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COVID-19 Support

COVID-19 Support

This information is intended to act as a guide only and does not consider the varying circumstances of each individual. For more assistance, it is advised that individuals seek official government material or speak to their accountant.


Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Victorian Small Business


Through this program, Victorians dealing with the challenges of running a small business can get the mental health support they need to navigate through the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Partners in Wellbeing telephone hotline 1300 375 330 (9am to 10pm weekdays). Provides one-to-one support to improve your wellbeing if you’re worried about your business, as well as free access to business advisers and financial counsellors.

Find more information here:

Find more information here:

Increased Instant Asset Write-Off

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2021, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.

Find more information here:


$450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment

Victorian workers can apply for a $450 Cor­­onavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment that provides financial support while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Apply here:


ATO Support

If your business is having difficulty meeting its tax and super obligations because of COVID-19, the ATO may be able to:

  • defer the due date for some payments
  • change your GST reporting cycle
  • allow you to pay instalments by setting up a payment plan.

Find more information here:


Circuit Breaker Action Business Support Package

Business Costs Assistance Program

The program offers grants of $2000 to small businesses, including sole traders, regardless of whether they employ people or not.

The grants will support businesses in eligible sectors who have incurred direct costs because of the circuit breaker action, e.g. loss of perishable goods, flowers and booking cancellations, and cancellation fees and charges.

Businesses with an annual payroll of up to $3 million, whether they have employees or not, can receive grants of $2000.

Applications close on the 16th of March.

Find more information here:


Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund – Circuit Breaker Action Payment

Eligible businesses who received a grant through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive a further one-off payment of $3000 to help with costs incurred as a result of the circuit breaker action.

You do not need to apply for this payment. The government will contact you with further information.


Victorian Accommodation Support Program

This will support accommodation providers whose bookings were cancelled due to the circuit breaker action to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Accommodation providers can apply for a grant. There are two tiers of support for those with demonstrated booking cancellations between Friday 12 February and Wednesday 17 February 2021:

  • Tier 1: Funding of $2250 (ex GST) per Accommodation Premises experiencing 10 or fewer cancelled nights.
  • Tier 2: Funding of $4500 (ex GST) per Accommodation Premises with 11 or more cancelled nights.

The Victorian Accommodation Support Program will open soon. Register your interest in this program now.


Travel Voucher schemes

A new Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme with 40,000 vouchers to support travel in greater Melbourne will launch soon.

Regional Travel Voucher Scheme

Vouchers will be offered to Victorian residents to contribute to the costs of accommodation, tourism attractions or tours undertaken in regional Victoria.

Victorians who receive a voucher and spend at least $400 on paid accommodation, experiences, tours or attractions during their stay will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of $200 on presentation of receipts.

The program works on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis and each round will close once all places have been filled for that particular round.

Registrations for the next round opens on the 30th of March 2021 at 10 am, for which the eligible travel period is the 6th April - 31st May 2021.

Applicants must submit a registration online.

Find more information here:




This information is intended to act as a guide only and does not consider the varying circumstances of each individual. For more assistance, it is advised that individuals seek official government material or speak to their accountant.


JobKeeper Payment


This payment provides eligible employees (or sole traders with no employees) with $1000 or $650 per fortnight. This payment has been extended to the 28th of March 2021.

The rate of payment depends on the number of hours.

The JobKeeper Payment rates for this period are:

  • Tier 1: $1,000 per fortnight (before tax)
  • Tier 2: $650 per fortnight (before tax)

Find out which tier you are eligible for here:


Which employers are eligible to receive payments?

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were either
    • A not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia, or
    • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
    • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
    • Your business has faced a
      • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)

Find more information here:


How to calculate your fall in turnover:

To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019
  • projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019
  • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.

Find more information here:


Eligibility for sole traders:

Sole traders can be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if their business has experienced a downturn according to the eligibility criteria and satisfy the other conditions for eligibility. If you are eligible, you can claim one $1,500 JobKeeper payment per fortnight for yourself as the eligible business participant.

The ATO considers you a sole trader if you:

  • use your individual tax file number when lodging your income tax return;
  • report all your income in your individual tax return, using the section for business items to show your business income and expenses (there is no separate business tax return for sole traders);
  • use your ABN for all your business dealings;
  • are registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST);
  • pay tax at the same income tax rates as individual taxpayers;
  • may claim a deduction for any personal super contributions you make after notifying your fund.

Find more information here:


Which employees are eligible to receive payments?


Your employee is eligible under the JobKeeper Payment scheme if they:

  • are employed by you (including those stood down or re-hired)
  • were, at 1 March 2020, either a
    • full-time, part-time or fixed-term employee, and not a casual employee
    • long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) and not a permanent employee of any other employer.
  • on 1 March 2020 were 18 years or older
  • were an Australian resident at 1 March 2020 under the Social Security Act 1991, which requires they reside in Australia and are one of: an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, or a Protected Special Category Visa Holder. Your employee can also be an Australian tax resident who is a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder. Employees who aren't permanent residents of Australia must notify you of their visa status to allow you to determine if they're eligible for JobKeeper payments.
  • Didn't receive any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight:
    • government parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay
    • a payment in accordance with Australian workers compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work

You cannot claim for any employees who:

  • were first employed by you after 1 March 2020
  • left your employment before 1 March 2020
  • have been, or have agreed to be, nominated by another employer.
  • if you are an approved provider of child-care services, have ordinary duties relating principally to the operation of those services for a JobKeeper fortnight that commences on or after 20 July 2020.

Find more information here:


Taxi Drivers, Operators, License Owners (or Holders) and Owners

Taxi drivers, operators and owners who are sole traders are likely to meet the eligibility requirement of their turnover having been reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago.

Taxi drivers and operators will typically meet the eligibility requirements for enrolment in JobKeeper as an eligible business participant. As taxi drivers and operators, they must be registered for GST, must have ABN’s and should have been reporting income and taxable supplies through their BAS.

The fact that a taxi driver or operator was carrying on their business at 1 March 2020, is relevant to eligibility. The eligibility does not depend on how much or how little a taxi driver has driven. It does not matter whether the business operates as a sole trader, partnership, trust or company, however, taxi drivers and operators must pay attention to:

  1. Their business satisfies the turnover threshold (e.g. more than a 30% decline)
  2. They meet the requisite residency and/or visa status criteria for eligibility.

Taxi license Owners or Holders

Like taxi drivers and taxi operators, their businesses are for-profit and will likely see a 30% (or more) decline in turnover. When their businesses comprise leasing taxi licences to taxi operators and/or taxi drivers, the leasing constitutes a taxable supply, and in collection with their respective taxi operators and taxi drivers, they are co-adventurers in businesses providing taxi services for profit. Accordingly, the usual practice for taxi licence owners is to have an ABN, be registered for GST, and be reporting income and taxable supplies routinely through their BAS.

Importantly, taxi licence owners’ businesses must be able to be distinguished from passive income enterprises where they simply lease out their licence for a set amount and do not actively participate in the business activity.

Taxi license owners or holders should pay particular attention to:

  1. Their business satisfies the turnover threshold (e.g. more than a 30% decline)
  2. They meet the requisite residency and/or visa status criteria for eligibility.
  3. They have been actively engaged in their business.


How to Apply for the JobKeeper Payment


Step 1. Enrol for the payment

  • Log into to the Business Portal using myGovID.
  • To enrol, you will need to confirm:
    • business has experienced a fall in turnover
    • expected number of eligible employees (if you have them)
    • an eligible business participant, if you are enrolling one
    • bank and contact details for receiving JobKeeper payments
  • Notify all your eligible employees that you have nominated them.
  • You will need to enrol before you can move to Step 2 and identify any employees you are claiming for.

Step 2. Identify and maintain eligible employees

  • You or your registered tax or BAS agent need to identify each person that you will claim the JobKeeper Payment for. You only need to identify your eligible employees and eligible business participant once.
  • If you have an eligible business participant, remember not to include them as an employee. You can add them in the Business Portal.

Step 3. Make a business monthly declaration

  • You must do this between the 1st to the 14th day of each month, to receive reimbursements for the JobKeeper payments you made to your eligible employees in the previous month.
  • For example, the business monthly declaration for the JobKeeper payments you paid your employees in May needs to be completed by 14 June.

To make your business declaration each month:

  • Log into the Business Portal using myGovID.
  • Reconfirm your eligible employees and business participant if you have them.
  • Provide your business' GST turnover for the month you are declaring and following month's projected month GST turnover

Find more information here:




This information is intended to act as a guide only and does not consider the varying circumstances of each individual. For more assistance, it is advised that individuals seek official government material or speak to their accountant.


JobSeeker Payment

If you have lost your job or income, you are able to apply for the Jobseeker payment (previously known as the Newstart Allowance). The payment is available to Australian citizens and residents between the ages of 22 and 66. You cannot receive both JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

The coronavirus JobSeeker supplement is a temporary payment of $150 each fortnight that will be paid to recipients of income support. This payment is in addition to any other payment the eligible recipients receive.

The Coronavirus Supplement ends on the 31st of March 2021.

The coronavirus supplement will be provided to people receiving the following benefits:

  • Jobseeker Payment
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Youth Allowance for jobseekers
  • Parenting Payment Partnered
  • Parenting Payment Single
  • Partner Allowance
  • Farm Household Allowance


Who is eligible to receive payments?


To be eligible you must be:

  • between 22 and Age Pension age
  • you meet residence rules
  • your income and assets are under the test limits.

You also need to meet rules for 1 of these situations:

  • You meet our definition of unemployed and you’re looking for work.
  • You’re sick or injured and are unable to do your usual work or study for a short time.

You may also be able to get this payment if your work situation changes because of coronavirus (COVID 19). The change in your work situation can be for 1 of the following reasons. You’re:

  • a permanent employee and have lost your job
  • a sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker and your income has reduced
  • caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.

Find more information here:


How to Apply for the Job Seeker Payment


Step 1. Create a MyGov account or log into your existing one.

Step 2. If you do not already have a Centrelink account: register your intention to claim

  • Services Australia has launched an online ‘intent to claim’ function through MyGov.
  • To access the online intent to claim you just need a MyGov account linked to Medicare or Australian Taxation Office services.
  • Once you’ve linked either of these services, you will see a prompt on your MyGov welcome page to register your intention to claim.
  • Once an intent to claim is lodged through MyGov, Services Australia will contact you as soon as possible to talk through the next steps.
  • For new customers this will include support setting up a Customer Reference Number (CRN).

Step 3: Once you have a Centrelink account: make a claim

  1. Sign into myGov and select Centrelink.
  2. Select Make a claim from your homepage.
  3. Select Get Started from the Looking for work category.
  4. Answer pre-claim questions to check your eligibility.
  5. Start your claim and answer the questions about your situation.
  6. Review and confirm your claim.


Find more information here:


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