11 Aug 2021

The Liberal and Nationals Government has confirmed eligible workers in Commonwealth-declared pandemic hotspots of Tamworth and Armidale in New South Wales can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was critical to look after regional Australia during lockdowns.

“Tamworth and Armidale are major regional centres for this part of NSW and it is important that they remain functioning as effectively as possible to service not only their own areas, but also the wider agricultural community.

“People experiencing financial stress as a result of lockdowns can receive support from the Liberal and Nationals Government and I hope this gives families and individuals some peace of mind,” Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said.

As Tamworth and Armidale are now in lockdown, Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said people may be eligible if their work and income is reduced by the lockdown.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with Australians impacted by the global pandemic and continue to provide a safety net to support communities that are in lockdown.”

“Claims for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment for people in Tamworth and Armidale can be made now.”

“Some people living in these two Local Government Areas (LGAs) were already able to claim the payment if they were affected by the local lockdown in Greater Sydney,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Those eligible will receive $750 per week if they have lost 20 or more hours of work, and $450 per week if they have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work, or a full day of work.

“People currently receiving an income support payment can also claim an extra payment of $200 if they have lost eight hours or more of work and meet the other eligibility requirements for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.”

Minister for Government Services, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said people who were already receiving the payment do not need to do anything.

“If you’re in Armidale or Tamworth and are already getting a COVID-19 Disaster Payment it will continue automatically for as long as you are eligible,” Minister Reynolds said.

“People who are newly eligible can claim now—the quickest and easiest way to claim is myGov.”

“In line with recent announcements the Australian Government is pausing all Centrelink debt raising and new debt recovery in locked down Local Government Areas.”

More information about the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and how to claim is online at:

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