Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union


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You may be eligible for a payment from the federal government if you or your family are affected by COVID-19. You can use the Services Australia payment guide to find out more.

Information updated: 21/01/2022

What is the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and can I still access it?


The COVID-19 Disaster payment was a payment for workers who could not work due to state public health orders in effect during 2021. Payment amounts were dependent on individual circumstances such as hours of work lost. This payment is no longer available.

What is the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment?


The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment may be available if you’re unable to work and earn income because you or someone you’re caring for has to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.

Eligibility criteria may vary slightly across states and territories but generally the worker:

  • cannot earn income due to a requirement to self-isolate or quarantine because they have COVID-19 or have been informed by a health official that they are a close contact of someone who does, is caring for a child who has COVID-19 or is a close contact of someone who does
  • is at least 17 years old
  • lives in Australia
  • is an Australian resident or holds an eligible working visa
  • has no entitlement to relevant paid leave or has exhausted their entitlement
  • hasn’t received income or other support payments during the period
  • has less than $10,000 available to them (e.g. in bank accounts)

The payments are:

  • $450 for workers who lose 8, but less than 20, hours of work
  • $750 for workers who lose 20 or more hours of work

Workers who lose less than 8 hours are no longer eligible to receive any payment.

You have 14 days from the start of your isolation or caring period, which must begin on or before 30 June 2022, to claim the payment.

State or territory public health orders may exempt essential workers from having to isolate which may mean you are able to work and won’t be eligible for Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

What state/territory support is there for workers to test and isolate?


VICTORIA: $450 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment

Available for eligible workers who:

  • are 17 years or older and live in Victoria
  • have taken or are the carer/guardian of someone who has taken a PCR test for COVID-19
  • were likely to have worked but were not able to due to self-isolation requirements
  • did not receive any income during the self-isolation period
  • have no entitlement to relevant leave or have exhausted their entitlement

The payment cannot be received for the same period as the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or while receiving other income support.

NEW SOUTH WALES: $320 Test and Isolate Support Payment

Available for eligible workers who:

  • are 17 years or older and live in NSW
  • have taken a PCR test for COVID-19 on or after 9 September 2021 due to experiencing symptoms
  • have needed to self-isolate after their PCR test or are the carer/guardian for someone who needed to self-isolate after their PCR test
  • expected to work but could not due to the self-isolation
  • cannot work from home, are not receiving income, and have no access to relevant leave

There are quite a few things that would make you ineligible for this payment including receiving any other support from the Australian or NSW Governments or relying on a positive Rapid Antigen Test.  

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: $300 SA COVID-19 Testing Isolation Payment

Available for eligible for workers who:

  • are 17 years or older
  • have taken a PCR test for COVID-19 and have been required to self-isolate pending results
  • lost work during the period of self-isolation
  • do not have access to paid leave or other income support

The payment is not available to people affected before 23 November 2021 and cannot be claimed while receiving other payments, such as the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, for the same period.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: $270 COVID-19 Hardship Isolation Payment

The payment of $270 covers up to three days in isolation but a worker may be eligible for an additional $90 per day if test results take longer (and lost earnings would have exceeded that amount).

Available for eligible workers who:

  • had to isolate while awaiting a COVID-19 test result or are the carer/guardian for someone who had to
  • are a resident of the ACT
  • are unable to work and are receiving no income
  • have no entitlement to relevant leave or have exhausted their entitlement
  • have less than $5,000 available and are not receiving Commonwealth Government income support

You cannot access the payment if you are either a close contact or someone with COVID-19 who is eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or are in quarantine as a result of being a returned traveller or are required to regularly test for work.

Can I apply for workers compensation?


Workers who contract COVID-19 in the course of their employment will be able to claim workers compensation benefits for any time lost or medical care required.

It may be challenging to prove the required connection with work in light of the growing number of community infections. You should contact your union for assistance if you are unable to work due to a COVID-19 infection caused by work.

If work, in particular working under all the extra rules during lockdown, is making you sick i.e. stressed, depressed, anxious, exhausted, then you may also have a claim under workers compensation.

From 1 July 2021, new legislation will enable Victorian workers and volunteers who suffer from a work-related mental injury to access early treatment and support while they await the outcome of their claim.

More information is available from WorkSafe Victoria.

What support is there for people experiencing family and domestic violence?


For some people, home is not the safest place, and restrictions may make things worse. Remember, you are always allowed to leave your home to stay safe from harm and access family and domestic violence support services.

If you and/or your family are in immediate danger, please call the police on Triple Zero (000).

AMWU Care Line has qualified counsellors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 206 316. It’s free for AMWU members and their immediate family.

Support from the AMWU's hardship fund is available for members experiencing family and domestic violence. Contact the union for assistance.

1800-RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic family violence counselling service available 24/7 on 1800 737 732. For an interpreter, phone 13 14 50.

Find more services and support for your state/territory below:

ACT  -  NSW  -  NT  -  QLD  -  SA  -  TAS  -  VIC  -  WA 

Note: the websites for SA and WA support services do not have quick exits buttons.

Does my workplace have paid special leave?


At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, union members at worksites across the country fought for and won paid special leave which was critical for workers to stop the spread by being able to stay home when unwell, isolating or quarantining when other entitlements or support weren’t available.

Speak with your delegate or union to find out if paid special leave is available at your workplace

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