More locked-down Sydneysiders to get $500 COVID-19 disaster payment

More NSW residents will be able to receive a $500 cash boost, following changes to the emergency COVID-19 disaster payment.

The Federal Government announced last month that Australian workers affected by snap lockdowns that last more than seven days would be eligible for a $325 and $500 payment.

However, residents had to prove they had less than $10,000 in liquid assets in order to be eligible.


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Addressing the country on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that requirement would now be waived for people in states entering a third week of lockdown.

“It doesn’t matter what funds you’ve got available to you in your bank account or what you can readily convert to cash,” he said.

“Recognising we’re not just dealing with a one-week or 2-week period here, this is now going into a third week and with further decisions to be taken, the Commonwealth recognises that and the liquid asset test will not apply to access those payments.”

A mutual obligation waiver applying to metropolitan Sydney in relation to welfare support payments and social security payments will also be extended.

Mr Morrison said the COVID-19 crisis in Sydney has escalated in recent days, and has pleaded for residents to abide by the rules.

“This is a very serious situation, and it’s particularly escalated over the course of recent days,” the Prime Minister said.

What I would first say to my fellow Sydneysiders in particular, is compliance with the orders that have been put in place by the New South Wales government could not be more critical.

“In particular, we are having issues with compliance when it comes to casual contact between households. 

“You just can’t go from one house to the next. Birthday parties, family gatherings, these sorts of things are just not OK.”

The Prime Minister warned that the COVID-19 outbreak doesn’t just have implications for Sydney.

“What is happening in Sydney has very serious implications not only for the health of Sydneysiders, but also for the economy of Sydney, but also the economy of New South Wales and indeed the national economy,” Mr Morrison said.

“And that’s why it’s absolutely imperative that in this phase we’re in now, the suppression phase, that we work together to ensure that we can suppress this latest outbreak as effectively as we possibly can.

“And we will work with the New South Wales government to give effect to that both economically and from a health point of view.”