The $1500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available for NSW workers from today, which is a huge win if you don’t have sick leave or JobKeeper payments to rely on if you are forced to self-isolate.

If you’re confused on whether or not you’re even eligible, and how tf you’re supposed to apply, you’re not alone. But don’t fret because we’ve found all of the important details so you can get your hands on that cash money.

How Much Is It?

If you are required to self-isolate due to either having, or being a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you could be eligible for a one-off $1500 payment to help you cover general living costs.

Thankfully, there’s no limit on how many times you can access this payment, so if you’re unlucky enough to have to isolate twice, you’ll still be covered.

However, the payment is considered taxable income, so you’ll need to disclose it in your 2020-21 tax return.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible?

The scheme is designed as a sort of safety net for anyone who otherwise wouldn’t be covered. You may be eligible for the payment if you have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine (by NSW Health) for one of the following reasons:

  • You have coronavirus, or are the primary carer of a child under 16 who has coronavirus.
  • You have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, and are required by law to self-isolate.
  • You are the primary carer of someone under 16 who has been required to self-isolate.

However, you also need to satisfy the following criteria to be approved for the payment:

  • You’re 17 or older.
  • You live in NSW (Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania are also covered by the scheme but you can read more about the criteria here).
  • Your period of quarantine is after September 17.
  • You have no form of income during this time.

Services Australia defines income as a salary, sick/personal leave, income support payments such as JobSeeker or Youth Allowance, or the JobKeeper payment. If you are receiving any of these payments, you will not be eligible for the scheme.

How Do I Apply For The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment?

According to Services Australia, “it is your responsibility to decide to claim for this payment based on your personal circumstances.” So basically, if you want it, you need to apply for it, rather than waiting for someone to contact you.

You will have to make a new claim for every time you need to undergo a 14 day quarantine.

To lodge a claim, you can call 180 22 66 or you can print the Claim for Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment form and fax it to Services Australia on 1300 727 760 (if you’re living in 1982, or are my dad, who is the only person who still faxes things).

For more information, or if you’re struggling but don’t think you’ll be eligible for this payment, visit the Services Australia website.