Joint media release
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
Minister for Government Services
The Australian Government has signaled changes to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment as Victoria reaches 70% of the 16-years-and-older population fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The temporary COVID-19 Disaster Payment provided vital support to 2.3 million people, with Services Australia paying over $11.9 billion to Australians since June 2021. In Victoria alone, over 723,000 people have received a COVID-19 Disaster Payment, totaling over $3.6 billion.
Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, welcomed the news of Victorians reaching the 70% target and explained the changes.
“I am very proud of the people in my home state of Victoria who have worked hard to achieve this important milestone,” Minister McKenzie said.
“As restrictions ease and businesses start to re-open, more people will be able to go back to work, meaning there will be less reliance on the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
“The payment will remain available at the same rate to people who still cannot work due to restrictions, until Victoria reaches 80% full vaccination of the 16-years-and-older population.
“However, it will no longer be paid automatically. People will need to apply each week to ensure they remain eligible.
“Once the 80% milestone is reached, the payment will decrease over a two week period for those on the full COVID-19 Disaster Payment, and over one week for those on income support receiving the $200 COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
“It will then cease as more people are expected to return to the workforce.”
Minister for Government Services Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC encouraged people who were still unable to work in Victoria to re-apply.
“People whose income is still affected may still be eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Claiming online through myGov remains the quickest and easiest way to claim – more than 90% of claims are made online and some claims are processed within hours.”
People in Victoria will receive their final automatic payment from 22 October, and can claim again from 29 October.
Detailed information on when final automatic payments will be made and when people can claim again can be found on the Services Australia website.
“Once the COVID-19 Disaster Payment is no longer available in Victoria, people who have not returned to work will be able to test their eligibility for other support available through Services Australia,” Minister Reynolds said.