$1500 COVID-19 disaster payment now available to NSW workers

By Brittany Lazarus |


People working in New South Wales who do not have access to paid leave will now be able to apply for a $1500 payment from the government to cover their costs while isolating.

NSW is now the fourth state able to access the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment of $1500. The one-off lump sum is available for each 14- day period workers directed to self-isolate or quarantine.

To be eligible you must have been directed by NSW health to self-isolate either because you have COVID-19, you have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you need to care for someone in one of those two situations.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it is important workers feel supported and not like they must choose between isolating and providing for themselves and their families.

“By introducing the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment we are ensuring we continue to do everything we can to protect the community against undetected transmission…Our priority is for people to get tested and follow all the health advice to stop the spread of the virus and keep the NSW economy moving,” she said.

Eligibility extends beyond Australian citizens and residents to holders of a temporary visa that gives them the right to work in Australia as well as any NSW worker that has exhausted their sick leave.

NSW is a step behind Victoria where the payment was put in place last month. At the time, Scott Morrison said the payment will ensure there is “no economic reason for you to go to work”.

Those who work in Tasmania and Western Australia are also able to apply for the payments despite long periods of time with no community transmission.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said he has learnt from the spread on the East Coast and would like the option to be available should it be needed. “Complacency is deadly, complacency can bring down the state and will undo all the hard work each and every member of the community has given,” he said.

If you work in NSW and wish to apply for the payment you must have been told to isolate or quarantine by NSW health for one of the following reasons:

  • You have coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • You’ve been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • You care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19
  • You care for a child, 16 years or under, who’s been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • You may also be eligible if you’re caring for someone who has COVID-19.

You must also meet all of the following:

  • You’re at least 17 years old and live in New South Wales
  • You’re an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • You’re unable to go to work and earn an income
  • You have no appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person
  • Your period of quarantine is after 17 September 2020.

It is the responsibility of the person seeking the payment to make the claim. Claims can either be made over the phone or via fax.

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