The Australian Government and State Governments are offering financial support for workers affected by COVID-19 restrictions. In other words,

If you’ve lost earnings due to COVID-19 restrictions you can apply for lump sum support payments, which allow you to continue driving while earnings increase.

What support options are available?

You can apply for different COVID-19 support payments from the Federal Government and/or your State Government. See below to check which ones are you eligible for:

We recommend consulting a tax professional such as rideshare specialists Rideshare TAX or DriveTax before you submit your application.

1. Federal Government – COVID-19 Disaster Payment

The Australian Government is offering up to $600 per week of financial support for workers whose earnings have been affected by a state public health order. These include lockdowns, hotspots, or periods of restricted movement.

This is a lump-sum payment that you can claim through Centrelink, via myGov.

Important: You can get this payment even if you’re eligible on only one day of any event period. Also, if you have a partner, you can both claim this payment, even if you don’t live in the same household – you’ll simply need to make separate claims.

How much COVID-19 Disaster Payment can I claim?

The amounts you can claim depend on your location and the time period your income was affected.

Australian Capital Territory

Location Event period Payment amount
(based on number of work hours lost)
Claims open
Less than 20h 20h or more
Australian Capital Territory 13 August – 19 August $450* $750* 20 August – 9 September
20 August – 26 August 27 August – 16 September
27 August – 2 September 3 September – 23 September

*The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is $200 each week if you get an eligible income support payment via Centrelink. You’ll get this amount on top of your regular payment.

New South Wales

First and second NSW periods
Location Event period Payment amount
(based on number of work hours lost)
Claims open
Less than 20h 20h or more
Sydney (city) 1 July – 7 July $325 $500 1 July – 28 July
8 July – 14 July 8 July – 4 August
Greater Sydney 4 July – 10 July* 4 July – 31 July
11 July – 17 July 11 July – 7 August

*You must have less than $10,000 in liquid assets if you’re claiming for the 4 – 10 July period. Liquid assets are any funds readily available to you in cash or savings, or assets that can easily be changed into cash (e.g. money loaned to other people).

From the third NSW period onwards

There are different amounts you can claim depending on whether or not you’re already receiving another Centrelink payment.

1. If you’re NOT receiving another Centrelink payment

Location Event period Payment amount
(based on number of work hours lost)
Claims open
8-20h or a full day* 20h or more
Sydney (city) 15 July – 21 July $375 $600 15 July – 11 August
22 July – 28 July 22 July – 18 August
29 July – 4 August 29 July – 25 August
5 August – 11 August $450 $750 5 August – 5 September
12 August – 18 August 12 August – 8 September
19 August – 25 August 19 August – 15 September
26 August – 1 September 26 August – 22 September
Greater Sydney 25 July – 30 July $375 $600 25 July – 21 August
Greater Sydney
and all other NSW areas
18 July – 24 July 18 July – 14 August
1 August – 7 August 1 August – 28 August
8 August – 14 August $450 $750 8 August – 4 September
15 August – 21 August 15 August – 11 September
22 August – 28 August 22 August – 18 September
29 August – 4 September 29 August – 25 September
5 September – 10 September 5 September – 2 October
All other NSW areas 25 July – 31 July $375 $600 25 July – 21 August

*A full day of your usual work is what you were scheduled to work but could not because of a restricted movement order. This includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time, or casual shift of less than 8 hours.

2. If you ARE receiving another Centrelink payment

Location Event period Payment amount Claims open
New South Wales 27 July – 2 August $200* 3 August – 30
August
3 August – 9 August 9 August – 30
August
10 August – 16 August 16 August – 6 September
17 August – 23 August 23 August – 13 September
24 August – 30 August 30 August – 20 September
31 August – 6 September 6 September – 27 September
7 September – 10 September 10 September – 4 October

*The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is $200 each week if you get an eligible income support payment via Centrelink. You’ll get this amount on top of your regular payment.

Queensland

Location* Event period Payment amount
(based on number of work hours lost)
Claims open
Less than 20h 20h or more
South East Queensland 1 August – 7 August $450** $750** 7 August – 28 August
8 August 8 August – 4 September
Cairns and Yarrabah 9 August – 11 August 16 August – 5 September

*There may be different locations where COVID-19 lockdowns, hotspots, or movement restrictions apply in Queensland. You may need to reach out to Services Australia and let them know which Local Government Area you lived in, worked from or visited.
** The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is $200 each week if you get an eligible income support payment via Centrelink. You’ll get this amount on top of your regular payment.

South Australia

Location Event period Payment amount
(based on number of work hours lost)
Less than 20h 20h or more
South Australia* 21 July – 27 July $375 $600

*There may be different locations where COVID-19 lockdowns, hotspots, or movement restrictions apply in South Australia. You may need to reach out to Services Australia and let them know which Local Government Area you lived in, worked from or visited.

Victoria

Location Event period Payment amount
(based on number of work hours lost)
Claims open
Less than 20h 20h or more
Victoria* 16 July – 22 July $375 $600 23 July – 12 August
23 July – 27 July 25 July – 19 August
6 August – 12 August $450** $750** 13 August – 2 September
13 August – 19 August 20 August – 9 September
20 August – 26 August 29 August – 16 September
27 August – 2 September 3 September – 23 September

*There may be different locations where COVID-19 lockdowns, hotspots, or movement restrictions apply in Victoria. You may need to reach out to Services Australia and let them know which Local Government Area you lived in, worked from or visited.
**The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is $200 each week if you get an eligible income support payment via Centrelink. You’ll get this amount on top of your regular payment.

Am I eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment?

To get financial support as an on-demand driver, you must meet all of the general eligibility criteria:

Furthermore, there are state-specific criteria that you must meet in order to be eligible for COVID-19 Disaster Payment:

  1. If you’re an Australian resident, you must claim your payment online. For this, you need a myGov account linked to a Centrelink account
  2. If you’re an eligible working visa holder, you must call the Government’s Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66 to claim your support payment

For information in your native language about payments and services you can also call the Multilingual Phone Service on 131 202

2. State Government grants

The NSW and SA Governments are also offering financial support to small business owners impacted by COVID-19, such as Uber drivers.

New South Wales

The NSW Government is offering a 2021 COVID-19 business grant to businesses including on-demand drivers if:

  • you can demonstrate your business was operating in NSW as of June 1st
  • you’ve had an aggregated annual turnover of $75,000 or more for the previous tax year (July 1st, 2019 – June 30th, 2020)
  • you have business costs for which there is no other government support available

There are three different grant amounts on the decline in turnover that you’ve experienced over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019:

  • $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more
  • $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more
  • $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.

Visit the COVID-19 business grant application page for more information

South Australia

The Government of South Australia also announced a Business Support Package for small and medium enterprises to help cover ongoing operating costs until the restrictions ease.

The support package includes a $1,000 cash grant for small businesses who don’t employ staff and sole traders, such as on-demand drivers.

To be eligible for the one-off $1,000 emergency cash grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be located within South Australia
  • Have an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020-21 or 2019-20, and be registered for GST
  • Experienced at least a 30% reduction (compared to the week prior) in turnover due to the restricted trading conditions

The payments will be paid in arrears for the lockdown and you can apply through myGOV from Wednesday, 28 July.

About Splend

At Splend we help on-demand drivers thrive. As a result, we continue to help our members through the COVID-19 lockdowns. Our dedicated Member Success Representatives and Member Care Team are on standby to answer any questions you might have.

During the pandemic, our Member Support Centres will operate strictly by appointment only. Simply give us a call on 1800 775 363 and make an appointment, so we can ensure the safest conditions for your visit.