The temporary COVID-19 Disaster Payment has supported around 2 million Australians, with over $9 billion in payments made since it was announced in June this year.
Under the payment, eligible recipients have received $750 per week if they lost over 20 hours of work, $450 per week if they lost between eight and 20 hours, and $200 per week for those on income support payments who lost over eight hours of work.
On Wednesday (29 September), Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that the payment will begin to transition once a state or territory reaches 70% full vaccination of its population.
“Once a state or territory reaches 70% full vaccination, the automatic renewal of the temporary payment will end and individuals will have to reapply each week that a Commonwealth hotspot remains in place to confirm their eligibility,” Mr Frydenberg said.
In line with the movement into Phase C of the National Plan, where a Commonwealth hotspot remains in place and a state or territory reaches 80% full vaccination of its population (16 years and older), the temporary payment will step down over a period of two weeks before ending.
The Treasurer explained that in the first week after a state or territory has reached 80% vaccination, there will be a flat payment of $450 for those who have lost more than eight hours of work, while those on income support will receive $100.
“In the second week, the payment will be brought into line with JobSeeker at $320 for the week for those who have lost more than eight hours of work, while the payment will end for those on income support,” he said.
“For those who haven’t already returned to the workforce following the end of the temporary payment as the economy opens up, the social security system will support eligible individuals back into work.”
The government will also leave in place the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment until 30 June 2022.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Morrison government has provided $291 billion in direct economic support to households and businesses.