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COVID-19 Disaster Payment – Temporary Visa Holders Eligibility

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The Government has announced a disaster payment for Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and temporary visa holders who have the right to work in Australia.

This is the first support package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has offered assistance to temporary visa holders.

Here is what you need to know if you are a temporary visa holder looking to access the disaster payment:

What is the disaster payment?

The payment will be a one-off and time-limited financial assistance to eligible persons who are, or where, unable to earn their usual income as a result of restrictions imposed by state or territory Governments, where the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer has determined the location to be a COVID-19 hotspot.

The Department of Health website lists the current hotspots here:

Who is eligible?

The disaster payment is intended to assist Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, and temporary visa holders with work rights, who have had their hours of work and income significantly affected by the restrictions.

Who is ineligible?

Individuals who have more than $10,000 in liquid assets during the period of the restrictions are ineligible.

Individuals who are, or were, already receiving Commonwealth income support payments, payments of similar nature, or Pandemic Leave Disaster payments during the period of the restrictions will not be eligible for this payment.

How will the payment work?

The payment will apply when restrictions prohibiting free movement have remained in place for longer than seven days and, other than annual leave, the individual does not, have available leave entitlements to cover the period of restrictions.

How much is the payment?

The payment rate is up to $500.00 per week for those that were engaged in paid employment of more than 20 hours per week, and up to $325.00 per week for people who were engaged in paid employment of less than 20 hours per week.

When do I have to apply for the payment?

Assistance may be provided to eligible persons during or after the period of the restrictions.

Precise details regarding the period of which applications for assistance can be made will be published on the Services Australia website ( and as part of the COVID-19 Disaster Payments Guidelines, which will be made available on  

Where do I apply for the payment?

Eligible working visa holders are required to call the Australian Government Emergency Service on 18 22 66 to make a claim for the payment.

Ethos Migration Lawyers will continue to provide updates as they become available. Please note that Ethos Migration Lawyers cannot assist with making claims for these payments and have provided this update for your information only.

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