Access help

The ACT Government has put in place initiatives to provide extra support to Canberrans during these unprecedented times.

Financial and other support

If you are unwell, awaiting the results from a COVID-19 test, or are under lockdown, quarantine, isolation, or stay-at-home orders and cannot work, you may be eligible for financial assistance.

The assistance will vary depending on your specific circumstances and eligibility. Further information about payments is below.

During the lockdown there are income support programs available for essential and non-essential workers:

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

If you cannot earn an income because you must isolate, quarantine or care for someone with COVID-19, you may be able to access the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

You can find more information on the $1,500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, including eligibility criteria and how to apply on the Services Australia website.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

If you are unable to earn an income during the ACT lockdown period, you may be able to access the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Depending on how many hours of work you have lost during the lockdown period, payment amounts can vary from $200 to up to $750 .

More information about the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, including eligibility and how to apply, is available on the Services Australia website.

During lockdown there is income support for essential workers who are not subject to a stay at home order:

Financial assistance while waiting for a test result

If you are unable to work because you are in isolation while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, you may be able to access the $270 COVID-19 Test Hardship Isolation Payment.

The COVID-19 Test Hardship Isolation Payment is an initiative of the ACT Government.

Find out more about eligibility guidelines and how to apply.

Emergency food relief

If you are experiencing hardship and cannot afford to feed your family or yourself during the lockdown in the ACT you can request a food and essential item delivery to your front door for free.

A volunteer will deliver your order to your front door. These volunteers are not permitted to enter your home.

If you are unable to collect the delivery from your front door you will need to arrange for a carer or approved visitor to assist you.

A limited number of pantry items are available through this service. Fresh produce is not available at this time.

This is an urgent relief service for those most in need. The ACT Government will monitor the demand for this service over the lockdown period to see if further food relief is required.

To place an order for emergency food and essential items and to find out what items are available call VolunteeringACT on 1800 43 11 33, open Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.

If the phone is not answered, please leave a message and someone will return your call.

Grocery delivery options

We understand some households are unable to get groceries delivered in a timely manner due to demand.

If you are not in quarantine or isolation, and can go to a supermarket to shop, you can do so under the lockdown rules. Try to shop in your local region, and get in and out as quickly as possible.

If you are shopping for a family member or friend, please ensure you drop the groceries off without coming into contact with them.

If you need to order home delivery, there is a range of options to consider through other grocers and independent supermarkets as well as the major supermarkets.

Grocers and supermarkets offering home delivery in the ACT
ACT Fruit Veg ButcherAinslie IGA
Alpha Fresh
ARC Organics
Bakers Delight Woden (02) 6281 5502
Barton Grocer 
Bestore Asian Supermarket
Bungaree Free Range Eggs (text 0412 686 515 for deliveries)
Choku Bai Jo

Continental Grocery and Halal Meat shop, Gungahlin (Phone 0420 804 004)

Country Pride Sausages
Daily Market Groceries
Desi Bazaar
Delish Deliveries
Doorstep Organics
Fish Co Fish Market
Food Co-op
Food Forum
Go Vita Tuggeranong (email or phone (02) 6293 9881)
Harris Farm
IGA Isabella Plains
Jordo’s Chop Shop
Let’s Be Natural
Lyneham Meat Centre (02) 6247 5425
M & K Meats
Nonna Maria Pasta
Pialligo Market Grocer
Red Baron
Red Hill Butcher Shop
Regional Wholesale Fruit Market

Southlands Quality Meats at Mawson

Supabarn Crace
Supabarn Express Kaleen
Supabarn Express Red Hill
Teachers Pet Treats (text 0411 783 356)
The Knox Bakery
The Merchant’s Feast
Three Mills Bakery

The Nut Shoppe at Fyshwick Markets

Windellama Organics

Yarralumla IGA Supermarket

Ziggy’s Fresh

We will continue to add to this list as we receive further information. If you know of other grocers or supermarkets offering home delivery in the ACT, please email

Woolworths grocery delivery for vulnerable customers

To ensure vulnerable customers in the community have access to delivery services at this time, Woolworths will be providing a Priority Assistance service with dedicated delivery windows.

Eligible customers include seniors, people with a disability and those with compromised immunity or who are required to self-isolate.

They also provide Priority Assistance services to vulnerable business customers which include aged care facilities, child care centres, disability services, community housing, some charities, and prisons.

Register for Priority Assistance and be sure to include any supporting information to assist Woolworths in assessing your request.

If you accessed the Priority Assistance service during 2020, you should be able to see ‘preferred’ delivery windows when shopping online with Woolworths via a mobile or desktop device.

Priority Assist windows are not unlimited, so there may be times where customers will not find a preferred window.

Covid information for kids

The ACT Human Rights Commission website has a page dedicated to information about Covid just for kids. It can be accessed here.

Business support

The ACT Government is delivering a range of measures to support local business and industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more about the economic support for business.

Community services and support for vulnerable groups

Visit the Community Services Directorate website for information on support for seniors, homelessness, people with disabilities, children and family related services, and more.

To watch a recorded webinar about COVID-19 featuring the Chief Health Officer and Canberra’s multicultural community leaders and service providers visit the information about COVID-19 for Canberra’s multicultural communities page. The webinar also includes short presentations by community members about their experience with COVID-19 and answers to questions from community members during the webinar.

Mental health and wellbeing

The COVID-19 outbreak, physical distancing and isolation can make us feel anxious, stressed and worried.

Visit the ACT Health website for tips, links, and resources to help your mental health and wellbeing and those around you.

Temporary visa holders

The ACT Government is helping temporary visa holders and international students during COVID-19.

This includes people on:

  • Bridging visas
  • Safe Haven Enterprise visas
  • Temporary Protection visas
  • Temporary Work visas
  • Student visa
  • Family visas.

If you require emergency financial assistance due to the impacts of COVID-19, please contact the Red Cross ACT Migration Support Program HUB on (02) 6234 7695 or email the Red Cross at The assistance available will vary depending on your specific circumstances and eligibility.

For Canberrans seeking asylum, please contact Companion House Reception on (02) 6251 4550 or email This office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 5pm.

You need to have lodged a protection application with Department of Home Affairs.

Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and humanitarian entrants can also get help through the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services Emergency Relief Fund.

If you are an international student, Canberra’s tertiary education providers are working hard to support you during the pandemic. Please get in touch with your institution for specific information on the support being offered:

Gambling harm during COVID-19

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is affected by problems with gambling free and confidential help is available 24/7 from:

Talking about gambling harm helps. For advice and support visit the Don’t Play it Down page.

Excluding yourself from gambling is one option to continue your break from gambling. Find out more on the Gambling and racing website.

Young people affected by gambling problems can visit the At Odds website for information and advice.

Some online gaming or betting services are illegal and aren’t registered to operate in Australia. Find more about this on the ACMA website.

An inclusive Canberra

A public health emergency can be a confusing and distressing time for many of us. The best way we can get through this pandemic is to remain a community that cares about one another.

Canberra is a community that strives to be inclusive, progressive, and equal. Racism, discrimination and vilification are unacceptable. The ACT community is protected from discrimination and vilification by the ACT Discrimination Act.

If you experience discrimination or vilification, contact the ACT Human Rights Commission on (02) 6205 2222 or email

You can also use the ACT Human Rights Commission online form to make a complaint for yourself or on behalf of a vulnerable person.

A vulnerable person is anyone who:

  • is older than 60 years of age
  • has a disability or impairment
  • is socially isolated
  • or is unable to participate in community life.

For information on your rights in another language, please download the Promoting and protecting your rights brochure which is available in the following languages.

  • Arabic
  • Simplified and Traditional Mandarin
  • Dinka
  • Dari
  • Farsi
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese.

Information on human rights and the public health emergency is also available on the ACT Human Rights Commission website.

If you are concerned for your safety or the safety of someone else, contact ACT Police by calling 131 444.

LGBTIQ+ Canberrans

For a list of resources, support and advice relevant to LGBTIQ+ Canberrans, visit the Office of LGBTIQ+ Affairs website.

Support for residential tenants

Information about changes to residential tenancies during COVID-19 is available on the Justice and Community Safety Directorate website.

You will find information about:

  • your rights and responsibilities as a tenant during the public health emergency
  • changes to your tenancy agreements that will help if you experience financial hardship
  • where you can seek legal advice if you need it.
acknowledgement icon
Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: September 22 2021