By Julie Owens

20 July 2021

Our community is in lockdown until at least 30 July.

I’ve heard from a lot of people and businesses who are already struggling and wondering how they will cope with the extension until the end of the month.

There has been a constant stream of announcements this past week. Fortunately, some of them have been about new support payments for people who’ve lost work and businesses forced to close because of the restrictions. A lot of the information out there is confusing, so I want to dedicate this space to explaining some of the support that’s available for people in Parramatta, and how you can get it.

Individuals

If you've lost work and income because of the lockdown, you can claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment every 7 days during lockdown, starting on 4 July. You have to lodge a new claim each week with Centrelink through MyGov and the payment will depend on how many hours you've lost in that 7 day period.

As of 15 July, the payment has increased from $500 to $600 per week for more than 20 hours lost work, and from $325 to $375 for less than 20 hours. The original requirement to have less than $10,000 in liquid assets no longer applies.

Extended telehealth consultations (20 minutes+) are once again available on Medicare.

As of yesterday, child care gap fees will be waived for parents who keep their kids at home during lockdown.

There is also a 60 day freeze on evictions for residential tenants who have lost 25% or more of their income and can't afford to pay their rent because of COVID-19.

Businesses

Businesses and not-for-profits with annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover (or greater) can apply for a weekly business support payment of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week, depending on their payroll. Non-employing businesses such as sole traders can apply for $1,000 per week.

The NSW Government business support grants announced in late June have been expanded. Businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit organisations that have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more can now apply for a COVID-19 business grant of up to $15,000.

Micro businesses that have been affected by lockdown but left out of these measures may be able to apply for micro business grants of $1500 per fortnight from late July.

The NSW Government is also offering payroll tax deferrals and waivers for affected businesses and land tax relief for landlords who offer rent reductions (residential landlords who don’t pay land tax can apply for a grant of up to $1,500).

Click here for links to more information about these measures including eligibility rules and how to apply. If you're having trouble getting help, please get in touch with my office.