Pandemic Leave Is Back, Here’s How to Access the Payments

Pandemic Leave Is Back, Here’s How to Access the Payments
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The government has announced that pandemic leave has officially been reinstated for any Australian required to isolate without access to sick leave as of July 20, 2022.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed that in response to the current rise in cases, the government would be reintroducing the scheme and leaving it in place through to September 30, 2022.

“I want to make sure that people aren’t left behind, that vulnerable people are looked after and that no-one is faced with the unenviable choice of not being able to isolate properly without losing an income and without being put in a situation that is very difficult,” he said.

Per reports from the ABC, the payment will be backdated to July 1.

Pandemic leave payments will be available across Australia for up to $750 in value.

Who’s eligible for pandemic leave?

pandemic leave
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To be eligible for the COVID-19 pandemic leave payment, you’ll need to required to:

  • self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, as required by your state or territory government
  • you’re caring for someone who has to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19, as required by their state or territory government.

According to Services Australia, reasons for self-isolating include:

  • you have coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • you’re a close contact of a person who has COVID-19
  • a child you care for who is 16 years or under, is a close contact of a person who has COVID-19
  • you’re caring for someone who has COVID-19
  • you’re caring for someone with disability or a severe medical condition who must self-isolate or quarantine because they’re a close contact of a person with COVID-19.

If all the above applies, payment will be available if:

  • you’re at least 17 years old and live in Australia
  • you’re an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • you’re living in Australia during your self-isolation, quarantine or caring period
  • you’re living in Australia at the time of your claim
  • you’re unable to work and lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s work in a 7-day period of self-isolation, quarantine or caring
  • you have no sick leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person
  • you have liquid assets of less than $10,000 on the first day of the period you’re claiming for

You can find all the details on eligibility for pandemic leave here.

How much money can I get with pandemic leave?

Services Australia states that the breakdown of money allocation works as follows:

  • $450 if you lost at least 8 hours or a full day’s work, and less than 20 hours of work $750 if you lost 20 hours or more of work.

Read more on that here.

How do I apply for it?

From July 20, you are able to make a pandemic leave payment claim through Centrelink. You must file your claim within 14 days of your required isolation period.

You can sign into MyGov online to begin the claim process. Complete steps can be found here.

This article was originally published on 4 August 2020 but has been updated with the most up-to-date information.

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