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Test and Isolate payment now available across NSW

From 9 September, the Test and Isolate support payment is available to all eligible NSW workers.

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1. About the scheme

1.1 The NSW Government is providing a one-off payment of $320 to financially support NSW workers who must isolate at their place of residence to wait for their test results after being required to undergo a coronavirus test (“COVID-19 test”), as well as carers and/or guardians who must care for someone who is required to isolate following a COVID-19 test.

1.2 To be eligible, an applicant must reside in NSW.

1.3 The payment can only be made once in a 30-day period, from the date that the person was required to take the COVID-19 test. The applicant must also apply for the payment of $320 within 7 days of the COVID-19 test being undertaken.

1.4 This payment will help to ensure that applicants are able to isolate immediately and avoid potential transmission of the virus through workplaces as well as alleviate the financial pressure of isolating or having to care for someone who is isolating at their place of residence.

1.5 These Guidelines set out the eligibility criteria to access the COVID-19 Test and Isolation Payment (“the Scheme”).  Please ensure that you read this document carefully before completing the application form. 

1.6 The Scheme is being delivered by NSW Health, the Department of Customer Service and Service NSW. 

2. Available payment

2.1 Applicants can apply for a payment of $320, if they are required to take a COVID-19 test and must isolate at their place of residence to await the test results or are a carer and/or guardian who must care for someone who is required to isolate following a COVID-19 test.

2.2 From 9 September 2021, applicants must reside in NSW and have experienced a loss of income or wages. The payment can only be made once in a 30-day period, from the date that the person took the COVID-19 test.

2.3 Payments made under the Scheme will be credited to a valid bank account (as identified in the application), and where possible, within 3 business days of an approved application. 

2.4 To receive a payment, the person who undertook the COVID-19 test must agree to follow the isolation guidelines provided by NSW Health while waiting for their test results.

2.5 If the person who took the COVID-19 test does not isolate while waiting for their test results, they will be required to repay the $320 payment.

3. Eligibility criteria

3.1 You are eligible for the Payment if you:

(a) are 17 years and over; and

(b) have had a COVID-19 test on or after 9 September 2021; and

(c) reside in New South Wales; and

(d) must isolate at their place of residence to wait for the test results, or are the carer and/or guardian of someone who has been required to undergo a COVID-19 test and who must isolate to wait for the test results; and  

(e) are likely to have undertaken paid work during the relevant period of isolation and are unable to work as a result of: 
(i) compliance with the requirement to isolate and stay in isolation following the COVID-19 test; or
(ii) having to care for someone who is required to isolate following a COVID-19 test; and

(f) cannot reasonably work from home as a result of the requirement to isolate following the COVID-19 test or to care for someone who must isolate following the COVID-19 test; and

(g) will not be receiving or have not received any income, earnings, or salary maintenance from work as a result of not being able to work during the period of isolation; and

(h) have exhausted any sick and/or carer’s leave entitlements including any special pandemic leave or have no entitlement to such leave; and

(i) are not receiving income support from the Australian Government (including the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment or the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment) or financial support from the NSW Government (such as Micro-business Grant or JobSaver) for the same period.

3.2 An applicant may only receive one payment of $320 within any 30-day period, beginning on the date on which the person’s COVID-19 test was taken. The applicant must apply for the payment within 7 days of the COVID-19 test being taken.

3.3 An application for the payment under the Scheme must be made by an individual who is seeking payment. An applicant may submit an application via their MyServiceNSW Account.

4. Evidence in support of eligibility

4.1 DCS and/or Service NSW will require the applicant to provide evidence that they meet the eligibility criteria. 

4.2 To receive a payment you must declare, and provide evidence, that you meet all the eligibility criteria. Evidence required to support your application may include:

(a) Proof of identification showing customer’s family name and first given name in full and residential address provided in application (one form of approved ID - drivers' licence, Medicare etc.);

(b) Proof of place of residence (account statement issued by a bank within the last 12 months, rates notice, utility bill, lease agreement etc.);

(c) Proof of employment (may include payslip, contract or letter from employer);

(d) Proof of the location, date and time of the COVID-19 test. Reference number for tests which has been provided to the person by NSW Health or the testing facility is optional;

(e) Visa and/or passport details where the individual is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, however, is legally entitled to participate in paid employment in NSW;

(f) Declare that you meet the eligibility criteria contained in clause 4.2(a) to (e), in the event you are unable to provide the evidence as required. 

4.3  Where an applicant is unable to provide the above documents, or where DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health is satisfied it has other suitable methods to determine eligibility, other forms of documentation may be accepted.

5. Application process 

5.1 You are required to make your application online or over the phone via Service NSW within 7 days of the test being taken. Applications will not be accepted at service centres.  

5.2 As part of the application assessment process, Service NSW may cross check information you provide with relevant Commonwealth, State Government agencies and departments or health care providers and/or your employer for the purpose of verifying your application. 

5.3 All questions in the application need to be completed to ensure timely assessment and payment.

5.4 Only individual applicants may apply. Applications through a third party will not be accepted.

5.5 Applicants must give consent, or where applicable obtain the consent of the person the applicant cares for, for Service NSW, NSW Health and the Department of Customer Service to undertake data validation with and collect and disclose information including personal information and where applicable health information to relevant Commonwealth and State Government agencies and departments including but not limited to NSW Health, Services Australia and health care providers, for the purpose of verifying the particulars of the applicant’s application.

6. Compliance

6.1 If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading in accordance with the Guidelines or the Terms and Conditions, the payment will be repayable on demand. It is a serious offence to provide false or misleading information to a public authority, pursuant to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). 

6.2 Applicants may be subject to audit by the NSW Government or its representatives and may be required to produce further evidence if asked, including but not limited to, evidence demonstrating that they are: 

(a) currently living in NSW; 

(b) are employed or would have undertaken paid work if not required to isolate or care for someone who is required to isolate; and 

(c) have had a COVID-19 test and are waiting test results in isolation or caring for someone in isolation who is waiting for their test results, at their place of residence which is in NSW.

7. Other information

7.1 Service NSW and NSW Health reserve the right to withdraw or amend the payment or these guidelines and application terms at any time as they deem appropriate without notice.

7.2 Further information may be found at the Service NSW website.

8. Definitions

Applicant means an individual applying for a payment under the Scheme and who is 17 years of age or above. 

Carer/Guardian means an individual who provides ongoing personal care, support and assistance to any other individual 17 years of age or over because that other individual is a minor, and/or has (but is not limited to), a disability, medical condition (including a terminal illness), mental illness, or is frail and aged and includes an enduring guardian (excluding paid carers).

Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment means a weekly lump sum payment to support a worker who is unable to earn income having lived in, worked from or visited a Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot and is adversely affected by a state public health order, for example due to a lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement of more than 7 days duration.

COVID-19 Test means a test for COVID-19 from a testing facility with the aim to detect the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2, or an immune response to SARS-CoV-2.

DCS means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through the Department of Customer Service.

Isolate means to isolate in accordance with the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order (No.3) 2020, or as amended.

Place of residence means the premises where an applicant lives.

NSW Health means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through the Ministry of Health.

Service NSW means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through Service NSW.

Terms and Conditions means these Terms and Conditions for participation in the Scheme.