Victorian Government has announced a suite of top-ups to existing grants and support measures to support Victorian businesses through this latest lockdown.
Businesses who received cash grants in the May/June lockdown will receive automatic payments through recipients of the Licenced Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Assistance Program, plus businesses who did not receive the previous payments can now apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process.
Top-up support cash payments will be automatically paid to any businesses who received cash grants through recipients of the Licenced Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Assistance Program in the May/June lockdown.
Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund - $7,200
Business Costs Assistance Program - $4,800
You will not need to take any further action. The grant will automatically be paid. The payment will be processed from mid-July.
I did not apply for the original grants but would like to apply for the top-up?
Businesses that weren’t accessing the support programs in relation to the May/June lockdown, or had been ineligible to apply in the past but are now eligible, can now apply for July lockdown support payments and will be considered outside of the automatic top-up process.
There are two payments accessible to individuals: the COVID-19 Disaster Payment; and, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
How to apply for support
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster 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.
COVID-19 Disaster Payments
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.
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). However, In Victoria anyone who meets the eligibility criteria will be able to access the payment from day 1 of the lockdown (15 July 2021) but the payment will not be accessible until 23 July 2021.
How much is the payment?
The COVID-19 disaster payment amount available depends on how many hours of work you have lost in the week, and if the payment is on or after the third period of the lockdown.
- Between 8 and 20 hours lost - $375
- 20 or more hours lost - $600
The payment applies to each week of lockdown you are eligible and is taxable (you will need to declare it in your income tax return).
The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:
- Live or work in an area that is subject to a state or territory public health order that imposes restriction on movement and is declared a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot, or
- Have visited an area that is a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot and you are subsequently subject to a restricted movement order when you return to other parts of New South Wales or interstate.
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia, and
- Are aged 17 years or over, and
- Have lost 8 hours or more of work or a full day of your usual work as a result of the restrictions - losing work includes being stood down by your employer, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home. Losing a full day of what you were scheduled to work but could not work because of a restricted movement order. This includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time or casual shift of less than 8 hours, and
- Don’t have paid leave available through your employer (other than annual leave), and
- Are not receiving income support payments, a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Pandemic Leave Disaster 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:
- Test positive to COVID-19;
- Have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case;
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; or
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case; or
- Care for a person who has tested positive to COVID-19.
How much is the 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 both can claim this payment if you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available if you:
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
- Are aged 17 years or over; and
- Are unable to go to work and earn an income; and
- Do not have appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or carers leave; and
- Are not getting any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
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.
Additional support announced
Microbusinesses eligible for Disaster Payments
The vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the Commonwealth Government's COVID-19 Disaster Payment. The new payment will help micro businesses and Victorian workers who are unable to earn an income due to the current lockdown restrictions. All applications can be made through Services Australia.
Support for alpine hospitality, retail, accommodation and experience operators
Alpine businesses that were eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an extra $3,000, on top of any entitlements under Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 or Business Costs Assistance Package Round Two.
Impacted Public Events Support Program extended
Eligible public events and public events suppliers affected by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000 respectively through an extension of the Impacted Public Events Support Program.
New round of funding for Live Performance Support programs
A new round of the Live Performance Support programs will provide up to $7,000 for presenters and up to $2,000 for suppliers.
New round of funding for Sporting Clubs Grants Program
The Sporting Clubs Grants Program will provide $2,000 grants for community sport and active recreation organisations for events unable to proceed.
Need help applying for a COVID payment?
An extension to the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two will open for applications by the end of July. Further information will be available soon.
We’re available to assist you with the lockdown support for you and your business. If you are unsure if your business is eligible, please contact the office at email@example.com and we can assist you.