Employees who test positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen testing are now eligible to access the $750 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment offered through Centrelink on behalf of Services Australia.
RAT results are now accepted alongside those recorded by regular PCR lab testing to ensure payment is available to anyone who needs it.
Watch the video above to see Australia’s best rapid antigen tests explained
People who have lost at least a day of work because they are COVID positive, who are caring for someone who is a close contact, or who meets the definition of a close contact may be eligible for up to $750.
Here’s what you need to know about the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
The following information is provided by Services Australia.
Who can apply for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Allowance?
You may qualify if you are unable to work and earn income because you or someone you care for is in self-isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19.
You must self-isolate or quarantine yourself for one of the following reasons:
- you have COVID-19
- you have been informed by a health officer that you are in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
- you are caring for a child aged 16 or younger who has COVID-19
- you have been informed by a health official that a child aged 16 or under you are caring for is in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
- you take care of someone who has COVID-19
- you are caring for someone with a disability or a serious medical condition who needs to self-isolate or quarantine for being in close contact with a person with COVID-19. You must live in the same household as the person with a disability or serious medical condition.
You must also meet all of them of the following:
- you are at least 17 years old
- you are an Australian resident or have a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
- you live in Australia during your self-isolation, quarantine or care period
- you live in Australia at the time of your claim
- you are unable to work and earn an income because you have to self-isolate, quarantine, or care for someone who needs to self-isolate or quarantine
- you are not entitled to sick leave, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or care leave.
You must have one of the following:
- advice of a positive test from a testing clinic or health professional
- proof that you have registered a positive home-administered RAT result with your health authority.
How much is the payment?
If you qualify, Services Australia will pay you $750 for each seven-day period you are told to self-isolate, quarantine, or care for someone who has COVID-19.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Allowance is taxable income. This means that you must include it in your income tax return.
If you receive family support or child support payments, click here to see how they are affected.
How to apply?
If your claim is for a period from December 9, 2021, claim using the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment Claim form.
You can complete the claim form on your computer and either:
- return the form to Services Australia online using your Centrelink online account
- fax the form to Services Australia at 1300 727 760, if you have printed it out and signed it manually.
If you don’t have a Centrelink online account, you can create one.
If you are unable to use online services, please call Services Australia on 180 22 66 for assistance in claiming this payment.
Click here for more information about payment at Services Australia.
WATCH the difference between rapid and PCR tests in the video below