COVID-19 Financial Support Guide

Posted on 21 September 2021
By Tegan Carrison, Executive Director, AAPi

Covid-19 Support Payments for Individuals


Covid-19 Disaster Payments

  • Workers who have lost work hours or couldn’t work due to a lockdown may be eligible to apply for the Commonwealth’s Covid-19 Disaster Payment
  • Depending on which state you live in, the Disaster Payments may be a fortnightly or a lump sum payment. More information about this payment in your state or territory.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments

  • If you have been directed to self-isolate or stay home to care for a dependent who has been asked to isolate and your income has been affected as a result, you may be eligible to claim this payment. More information about this payment in your state or territory.
Test Isolation Payment
  • In some states and territories, eligible workers can apply for a payment if they are unable to work whilst awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test. More information about these payment in your state or territory:
    • VIC - $450 payment
    • NSW - $230 payment
    • SA - $300 Covid Cluster Isolation Payment
    • ACT - $270 payment
    • TAS - $250 payment for casual workers and self-employed

Tasmania: Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants

  • Grants to people on low-income that have been directed to isolate and are unable to isolate at their usual place of residence due to risk of exposure to others. A one-off grant of $250 per adult, $125 per child with a household cap of $1,000. More information.

Covid-19 Business Grants & Supports


JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme

  • A hiring incentive scheme for businesses for each additional employee they hire aged between 16-35. For new staff aged between 16-29 the payment is $200 per week and for employees aged 29-35 the payment is $100 per week. 
  • Eligible businesses can make a claim every 3 months for up to 12 months from the date the new employee starts work. Back payments can be claimed.  
  • Employees must be new hires from 7/10/2020 – 6/10/2021.  Employees need to increase both total employee headcount and payroll. More information


Business Cost Assistance Program

  • An additional $2,800 for recipients of the Business Cost Assistance Program Round Two (applications close 20/08/2021) and the Round Three grants.  This fund is to support businesses across metropolitan Melbourne continue to pay their overheads. The Business Cost Assistance Program Round three grant will be automatically paid within 7 days from 12/8/2021 to businesses who have already received Round Two funding.  More information

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

  • A one-off payment for businesses that do not qualify for existing programs to $10,000 and have experienced a 70% reduction in revenue
  • Applications opened 12/08/2021 until 10/09/2021. More information

Commercial Tenants Rent Relief

  • Guaranteed commercial rent relief for businesses that have experienced a drop in turnover of over 30% during the pandemic. More information

Victorian Business Continuity Fund

  • Grants of $5,000 for businesses that have been impacted by the capacity limits as a result of Covid public health orders. Businesses in the CBD who are under office capacity restrictions will receive an extra $2,000.  More information.
  • City of Melbourne Economic Support for Businesses
  • Businesses can request help in paying: general fines (excluding parking infringements); parking, advertisement, town planning fees – permit extensions; land information certificates; waste management fees and charges. More information.

New South Wales

Test & Isolate Support Payment

  • Eligible workers can apply for a payment of $320 if they are unable to work whilst awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test. More information
Payroll Tax Reduction
  • A reduction of 25% in 2021-2022 payroll tax for liability for businesses who have experienced a 30% decline in turnover with wages of $10 million or less. More information will be provided on this scheme by the end of August 2021.

Jobsaver Program

  • Fortnightly payments to help businesses maintain employee headcount and provide cashflow support for businesses.
  • Eligibility:  a decline in revenue of 30% or greater and annual turnover of between $75,000-$250 million.
  • Eligible employing businesses: 40% of weekly NSW payroll to receive payments between $1,000-$100,000 per week.
  • Eligible non-employing businesses to receive $1,000 per week.
  • More information

Covid Business Grants

  • A one-off grant for business and sole traders to support cashflow for the first 3 weeks of lockdown.
  • Eligibility: demonstrate a 30% or greater decline in revenue and an annual turnover above $75,000
  • Grants of $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000 depending on the size of the revenue decline. More information

Covid Micro Business Grants

  • Eligibility: businesses/sole trader/not-for-profits with a turnover between $30,000-75,000 per year who have experience a revenue decline of 30% and whose income is the primary source of income for a person associated with the business.
  • A payment of $1,500 per fortnight.  
  • More information
  • Applications close 18/10/2021

Small Business Fees & Charges Rebate

  • Eligibility: sole trader/small business owner/not-for-profit owner.  
  • A rebate of $1,500 to help reduce the extra costs of running a business associated with Covid-19. The list of eligible fees and charges which can be used to claim the rebate is hereMore information on this rebate.


Business Support Grants

  • The Queensland Government implemented a COVID-19 Business Support Grant for businesses impacted by the August 2021 lockdowns. All eligible businesses who apply during the grant application period will receive funding. 
  • This grant offers support for non-employing sole traders as well as small and medium business, not for profit organisations, tourism and hospitality businesses.
  • Non-employing sole traders: to be an eligible business, your business must have experienced at least a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the lockdowns in South East Queensland, Yarrabah and Cairns. 
  • Depending on the size of your business, you may be eligible to receive a grant between $1,000 (excluding GST) for non-employing sole traders to $30,000 for employing businesses.
  • Applications opened on 16/8/2021 and will close on 16/11/2021
  • More information

South Australia

Covid-19 Business Support Grant

  • Small and medium sized businesses that were required to close during the recent lockdown commencing 20/7/2021 can apply for an emergency cash grant of $3,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for sole traders.
  • Eligibility: annual turnover of $75,000 or more in either of the last two financial years, registered for GST, have a payroll under $10 million per annum and experienced a downturn in turnover of at least 30% due to restricted trading. More information

Covid-19 Additional Business Support Grant

  • Additional support for businesses that continue to be impacted due to density limits and trading restrictions.
  • Businesses in certain industry sectors that have experienced a 30% or greater reduction in turnover as a result of the restrictions imposed on 28/07/2021.
  • CBD-based businesses may also receive an additional $1,000
  • Applications open: 13/08/2020 – 17/10/2021. More information

Western Australia

Food Relief – Rapid Relief Team Food Box

  • Emergency Relief Package for people in self isolation or have lost their income/job and are unable to access other supports or delivery options. Call Services NSW on 137788.

Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grant – Round 2

  • $3,000 assistance to businesses in Perth and Peel region in industry sectors most impacted by lockdown.
  • Eligibility: annual turnover greater than $75,000, registered for GST, payroll less than $4 million in the 2019-2020 financial year and business activity must fit into an eligible industry category. 
  • Applications close 31/08/2021
  • More informationProgram terms & conditions

Small Business & Charities Electricity Credit

  • A $500 credit for small businesses or charities to use towards their electricity costs.
  • Eligibility: property is used for commercial purposes, electricity consumption totals up to $15,000 per annum.  Eligibility and application details. Small Business & Charities Electricity Credit Fact Sheet.
  • Applications close 30/09/2021


Business Hardship – Border Closure Critical Support Grant

  • Grants between $2,000-$10,000 depending on the impact on turnover and the size of the business. 
  • Targeted at businesses in the tourism, hospitality, arts, events, seafood and transport sectors and other businesses that have been financially impacted due to border restrictions.
  • Applications open: 17/08/2021-16/09/2021
  • More information & Grant guidelines.

Northern Territory

Territory Business Lockdown Payment

  • A payment of $1,000 to eligible business owners who have been impacted by the recent lockdown.
  • Eligibility: located in a lockdown zone, has a turnover between $75,000-$10 million per annum, employ less than 20 full-time equivalent staff, has had to temporarily cease trading due to lockdowns or has experience a downturn of at least 50% in turnover as a result of the lockdown.
  • Applications open 17/08/2021. More information.

Australian Capital Territory

Covid-19 Business Support Grants

  • Employing business may receive up to $10,000 and non-employing businesses up to $4,000 over the three-week lockdown period.
  • Eligibility: turnover has reduced by 30% or more due to the lockdowns, annual turnover of less than $75,000 with an annual payroll under $10 million. More information

Covid-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme

  • Support for eligible small businesses who can demonstrate a 30% or greater downturn in annual turnover.  Must have a annual turnover between $30,000 and $10 million.
  • Up to $10,000 support in the form of credits for: payroll tax, utilities, rates and business licences and fees. More information

Express an interest in the above program or scheme

Covid-19 Financial Hardship Support


Food Relief packages – call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 (select option 4) if you urgently need food and supplies and have no other support. The Australian Red Cross provides emergency relief packages with essential food and personal care items for a family of four for two weeks are available to eligible people who have had to isolate or quarantine. Help is available to international students and to non-Australian citizens.

Energy cost relief

  • a one-off $250 payment is available to eligible people on low incomes. More information.

Utility Relief Grant Scheme 

  • provides a maximum of $650 on each type of utility bill for overdue utility bills in a 2 year period or a maximum of $1,300 for households with one energy source. More information.

International Students

City of Melbourne Hardship Support

New South Wales

International Students

Energy Accounts Payment Assistance

  • $50 voucher towards unpaid household energy bills due to financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. More information

South Australia

Food Relief

  • Emergency relief services delivered by local community services can help out with food. More information.

Australian Capital Territory

Rates Deferral (Hardship) Assistance

  • Eligible homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to recent lockdown with a first instalment date of 15/08/2021 or 15/09/2021 may defer the first instalment payment interest-free for up to 3 months. More information

Emergency Food Relief

  • VolunteeringACT can deliver food and essential items to your door for free if you are unable to feed your family or yourself during the 7-day lockdown.  Call 1800 43 11 33 between 9 am and 5 pm each day of the 7-day lockdown. More information

International Students

AAPi Financial Hardship Membership

If you are an AAPi member who is facing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic then we will gladly waive this year’s AAPi membership fees. Please email [email protected] and write ‘AAPi Financial Hardship Membership’ in the subject line. It's so important that we all stay connected and continue to support each other.