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COVID-19 Financial Support Resources

Information concerning financial support and recovery assistance is very dynamic and frequently being updated. Below is a snapshot of current resources available to assist with member enquiries. We will continue to monitor and update as new information comes to hand.

A reminder also that CFA provide a lot of resources for brigades, groups and volunteers on CFA Members Website (Brigades Online). CFA's resources include the current response levels and also provides links to the latest updates sent by CFA. 

Updated 6 August 2021 to include new information | Updated 10 June 2021 to include new information 

Victorian Government Coronavirus Website

www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au  

Financial and other support for COVID-19

https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/financial-and-other-support-coronavirus-covid-19

This website will assist you to find out about the financial support available to people and businesses affected by COVID-19.  There are a variety of financial support packages for people and businesses impacted by COVID-19 including financial, job and business support. 

 

Loss of employment

If you’ve lost employment or income you can apply for JobSeeker Payment.  Visit: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/jobseeker-payment  

Visit: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/news/more-financial-support-coronavirus-affected-job-seekers for further information if you have lost employment due to COVID-19 restrictions.

If you have been affected by the latest Victorian lockdown and have lost income you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster payment. 

 

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a lump sum to payment to help you during the 14 days you need to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone. Visit https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/pandemic-leave-disaster-payment-victoria 

 

COVID-19 Disaster Payment 

A support payment for Victorian workers adversely affected by a state public health order. This is a lump sum payment to help Victorian workers unable to earn income due to lockdown restrictions which last longer than 7 days. For more information visit: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment 



Job Keeper Payment

The Job Keeper payment ceased at the end of March 2021. 

 

$450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment 

Victorian workers can apply for a $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment that provides financial support while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

  • Apply now for the $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment online here.
  • Alternatively, if you require support to apply for the payment, you can call 1800 675 398 and select option 8.

 

Food Relief 

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. 

Food relief and support can be accessed by calling the Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398

 

Pandemic Leave

A payment of $1,500 is available for people who are told to self-isolate or quarantine by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services because:

  • You have COVID-19
  • You’ve been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • You care for a child, 16 years and under, who has COVID-19


To get this payment, all of the following must apply:

  • you’re at least 17 years old
  • you live in Victoria
  • you have no income from paid work, including sick leave entitlements.

You can’t get this payment if you already get:

  • any income, earnings or salary from paid work
  • an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid Parental Leave or Dad and Partner Pay
  • JobKeeper payment
  • the Victorian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support Payment.

If you are a member of a couple, you can both get this payment. You and your partner will need to complete separate claims.  This payment is available for each time you’re required to self-isolate or quarantine.

You can claim by calling Department of Human Services on 180 22 66.  Please do not visit a service centre.

 

Pensioners

The deeming rates, which are used for the pension income assessment, will be reduced by another 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the Reserve Bank of Australia.  Beginning in early May, the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent and the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent.


Small businesses and not-for-profits.

Small businesses and NFPs with employees and a turnover under $50 million will receive a tax-free cash payment of up to $100,000 to help them keep staff and continue operations. This will generally be based on the previous financial year’s income. 

Assistance is also available for businesses to make investments, write-off assets and to support apprentices & trainees.

For further information on how this will be paid and your eligibility visit: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses 

The Victorian State Government has announced a relief package for businesses that includes changes to payroll tax, hardship payments and grants to industries badly impacted or affected by the state’s shutdown rules.

For More information visit: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/coronavirus 

 

Land tax deferral

Land owners due to pay 2020 land tax that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.

The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible for this deferral.

 
Superannuation

individuals financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to access $10,000 of their super this financial year, and another $10,000 next financial year.

This withdrawal will be tax-free, and will have no bearing on your current Centrelink payments.

From mid-April 2020, eligible individuals will be able to apply online through www.my.gov.au to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before July 1, 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from July 1, 2020, for approximately three months.

To be eligible, you must satisfy one or more of the following requirements:

  • You are unemployed
  • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment, special benefit or farm household allowance
  • On or after January 1, 2020, either: 
    You were made redundant
    Your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more
    If you are a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.

 

Financial Counselling

Financial counsellors are professionals, regulated by federal legislation and employed by not for profit community organisations. They provide information, advice and advocacy support free of charge, assisting people in dealing with life situations involving debt and hardship, dealing with creditors, and stabilising finances. The National Debt Helpline is staffed by financial counsellors and can be contacted on 1800 007 007

Free financial counselling services can be found at:

https://ndh.org.au/ - National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/rural-financial-counselling-service - Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) - 1800 900 090

https://www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au/ - Financial Counselling Australia – (03) 8554 6979

 

VFBV Welfare Fund

Operating since 1913, the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria welfare Fund provides fast small grants to CFA volunteers, long serving former volunteers and their families, who are experiencing significant financial hardship.  Typical cases involve prolonged illness, bereavement, loss of earnings, or the accommodation and travel costs associated with supporting a relative in hospital.

The Welfare Fund is run under Australian Tax Office rules, independently audited, and grant decisions are made by a committee of long serving CFA volunteers. The Fund has helped close to 1,200 volunteers, with more than $1.8 million in grants made over the years.

Under Australian Taxation rules, the fund is required to assess an applicant is in 'necessitous circumstances', and therefore the fund is required to conduct a financial assessment of each applicants situation which is contained within the application form. One on one support is available to assist members and brigades with this process, and all applications are strictly confidential to protect the dignity and privacy of the individual.   

In addition to the normal grant process, and during the current pandemic, the Welfare Fund is also providing personal support and assistance with the linking of members with available financial support and assistance. Providing current and up-to-date information on available grants and personal support with applying and arranging for grant payments. The fund is also supporting members with any expenses not covered by existing Government support to best assist members getting back on their feet.

The VFBV Welfare Fund is:

  • Available to all members and long serving ex-members and their families of subscribing Brigades
  • Contact the VFBV Welfare Fund Secretary on (03) 9886 1141 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or your VFBV Support Officer or State Councillor to discuss eligibility and application process.

 

Member Welfare and Support

Support services are available to provide you additional support:

CFA WELLBEING SUPPORT LINE

1800 959 232

Providing CFA members and their immediate family access to 24 hour support 7 days a week.

Psychologists – Counsellors – Peer Support - Chaplains

 www.cfa.vic.gov.au/wellbeing     

Lifeline:  13 11 14 - provides crisis support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

 

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 - to talk with a trained mental health professional. Or access Beyond Blue's dedicated Coronavirus Mental Health Wellbeing Support service online or by calling 1800 512 348.

 

 

Read 7053 times Last modified on Monday, 27 September 2021 10:04
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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