Financial support

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.

Income support programs available for workers include:

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 Hardship Payment

Financial assistance for ACT workers who are complying with public health orders so they don’t have to choose between having a test or going to work

If you miss work because you, or someone you care for, are complying with public health orders (including isolating while awaiting COVID‑19 test results, or a casual contact required to test and quarantine), you may be able to access the $270 COVID-19 Hardship Payment.

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

Please check the guidelines for more information and to see if you are eligible.

Applications can be made using the COVID-19 Hardship Payment form.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

If you were 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.

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

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.

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.

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.
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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: October 20 2021