During the COVID-19 pandemic the government has made available a variety of support measures available to individuals and businesses who are impacted by lockdown periods. Recently, the following lockdowns have occurred in Queensland:
|South East Queensland||31 July to 8 August 2021|
|Cairns and Yarrabah||8 August to 11 August 2021|
|Any other lockdown||August 2021|
Applying for Support
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment or the top-up income support payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account. Apply for the Pandemic Leave Payment by phoning Services Australia on 180 22 66.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a weekly payment available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or who have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to certain paid leave entitlements. If you are a couple, both people can separately claim the payment.
Sole traders may apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if you are unable to operate your business from home. However, you will not be eligible if you are also receiving a state business grant such as the NSW 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver.
Timing of the Payment
The disaster payment is generally accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days as declared by the Chief Medical Officer (you can find the listing here). From 2 August 2021, payments will apply from day one of the lockdown and will be paid in arrears once claims open (previously, the payment only applied from day 8 of a lockdown).
|Area||Date of Declaration||Disaster Payment Accessible From|
|The City of Brisbane|
Moreton Bay Region
City of Ipswich
Shire of Noosa
City of Gold Coast
Lockyer Valley Region
Scenic Rim Region
Sunshine Coast Region
|1 August 2021||7 August 2021|
Amount of the Payment
The COVID-19 disaster payment amount available depends on:
|Disaster Payment Amounts||Between 8 and 20 Hours of Work Lost (or a Full Day of Work)||20 or More Hours of Work Lost|
|From 2 August 2021||$450||$750|
The payment applies to each week of lockdown you are eligible. On 29 July 2021, the Prime Minister stated that the COVID-19 disaster payment will not be taxable.
The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:
A special separate $200 a week ‘top-up’ payment is available to those who currently receive an income support payment through social security, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay in addition to their existing payment, if they can demonstrate they have lost more than 8 hours of work and meet the other eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
If you are a member of a couple, you can both apply for this payment.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for those who have been advised by their relevant health authority to self-isolate or quarantine because they:
Amount of Payment
The payment is $1,500 for each 14-day period you are advised to self-isolate or quarantine. If you are a couple, you can both claim this payment if you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available if you:
The payment is taxable and you will need to declare it in your income tax return.
If you are uncertain of your eligibility, talk to Services Australia.
If you are concerned about the impact of disaster relief payments on you, talk to us.
If your business was impacted by the recent lockdowns in South East Queensland and Cairns and Yarrabah, support is available for your business through the:
The QLD 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grant provides grants of up to $5,000 for businesses impacted by the lockdowns plus a ‘top-up’ grant based on the size of your payroll (see ‘Top Up’ grants package below) bringing the total value of the grant to between $10,000 and a maximum of $30,000.
How to Apply
Applications are made online through Business Queensland. Applications opened mid-August.
The grant is limited to businesses with:
Employing sole traders who are not receiving the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and non-for-profits are eligible for the grant if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Your business does not have to be located in a locked down local government area to access the grant but businesses that are located outside lock down areas must provide evidence to show a reduction in turnover of more than 30%.
Insolvent businesses or businesses whose owners are insolvent or an undischarged bankrupt are ineligible for the grant.
Businesses that qualify for the QLD 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grant will also receive a ‘top up’ grant based on payroll size:
|Top-Up Grant||Payroll Size|
|$5,000||Less than $1.3m|
|$10,000||$1.3m to $10m|
|$25,000||$10m or more (aimed at tourism and hospitality business)|
How to Apply
Applications are made online through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority and close on 16 November 2021.
You will need to submit a letter from your accountant on their letterhead verifying your business’s turnover, decline in turnover, and payroll, or submit:
If required, your business’s trading location can be verified using your public website or utility bills for the business location.
The Queensland and Federal Governments have announced a one-off, $1,000 grant for non-employing sole traders across Queensland that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30%.
The full details of this package are not yet available but you can register your interest here.
The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.