Financial support and emergency relief

Find out about the financial support available to people and businesses affected by COVID-19

Isolation and quarantine can be a difficult time. Reach out to your friends, family, and community for support. Make sure they provide 'contactless' assistance by leaving items at your door or provide social support online or over the phone.

See tips and checklists for how you can prepare for isolation.

If you need additional support, emergency relief packages and financial support may be available for the most vulnerable and in need. You will not be eligible if you have provisions at home or other support available.

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and are worried you will lose income while isolating, you may be eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster PaymentExternal Link . This payment provides financial support while you are quarantining at home as instructed by the Department of Health.

    The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is also available for eligible close contacts of cases who are quarantining. This aims to relieve the financial burden for some individuals and families who are without an income during this period.

  • The Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee provides casual and contract workers in certain jobs with up to 38 hours a year of sick and carer’s pay. Payments are made at the national minimum wage ($20.33 per hour). The Guarantee is fully funded by the Victorian Government for two years. Check your eligibility and apply now at Link

  • Emergency accommodation is available to COVID- positive people in Victoria who need support to isolate safely because they use shared facilities or may have safety, wellbeing, or other health issues.

    For more information call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 - open 24 hours, 7 days. If you need an interpreter, please press zero (0) when you call the hotline.

  • This support is available but only for the most vulnerable and in need.

    Food and essential items are only supplied to people who are in self-quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 and have no means to support themselves.

    Basic food items may be provided through an Emergency Relief Package only to those who have no other means of supporting themselves through friends, family or online grocery shopping and need additional support.

    If you have provisions at home or can buy what you need with an online shopping delivery, or if you have friends, family or neighbours who can assist you with meals or to do some grocery shopping for your 7-day self-isolation or quarantine period – then please use those means.

    See this factsheet for more information about access to food and essential items.

    Emergency Relief Packages contain:

    • Basic non-branded food staples like cereal, rice or noodles, long-life milk, sugar, pasta and canned vegetables, tea/coffee, spreads, and biscuits.
    • If you have cultural or dietary needs other options will be investigated.
    • Personal care items such as soap, deodorant and toothpaste can be provided if requested.
    • Nappies, baby formula, sanitary items and pet food can be provided if requested.
    • The packages do not include medicines or Rapid Antigen Tests, or items like alcohol, cigarettes, or favourite food items or products.

    The relief package will be delivered to you within 24 hours in metropolitan areas or 48 hours in regional areas. Arrangements can be made if you require urgent support for essential needs and are unable to wait 24 to 48 hours.

    Support may also include help to access necessary medicines and other practical or welfare supports.

    Call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option five (5) for support to access food and other essential items. If you need to speak to someone in another language, select option zero (0).

  • Home delivery is a good option for obtaining a prescription and over-the-counter medicines if you are isolating.

    Call your preferred pharmacy or check their website to see if:

    • they have your medicine(s) in stock
    • they offer home delivery
    • you can order online or over the phone.

    If you have a paper prescription, you can ask a friend or family member to place or pick up the order for you.

    Alternatively, you can ask your doctor to give you an electronic prescription, which you can send to your pharmacy.

    Additionally, the Home Medicines Service offers free home delivery of:

  • 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.

    Find out more about Good MoneyExternal Link or No Interest LoansExternal Link .

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, No-interest Household Relief Loans of up to $3,000 are also now available to support low-income households with the costs of rent and utilities, repayable over 24 months.

  • A range of support is available if you are having trouble paying electricity, gas, or water bills.

    If you are a concession card holder (including JobSeeker recipients), you may be eligible for discounts and rebatesExternal Link 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 utility relief grantExternal Link 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 cannot be disconnected.

    Find out more at the Victorian Energy Saver websiteExternal Link

  • Visit the Business grants and supportExternal Link page to see more information about support for Victorian businesses.

    Through the Commercial Landlord Hardship FundExternal Link 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.

    Apply for the Commercial Landlord Hardship FundExternal Link on the Business Victoria website.

  • Support and resources are available to international students, visit Study MelbourneExternal Link for more information.

Reviewed 24 June 2022

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days. The COVIDSafe Information hotline diverts to the national hotline every day from 8pm to 8am.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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