to continue until at least the end of August, and with multiple forms of income support announced, it can be hard to know what you’re eligible for.

That’s understandable. There are multiple eligibility criteria recipients need to satisfy, and payments differ depending on whether a region is in lockdown, and how long it has been in lockdown for.

Yahoo Finance breaks it down.

If you’ve lost hours of work: COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Woman wearing mask, coat and hat walking in Sydney during lockdown.
Millions of people are in lockdown. Here's what they can claim if they've lost work. (Image: Getty).

Who can get the COVID-19 Disaster Payments?

These payments are available to workers in areas classed as a COVID-19 hotspot by the Federal Chief Medical Officer.

To get the payments you need to:

  • Be an Australian resident or have Australian working rights

  • Be 17 or older

  • Not be receiving income support payments like JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or Parental Leave Pay

  • Not be receiving other COVID-19 payments like the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

  • Have lost income and not have access to pandemic-related paid leave entitlements.

However, if you have annual leave, unpaid leave, long service leave, paid sick leave or carer’s leave you can still claim these COVID-19 Disaster Payments.

Essentially, you don’t need to run down your leave balance to access these payments.

How much money can you claim?

This is where most of the confusion lies: with six different payments, people have been eligible for $325, $500, $375, $600, $450 or $750 a week.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can get:

Chart showing what people in parts of Sydney can claim in COVID-19 disaster payments.
Here's what you can get if you were among the first to be affected by Sydney's lockdown.(Image: Yahoo Finance).
Chart showing what people in parts of Greater Sydney can claim in COVID-19 disaster payments.
If you live in Greater Sydney and the surrounding lockdown regions, here's what you can claim. (Image: Yahoo Finance).
Chart showing what people in Greater NSW can claim in COVID-19 cash.
If you're not in the Greater Sydney lockdown, here's what you may be eligible for. (Image: Yahoo Finance).
Chart showing what people in Victoria and South AUstralia can claim in COVID-19 payments.
And if you were affected by Victoria or South Australia's snap lockdowns, here's what you can get. (Image: Yahoo Finance).

How often can you get them?

These are weekly payments that are made directly into your bank account.

Formerly, recipients had to reapply for the payments every week.

However, if you’ve already submitted a claim for parts of Sydney from 15 July 2021, or for Greater Sydney and NSW from 18 July 2021, then you won’t need to reapply.

The payments will simply come every seven days.

How do you apply?

You can apply through your myGov account, provided you have linked up your Centrelink account. If you don’t have a myGov account, you will need to create one.

Services Australia has a guide to claiming the COVID-19 Disaster Payment here.

- More on the COVID-19 Disaster Payments:

If you receive Government income support: $200 Centrelink Boost

Young woman wearing face mask walks past Centrelink, Medicare sign.
If you're receiving Centrelink payments, you may be eligible for a COVID-19 $200 top-up. (Image: Getty).

This payment was introduced in late July in response to complaints from the Australian Unemployed Workers Union and welfare advocates at the Australian Council of Social Services.

This is technically another form of the COVID-19 Disaster Payments.

Who can get them?

You can access this payment if you receive Centrelink payments like JobSeeker or Youth Allowance.

However, you also need to be working and have lost hours of work due to a lockdown, or other health order restricting your ability to work.

That means people receiving Centrelink payments who aren’t in paid employment are ineligible.

As with the other COVID-19 Disaster Payments, you need to be at least 17 years old, not receiving the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and be living in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot.

And you must have lost at least eight hours of work due to the lockdown.

How much can you get?

If you satisfy these criteria, you can get $200 a week on top of your regular income support payments.

How often can you get them?

These are weekly payments that will come through automatically with your other income support payments.

How do you apply?

Australian residents need to claim online through their myGov account linked to Centrelink.


  1. Sign in to myGov, select Apply for support from the Government support for coronavirus alert.

  2. Under Affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), hit Get started.

  3. Select Apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

  4. Answer the eligibility questions.

  5. Submit.

If you get the payment, you need to tell Services Australia if your employment status, bank account, relationship details or residence status change.

- More on the COVID-19 Disaster Payments for Centrelink recipients:

If you need to quarantine: $1,500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments

Senior woman in colourful jacket looks out window, holding cup of coffee, while in COVID-19 home quarantine.
Have you been told you can't leave your house for 14 days? Here's what you could get. (Image: Getty).

This scheme is specifically for people who have been ordered to quarantine by a health authority.

Who can get them?

You can get this payment if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, if you are required to care for someone with COVID-19, or someone who is a close contact, or if you are required to quarantine for 14 days as you are a close contact of a positive case.

The key detail is that you need to have been instructed to quarantine by a health authority.

So, even if you have had a COVID-19 test, are waiting on results and are feeling poorly, unless a health authority like NSW Health has told you that you need to quarantine for 14 days, you won’t be able to access this payment.

You can’t access this payment if you are still able to work during your quarantine period or if you receive other income support payments, like JobSeeker or Youth Allowance.

Essentially, you need to have lost the ability to earn money.

How much cash can you get?

If you meet the criteria, you can claim a lump sum payment of $1,500 to cover the 14 day quarantine.

How often can you get them?

You can claim this for each 14 day period you’ve been told to quarantine.

How do you apply?

You can apply for this payment over the phone at: 180 22 66.

Or, you can complete this form and fax it to 1300 727 760.

- More on the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments:

If you're waiting for a negative COVID-19 test result: State isolation payments

Woman receives COVID-19 nasal swab.
If you've lost income because you had to isolate for a COVID-19 test, this is what you could claim. (Image: Getty).

These payments first came into effect in Victoria’s mammoth lockdown in 2020, with the payments first set at $300 for Victorians before being lifted to $450.

Unlike the other income support payments, these are only available in certain states.

Who can get them and how much money can you get?

These payments are available to people who have had to take a COVID-19 test and are then required to isolate until they receive a negative test result.

So far, they’re available to people in Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

While the details differ slightly by state or territory, they’re generally available to people who have lost income while they wait for test results.

You also need to be at least 17, have exhausted sick or carers’ leave entitlements and not be receiving other COVID-19 payments or Government income supports.

However, in the case of Victoria’s payments, people can claim both the $450 test payments and the $1,500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments.

Here’s the breakdown:

Chart showing exactly what people can claim if they're waiting for a COVID-19 payment.
Here's what you could get if you need to isolate. (Image: Yahoo Finance).

Sydney is yet to announce similar payments, although there are reports that a similar scheme is on the way.

We’ll provide coverage on this as it happens.

How do you apply?

Victoria: Apply online here. If you need help, call 1800 675 398, hit option 4, then 4 again.

South Australia: Apply online here. And if you need help, call 8226 2500.

ACT: You can apply for the ACT isolation payment online here. If you have questions, email the ACT Government’s Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate at

Tasmania: Tasmanians can apply by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

In part two, we break down what businesses can claim.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter.

Image: Yahoo Finance
Sign up here!