Victorians able to access COVID-19 Disaster Payment under deal struck between state and federal governments

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Victorians will be able to claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment scheme under an alteration of the rules, as the state enters its fifth lockdown.

The scheme is usually reserved for those experiencing at least a week of lockdown.

But late on Thursday, the state and federal governments struck a deal to allow access to the scheme for locked down Melburnians.

“Those payments will apply regardless of the five-day lockdown as opposed to a seven-day trigger point that had been foreshadowed by the Commonwealth,” Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Friday.

“If you lose the hours and you are eligible, the length of the lockdown does not matter. You have lost those hours, you have lost those wages and you should be supported.

“It is instant … And we are looking to make automatic payments. So people will not have to apply. If you got a grant last time, you will get a grant this time,” Andrews said.

Those who work or live in Greater Melbourne, as well as the Moorabool Shire, the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff and the Surf Coast Shire, are eligible under the federal government’s hotspot definition.

The rest of the state will be eligible for the same program, but will be funded by the state government instead of the federal government.

Anyone who has lost 20 hours of work or more is able to claim $600, while those who have lost less than 20 hours of work may be eligible for $375.

No liquid assets test will be applied.

Applicants must not be receiving any other welfare payment.

To learn more and to lodge a claim, click here.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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