What personal assistance is available in Victoria?

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A range of federal and state payments are available to Victorians who are unable to work due to lockdowns or who are experiencing hardship. Here’s a rundown of the various kinds of support available during the pandemic.

Federal payments

COVID-19 disaster payment

Anybody who has lost one or more days of work in a “hotspot” or lockdown zone is eligible for the disaster payment. Individuals qualify for $375 a week if they lose less than 20 hours of work a week and $600 if more than 20 hours. Members of a couple can claim it separately. The payment is administered by Services Australia.

Pandemic leave disaster payment

Anybody told to self-isolate or quarantine is eligible to receive $1500 for each 14-day period they spend isolating. Call 180 22 66

Crisis payments

Available to those in severe financial hardship, experiencing extreme circumstances, including being or caring for someone required to quarantine or self-isolate due to COVID-19.

Special benefit

People who are not eligible for any other income support payment because they recently arrived in Australia, hold a temporary visa or are under 16, may be eligible for a payment at the same rate as JobKeeper.


The government is offering reduced drawdowns and deeming rates on superannuation.

International students and others who didn’t qualify for government support queue in Melbourne’s Southbank for food charity in April, 2020.Credit:Penny Stephens

State support

Test isolation payment

Those unable to work due to COVID-19 testing or isolation may qualify for the $450 test isolation payment.

Pandemic leave disaster payment

Those directed by the Victorian Department of Health to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days and won’t get paid because they aren’t able to work, may qualify for the $1500 pandemic leave disaster payment. They may also be eligible if caring for someone who has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine.

Help with electricity, gas and water bills

People in low-income households or experiencing financial hardship, may also be eligible to apply for a utility relief grant of up to $650 to help with overdue electricity, gas and water bills.

Emergency food relief

People urgently in need of food and supplies who have no other support, may be able to get an emergency relief package with food essentials and personal care items.

Extreme hardship support program

Red Cross can deliver financial assistance, information and referrals to people, including international students, experiencing significant hardship as a result of the pandemic but who do not have access to Commonwealth income support.

No-interest loan scheme

Small no-interest loans are available to all eligible Victorians through Good Money community finance outlets in Morwell, Geelong, Collingwood and Dandenong and a network of 77 local community organisations across Victoria.

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