COVID-19 economic support for Businesses and Individuals
The Federal Government and NSW Government have announced a joint package to support individuals and businesses across New South Wales during the latest lockdowns of Greater Sydney.
The main features of the package are the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and COVID-19 Business Support, in addition to some broader measures that are relevant to all businesses and residents of New South Wales.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment has been in place for workers that are unable to earn an income due to restrictions on movement or lockdowns. Unlike the previous JobKeeper payments, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment is paid directly by the Government to affected individuals.
The payment applies where people cannot attend work or have lost income due to COVID-19 restrictions. There are eligibility requirements in addition to loss of work, however, there is no asset or means test that applies now.
The Federal Government and NSW Government have announced that the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be increased, a number of times. At the moment, eligible individuals will receive:
- $450 per week, if you have lost 8-20 hours of work per week; and
- $750 per week, if you have lost 20+ hours of work per week.
How do I apply?
Individuals who have lost work due to restrictions on movement can apply for this additional income support depending on when they were affected by COVID-19 restrictions. However, the Federal Government and NSW Government agreed that the COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available for all eligible individuals across the whole of New South Wales from 18 July 2021. If you have not yet claimed for any relevant period from 18 July 2021 to now, then you should do so as soon as possible, as claims close on a week-by-week basis starting from 14 August 2021.
To claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, review the eligibility requirements and apply by calling 180 22 66 or visiting.
COVID-19 Business Support
It is important that businesses understand the scope and amount of the COVID-19 Disaster Payment. Unlike with JobKeeper, payments are being made directly by the Government to affected employees, rather than through businesses. Therefore, employers should direct any affected employees to contact Services Australia themselves to request the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
Additionally, new measures have been introduced to support affected businesses and employers, including:
- COVID-19 business grant – a one-off grant of $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000 for businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Applications will close at midnight on 13 September 2021;
- COVID-19 micro-business support grant – a $1,500 payment per fortnight for micro businesses with annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 impacted by COVID-19 restriction;
- Job-saver – a fortnightly payment between $1,500 and $100,000 for businesses with a revenue decline of 30% or more, to help maintain employee headcount and assist with business cash flow. This includes sole traders, who may be eligible for a $1,000 payment.
- New temporary measures for residential and commercial landlords and tenants, including reductions of land tax, grants for rent reductions, a prohibition on eviction/lockout without prior mediation; and
- Various payroll tax deferrals or reductions.
How do I apply?
Businesses have flagged that it is difficult to understand what grants that they are eligible for and that there are significant delays in receiving the payment in their account.
The easiest step to understand eligibility is to complete the eligibility questionnaire, which will outline programs that you may qualify for and provide the relevant links to apply. Due to potential delays in receiving payment, it is important that you do this as soon as possible so that you do not miss out on any support that you could otherwise be eligible for. The Service NSW eligibility checker can be found here.
If you have any queries about applying for and accessing these payments, communicating these changes to your staff and clients, or how this payment will affect your business more broadly, please contact us on 9523 5535 and we can assist you.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided as general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice and it should not be used or relied on as legal or professional advice.