Fact sheet: Paid pandemic leave
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment for people who are ineligible for paid sick leave from their employer and unable to work and earn income because they have to self-isolate or quarantine or because you’re caring for someone who has to self-isolate or quarantine.
The Albanese Government has reopened the scheme from July 20 (but can be backdated to July 1 in applicable cases) to September 30, 2022.
The payment is particularly suitable for casual workers unable to work because of being infected with the virus or who are a close contact of someone who is.
What is it?
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for people who must self-isolate or quarantine for one of the following reasons:
• 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.
Someone is defined as a “close contact” if they:
• usually live with the person who has tested positive with COVID-19,
• have stayed in the same household for more than four hours with the person who has tested positive with COVID-19 during their infectious period.
How does the payment work?
The payment is available for workers aged 17 years or older. If you have more than $10,000 in liquid assets (cash in the bank) you won’t be eligible.
For each seven-day period of self-isolation, the amount of pandemic paid leave you are eligible for depends on the hours of work you lost:
• If you lost at least eight hours or a full day’s work, and less than 20 hours of work, you are eligible for $450.
• If you lost 20 hours or more of work, you are eligible for $750.
But, if you lost less than eight hours or a full day’s work during the seven-day period of self-isolation, quarantine or caring, you won’t be eligible for this payment.
How can I apply?
First, check out the eligibility rules. You’ll need to offer evidence that you were COVID-positive. You’ll need to make your claim online through MyGov – find out how here. Call the support line for assistance: 180 22 66.
What if I need to make more than one claim?
You must make your claim within 14 days of the start of each seven-day period of self-isolation, quarantine or caring. If you’re forced to isolate for longer – for example if you’re caring for children who test positive for Covid later than other family members extending the isolation period – you can put in another claim.
You’ll have to declare the payment when you lodge your income tax assessment next year.
For more information:
• watch a brief YouTube video here.
• you can find more information from Services Australia.
• if you need to speak to someone, call Services Australia’s Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment support on 180 22 66.