Disaster payments to be tapered off as vaccination rates rise

The federal government has unveiled plans to wind back Covid disaster payments as vaccination rates increase.

Once jurisdictions reach 70 per cent fully vaccination, recipients will need to apply for the $750 payment each week, rather than it automatically turning over.

Once a jurisdiction reaches the 80 per cent goal the disaster payments will come to an end.


Over $9 billion has been paid to people in states and territories with declared hotspots so far.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has told the ABC this plan is consistent with scientific research modelling.

“It is consistent with the fact that New South Wales, Victoria, ACT have started to outline different road maps and importantly the support for individuals under the COVID disaster payment, which is running at around $1 billion a week, in costs, will continue through between 70% and 80%.

“Individuals will need to move to a process of reapplying each week for that assistance.

“Then at 80% it tapers off over a period of a few weeks and we then still have the normal social safety net are in place for individuals in addition to ongoing measures such as our loss carry back arrangements for businesses or some of the targeted measures which have been implemented such as for the aviation industry,” Minister Birmingham said.

Other payments such as the smaller amounts made available to people who are required to isolate will continue through to July next year.