NSW COVID relief payments open as greater Sydney lockdown continues

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Workers across NSW will be eligible for up to $600 a week in support if they have lost hours as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns stemming from the Sydney outbreak, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed.

Before the changes Mr Morrison said NSW residents can receive a $325 payment "right now" if they lost between eight and 20 hours of work per week in the greater Sydney area.

"What we have decided to do going into week four is that those payments will be increased to $600 for people who have lost more than 20 hours and increased to $375 for those who have lost eight hours or up to 20 hours per week," he said.

Mr Morrison said the state would supplement the federal support to allow it to be applied statewide, not just in metropolitan NSW.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it would allow people to "respect the rules that we have in place but also have peace of mind".

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said he believed the package would support "every worker, every business across the state".

Individuals will go through Services Australia for their payments, while businesses will be supported through Services NSW.

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Direct payments will also be made to businesses up to a turnover of $50 million a year.

Sole traders will receive $1000 per week, paid fortnightly, while $1500 to $10,000 would be eligible for other businesses.

Companies could claim for up to 40 per cent of payroll depending on how hard their trade had been hit.

Small business grants will open from July 19 while individual payments can be sought from Wednesday.

Mr Morrison said the payments would recur for the extent of the lockdown without re-application, but individuals would have to advise when their work picked back up.

Mr Morrison said the federal government would also add more than $12 million for mental health support operators including Lifeline and Kids' Help Line.

"It's not just about getting through this economically; it's about getting people through in a sound state of mind," he said.

Mr Morrison said NSW would receive greater support than Melbourne had in its recent lockdown due to the length of what Sydney was now facing and in the absence of JobKeeper.

"Clearly here in NSW the situation has taken a very different turn [to Victoria]," he said.

"It's in the national interest that we put in place an upgraded set of requirements ... when lockdowns enter more protracted circumstances."

This story NSW workers eligible for lockdown COVID relief payments first appeared on Newcastle Herald.