Govt payments available for virus-hit SA

·2-min read

Enhanced support and expanded access to Australia's social security system is in place to support South Australians during the current surge in coronavirus cases, the federal government says.

With thousands of businesses and people hit with renewed restrictions, prompted by an emerging cluster of COVID-19 infections, Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said income support and pandemic leave payments were available to South Australians in need.

"We have temporarily put arrangements in place so that our social security safety net is not just for people who have lost their jobs, it is able to provide a cushion for people who have had or fear their hours or income will be reduced," Senator Ruston said.

"I would encourage anyone who is concerned about changes to their employment or has had their income reduced to test their eligibility for JobSeeker payments or related payments."

To be eligible for a part-JobSeeker payment, a person's income has to be below the income cut-out of $1257 a fortnight.

Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment was available for people living in SA who could not earn an income because of a requirement to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone with COVID-19.

Eligible recipients will receive $1500 for each 14-day period.

"By making this payment available to South Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government will ease financial burdens for those workers affected by the virus," Mr Littleproud said.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said that South Australians who needed to access income support were encouraged to call or visit Services Australia online rather than visit service centres.

"Services Australia is taking every possible step to help South Australians as they grapple with the pandemic," he said.

"If you think there may be a change to your employment over the coming weeks, I'd encourage you to go to online to check eligibility and start the application process."