Families and individuals
Unable to work due to restrictions, or if your hours or income have been reduced?
- If you are concerned about your energy bills, visit
- If you urgently need food and supplies and have no other support, you may be able to get an emergency relief package. These are designed to provide basic food essentials and personal care items for a family of four for two weeks. To request one, call the Coronavirus Hotline
- Victorians from low-income households can now access a one-off $250 payment to help with their energy bills, thanks to the Victorian Government’s new Power Saving Bonus. To see if you’re eligible, visit
Centrelink JobSeeker recipients
Are you receiving Centrelink's JobSeeker payment? If you have a Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card, read about your concession entitlements.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
The $1500 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a one-off payment to help Victorian workers who have been directed to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days, or care for someone who has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment recognises that the requirement to self-isolate or quarantine at home can cause a financial burden for some individuals and families who are without an income during this period.
$450 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment
The Victorian Government is providing a $450 COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment to support Victorian workers, including parents and guardians, who are required to self-isolate while you wait for the results of your COVID-19 test.
If you need to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 you may be supported with a relief package delivered by the Australian Red Cross. Relief packages contain basic essential food and personal care items to last a four-person household for two weeks.
Delivery of a free relief package can be arranged for people who are unable to access food themselves who do not have support available to them.
If you have dietary or cultural requirements, require personal care items or practical support, other support is available.
To access a relief package while isolating, call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and select Option four (4).
Food relief is available during the pandemic for people who are experiencing financial hardship and are voluntarily isolating because of a health condition or age.
For more information read this factsheet:
Boost to Emergency Relief For Victoria’s Most Vulnerable
The Victorian Government has announced further funding to provide emergency food relief. This $4.5 million package of initiatives will deliver more food to Victorians in need, facilitate partnerships between food relief providers and local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and boost the capacity of key community food relief organisations. The package includes:
- $2.2 million to provide food sourcing and distribution grants to regional and metropolitan food relief providers to be able to purchase and transport more food for Victorians in need, and to support partnerships between food relief providers and local business impacted by the pandemic.
- $1.5 million in grants to support priority regional and metropolitan food relief providers to meet demand and employ workers until volunteer programs are re-established.
- $600,000 to extend Foodbank’s international student supermarket at 230 La Trobe Street Melbourne through to December 2021.
- $200,000 to extend the operating hours of Foodbank’s mobile food relief store from one day a week to three days a week.
Extreme Hardship Support Program
The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) has extended the Extreme Hardship Support Program to October 2021.
DFFH has funded Red Cross to deliver an Extreme Hardship Support Program to provide financial assistance, information and referrals to Victorians who are experiencing significant hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but who do not have access to Commonwealth income support (including JobSeeker and the Temporary COVID Disaster Payment).
The program provides support to the most vulnerable temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants who have zero or very limited income, savings or community support. All international students experiencing extreme financial hardship are also eligible to apply, even if they had previously received assistance through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.
To be eligible for the program people must
- live in Victoria, and
- not receive income from the Commonwealth (such as JobSeeker or the Temporary COVID Disaster Payment), and
- have zero or very limited income, savings or community support, and
- be a temporary or provisional visa holder, or an undocumented migrant.
International student support
The program is for temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants who are unable to access Australian Government income support, and have zero or very little income, savings or community support.
If you received an International Student Emergency Relief Fund payment and still require assistance to pay for basics like rent, food and bills, you can apply for an emergency payment from the Extreme Hardship Support Program.
Further support for international students in Victoria
In addition to the hardship funds, pastoral care and student support services available through Victorian education providers, the Victorian Government is providing the following support to international students:
- free groceries at the in central Melbourne
- one-off for people in rental hardship due to COVID-19, to help keep renters in safe and stable accommodation
- to help pay overdue bills
- help to find work opportunities through
- a dedicated on the Study Melbourne website linking a wide range of support programs and services including a
- access to free on accommodation and employment matters
- dedicated support through the Study Melbourne Student Centre including free and confidential support and practical help, including access to mental health services and referral to other services.
Lost your job or income due to COVID-19
Find information about support available if you have lost your job or had your income affected by COVID-19.
No Interest Loans scheme
Small amount, no-interest loans are available to all eligible Victorians through Good Money community finance outlets in Morwell, Geelong, Collingwood and Dandenong and a network of 77 local community organisations across Victoria.
The No Interest Loans (NILs) provides individuals and families on low incomes with access to safe, fair and affordable credit.
Loans are available for essential goods and services such as fridges, washing machines, car repairs and medical procedures for up to $1,500, repayable over 12 to 18 months.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, No-interest Household Relief Loans of up to $3000 are also now available to support low-income households with the costs of rent and utilities, repayable over 24 months.
Help with electricity, gas and water bills
A range of support is available if you’re having trouble paying electricity, gas or water bills.
If you are a concession card holder (including JobSeeker recipients), you may be eligible for on your electricity, gas and water bills. If you live in a low-income household or are experiencing financial hardship, you may also be eligible to apply for a of up to $650 to help with overdue electricity, gas and water bills.
If you are having trouble paying your energy bill, you should contact your energy company. There are rules which mean they must let you know what help is available. Participating in a payment plan means you can’t be disconnected.
Business and industry
Economic survival package
The Victorian Government has established an unprecedented economic survival package to support Victorian businesses and workers through the devastating impacts of COVID-19.
Australian Government COVID-19 information and support for business
Find financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support for Australian businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund
Through the the Victorian Government is offering grants of up to $3,000 per tenancy. Private, individual and joint-owner landlords who have provided rent relief to their tenants under the requirements of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme and are facing financial hardship may be eligible.
The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund has been created in recognition of small, private landlords who may not have the capacity to provide rent reductions to their tenants under the requirements of the CTRS.
Reviewed 07 June 2021