Households

Last Updated: 08 Sep 2020 1:28pm

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

The Australian Government has extended Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment arrangements to include Tasmania.

Tasmanian workers may be eligible for a $1,500 lump sum payment if they cannot earn an income because they are required to self-isolate or quarantine.

If an individual is instructed by a health official to stay home from work because they have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and they have used up all their sick leave entitlements, including any special pandemic leave, they may be eligible to make a claim. People may also be eligible if they are the parent or guardian of a child aged 16 or under who is a close contact or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Tasmanian workers are eligible for the payment if they are not receiving income, earnings or salary maintenance from work, receiving the JobKeeper Payment or other forms of Australian Government income support. The payment can be claimed again should an extended quarantine period longer than 14 days be instructed by health officials.

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment applies from 22 August 2020. To make a claim call 180 22 66. Further information is available on the Service Australia website.

Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants

Grants are available to support low-income persons, casual workers and self-employed persons who are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk.

To apply, please call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Low income

A one-off payment is available to low-income persons who are required by Public Health to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk.

The amount depends on the size of your household:

  • $250 per adult
  • $125 per child
  • Maximum capped at $1000 per household

To be eligible for assistance you:

  • must be required by Public Health to self-isolate (excludes travellers returning home who are required to quarantine in government provided accommodation) as evidenced by a Letter of Isolation or other form of official advice; and
  • must be low-income as evidenced by Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioners Concession Card, or otherwise be able to demonstrate genuine financial hardship; and
  • are not able to quarantine at your regular place of residence or with family and friends, as to do so, in the opinion of Public Health, would place vulnerable people at too great a risk.

An individual or household may be eligible to receive both Accommodation Support and Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants.

Casuals and self-employed

A $250 payment is available to eligible casual workers and self-employed persons who are unable to work while they are awaiting a COVID-19 test result.

To be eligible for assistance you must:

  • be employed on a casual basis* or be self-employed**;
  • have been tested for COVID-19, or be required to care for a dependent that has been tested for COVID-19, and be waiting for your or your dependent’s test results;
  • be a Tasmanian resident;
  • be self-isolating at your regular place of residence, with family or friends, or in Government quarantine, while waiting for your or your dependent’s test results; and
  • be able to demonstrate that you have lost income while waiting for test results.

* The applicant’s casual employment will be verified with their employer.

** Self-employed persons must be low-income as evidenced by a Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioners Concession Card, or otherwise be able to demonstrate genuine financial hardship.

Evidence of a requirement to self-isolate, such as a Letter of Isolation or other form of official advice is not required. However, assessors will confirm that a COVID-19 test has been conducted prior to any payment being made.

Eligible persons may receive the grant multiple times, but no more than once within a 30 day period.

Temporary Visa Holders

Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants are available to temporary visa holders residing in Tasmania who can demonstrate genuine financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. There is no requirement for temporary visa holders to be in self-isolation or quarantine to be eligible.

See Temporary visa holders for more information.

Accommodation support

Emergency accommodation, such as hotel rooms, is available for vulnerable individuals and families on low incomes who are required by Public Health to self-isolate due to COVID-19 risk but who are unable to stay at their regular place of residence or are homeless.

Emergency relief

Organisations such as Red Cross, Rural Business Tasmania and The Salvation Army can help vulnerable Tasmanians with emergency food hampers, delivery of medications, provision of financial counselling and other essential support during quarantine.

Homelessness

If a person is required to quarantine in overcrowded housing or is homeless, they will be considered as not able to quarantine at home and will need emergency accommodation.

If you are not eligible for Emergency Support but you need emergency accommodation, then you can call Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.

Housing Connect can provide financial help to pay for emergency accommodation or provide details of an emergency accommodation provider. Individuals affected by family violence will be provided details of affordable private rentals or referred to Rapid Rehousing, a type of housing assistance.

To seek assistance all referring agencies and members of the public should ring the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Emergency hotel accommodation is available for frontline workers who directly deliver essential health, welfare and biosecurity services if they need to stay away from home.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for emergency accommodation support, frontline workers must be:

  • Directly delivering essential health, welfare or biosecurity services and in close contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19; and
  • Their workplace is unable to provide reasonable prevention measures to stop close contact; and
  • Are not able to quarantine at their regular place of residence because a household member is ‘high risk’ (e.g. people who are elderly or have chronic health conditions or a weakened immune system); or a household member is required by Public Health to quarantine.

Ring the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 if you are a frontline worker seeking emergency accommodation support.

Flowchart of illustrating the eligibility criteria for emergency accommodation by frontline workers

Private Rental Incentives Program

The Private Rental Incentives Program helps eligible low income Tasmanians access affordable private rental properties.

The program offers landlords an incentive to lease their homes for a two-year period at a rent that is set at an affordable level for clients off the Housing Register.

See the Communities Tasmania website for more information.

COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund

A COVID-19 Rent Relief Fund has been established to assist tenants suffering from extreme hardship, with support of up to $2,000 or four weeks rent available. More information on the Fund is available from the Communities Tasmania website.

Residential rent relief for social housing

The Tasmanian Government will not increase the rent for social housing tenants over the next six months, and will not count Federal Government COVID-19 emergency payments as income for the purposes of calculating rent contributions.

If a household experiences a decrease in their household income, their rent will be decreased based on the Centrelink rates before the COVID-19 payments were established.

Any tenant whose income has been reduced as a result of the COVID-19 should contact their tenancy manager and their rents will be adjusted.

A one-off immediate $200 payment will be made to foster and kinship carers for each child or young person in their care, so families can purchase essential cleaning or hygiene products and to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Funds will be made available to carers though automatic deposit.

Supporting casual workers

Casual workers in the state sector   will be provided with two weeks special leave if they are required to quarantine.

National Debt Helpline - 1800 007 007

Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential advice to help you manage your debts or negotiate with creditors. Visit the National Debt Helpline website for step-by-step guides and useful information on how to deal with specific types of debts.