COVID SUPPORT PAYMENTS EXPANDED FOR WORKERS AND VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES ACROSS NSW

The NSW Government today announced an additional $287.5 million in COVID-19 financial support to assist workers and vulnerable communities in metropolitan, regional and rural NSW.

The additional funding will see the COVID-19 emergency hardship payments, test and isolate support payments and community empowerment grants expanded across all of NSW.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the funds will assist workers and vulnerable people under financial strain due to the COVID-19 restrictions across the State.

“The expansion and extension of the emergency hardship payment will provide assistance to people across all of NSW who are under severe financial strain but are not eligible for other support payments and grants,” Mr Barilaro said.

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“The test and isolate payment will help people to test early and isolate if they have COVID symptoms. This payment will help take the pressure off if an individual does not have access to leave entitlements or other support payments.

“Grants for culturally and linguistically diverse groups have also been expanded to connect multicultural communities with essential services throughout the pandemic.”

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the new $287.5 million funding commitment is in addition to the NSW Government’s existing commitment of $7.7 billion in COVID-19 support measures.

“As lockdown continues, we want to make sure support is provided where it’s needed and no communities are forgotten,” Mr Perrottet said.

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“We’re providing those under severe financial strain money in their bank accounts to help them through the lockdown and we’re supporting workers to test early and isolate so we can save lives and livelihoods across the State.

“We’re also supporting multicultural organisations which are best placed to connect migrant communities with vital health services to ensure our vaccination rate keeps climbing – as that’s really key to our State’s recovery.”

The NSW Government’s additional $287.5 million funding commitment includes;

· The emergency hardship, one-off payment of $400 administered by the Red Cross which has been expanded to temporary visa/no visa holders in NSW who are facing severe financial hardship and are not eligible for other government income. To apply visit: https://www.redcross.org.au/get-help/help-for-migrants-in-transition/help-for-migrants-in-transition/nsw-relief

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· The test and isolate payment of $320 which has now been expanded state-wide. It is available for eligible workers aged 17 and over, who have symptoms of COVID-19, to get tested and isolate until a negative result is returned. The payment is available to NSW workers who do not have sick, carer’s or pandemic leave. To apply visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-test-and-isolate-support-payment

· Community supports grants which have been expanded across NSW to help organisations deliver emergency food relief, promote vaccination and testing services, and provide culturally appropriate support and care to diverse communities.