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COVID-19 assistance

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. Application and acceptance of Terms and Conditions

1.1 The Department of Customer Service, Service NSW and NSW Health are delivering the Test and Isolate Support Payment ('the Scheme'). Under the Scheme, The NSW Government is providing a payment of $320 to financially support NSW workers impacted by the NSW Public Health Order, who must isolate at their place of residence to wait for their tests results after being required to undergo a coronavirus test (“COVID-19 test”), as well as carers and/or guardians (excluding paid carers), who must care for someone who is required to isolate following a COVID-19 test.

1.2 This payment will help to ensure that applicants who are required to take a COVID-19 test 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.

1.3 Payments made under the Scheme will be made as act of grace payments under section 5.7(1) of the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 ('GSF Act'). The conditions in clause 4.1 are conditions that will be imposed by the Minister for Customer Service or his delegate on the making of the payment under section 5.7(2) of the GSF Act. If any of the conditions in clause 4.1 are contravened, the payment may be recovered from the recipient by the Crown as a debt due to the Crown pursuant to section 5.7(3) of the GSF Act.  

1.4 By applying to receive a payment under the Scheme, applicants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

1.5 Additional information about the type of documentation and evidence required to apply for payments under the Scheme is available on the Service NSW website.

2. Definitions and interpretation

2.1 In these Terms and Conditions, unless the context otherwise requires:

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

GSF Act means the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (NSW).

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.

Public Health Order means the Public Health (COVID-19 Additional Restrictions for Delta Outbreak) Order 2021 (previously named the Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021) made pursuant to s. 7 of the Public Health Act 2010 that commenced on 26 June 2021. 

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.

3. Application to receive a payment under the Scheme

Eligibility

3.1 An applicant may be eligible for a payment if they:

(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.

Evidence requirements

3.4 DCS and/or Service NSW will require an applicant within their application to provide evidence that they meet the eligibility criteria in clause 3.1. This evidence may include (but is not limited to), the following:

(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), however, there is no requirement to provide tax file numbers, and these should be removed from documents supplied where possible);

(d) Proof of the location, date and time of the COVID-19 test. Reference number for test 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) A declaration that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria contained in clause 3.1(a) to (e), in the event an applicant is unable to provide the evidence as required.

3.5 Notwithstanding any other provision in these Terms and Conditions, DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health may require additional information (including health information) or clarification from other Commonwealth or State Government agencies and departments, individuals, or from any other public/private entity, for the purpose of verifying the particulars of the applicant’s application before determining whether the eligibility criteria in clause 3.1 have been satisfied and whether the application should be approved. 

3.6 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.

3.7 Information provided by an applicant in the application or otherwise in accordance with these Terms and Conditions must be true and correct. It is a serious offence to provide false or misleading information to a public authority, pursuant to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). 

3.8 An applicant is not eligible to apply to receive payment under the Scheme if they have previously received a payment under this Scheme or under a previous program or scheme, and: 

(a) DCS, Service NSW and/or Health NSW (or another government agency in relation to this Scheme or a previous program or scheme) have sought to recover the whole or part of that previous payment as a debt due to the Crown pursuant to s. 5.7(3) of the GSF Act or otherwise, and 

(b) the amount sought has not been repaid.      

3.9 Notwithstanding any other provision in these Terms and Conditions, DCS and/or Service NSW may refuse to progress an application for any reason, including if the applicant does not meet the eligibility criteria in clause 3.1.

3.10 In circumstances where the applicant is the person who has undergone the COVID-19 test, the applicant consents to DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health collecting and disclosing their personal information and/or health information relating to them (that is, the applicant) to each other for the purposes of administering or reporting on the Scheme, which includes (but is not limited to) authorising DCS and/or Service NSW to seek confirmation from NSW Health that the applicant underwent a COVID-19 test; and

3.11 In circumstances where the applicant is a carer and/or guardian who must care for someone who is required to isolate following a COVID-19 test, the applicant (that is, the carer and/or guardian) must obtain the consent of the individual who underwent the COVID-19 test to allow DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health to collect and disclose personal information and/or health information relating to the individual who underwent the COVID-19 test to each other for the purposes of administering or reporting on the Scheme, which includes (but is not limited to) authorising DCS and/or Service NSW to seek confirmation from NSW Health that the individual underwent a COVID-19 test.

4. Conditions for payment under the Scheme

4.1 All payments to an applicant under the Scheme are made on the condition that:

(a) the applicant meets the eligibility criteria in clause 3.1 at the time an application for payment is made; and

(b) the applicant complies with the law at all times, including any relevant public health orders and COVID-19 restrictions; and

(c) the application for payment complies with the requirements set out in clause 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.7.

4.2 An applicant must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the conditions in clause 4.1 are or have been satisfied at all relevant times.

4.3 By making an application, an applicant declares that:

(a) to the best of their knowledge, the conditions in clause 4.1 are or have been satisfied at all relevant times, 

(b) they took and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the conditions in clause 4.1 are satisfied; and 

(c) where the application is being made by a carer/guardian, they took all reasonable steps to ensure that the conditions in clause 3.13(a) are satisfied.

4.4 Notwithstanding any other provision in these Terms and Conditions, DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health may take civil and/or criminal action (where appropriate), including referral to NSW Police, where DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health reasonably suspect that the applicant has failed to comply with the law or these Terms and Conditions.

4.5 An applicant must notify Service NSW immediately if they can no longer meet the eligibility criteria in clause 3.1 or can no longer comply with these Terms and Conditions.

4.6 An applicant may be audited or investigated by DCS Service NSW and/or Health NSW to determine whether it is complying with these Terms and Conditions. An applicant or a carer/guardian who is making or who has made an application on behalf of an individual must provide any information or documentation that is reasonably required for the purpose of any such audit or investigation.

4.7 An applicant consents to being contacted by DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health for a period of 12 months after receiving a payment under the Scheme for the purposes of reporting on and evaluating the Scheme. An application agrees to provide all information that is reasonably required under this clause.

5. Payments

5.1 Once an application has been approved, the applicant will receive a payment of $320 credited to a valid bank account (as identified in the application). Where possible, the payment will be made within 3 business days of an approved application.

5.2 Payments made in accordance with this clause will be made as act of grace payments under section 5.7(1) of the GSF Act.

6. Recovery of payments

6.1 If an applicant has received a payment under the Scheme and DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health is satisfied that the conditions in clause 4.1 were, or have been, contravened, the payment or part of the payment may be recovered from the applicant by the Crown as a debt due to the Crown, pursuant to section 5.7(3) of the GSF Act.

7. Suspension or termination of the Scheme

7.1  Notwithstanding any other provision in these Terms and Conditions, DCS Service NSW and/or NSW Health reserve the right to suspend or terminate the entirety or any part of the Scheme at any time.

7.2 Any action taken to suspend or terminate the Scheme will be notified on the Service NSW website.

8. Limitation of Liability

8.1 To the extent permitted by law, DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health (including their officers, employees and agents) will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential loss or damage or for any death, illness, personal injury, financial loss or property damage however caused (including by negligence) which may be suffered or incurred by any person arising directly or indirectly out of or in any way connected with the Scheme, including:

(a) any decision to make or refuse to make a payment under the Scheme, including on the basis that funds are unavailable,

(b) the fraudulent application for payments made under the Scheme,

(c) any breach of these Terms and Conditions, and/or

(d) any decision to suspend or terminate the entirety or any part of the Scheme.

9. Contact

9.1 Any enquiry or complaint is to be directed to Service NSW by calling 13 77 88.

10. General

10.1 Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own independent legal and financial advice regarding these Terms and Conditions.

11. Variation

11.1 DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health reserve the right to amend, vary, delete or supplement these Terms and Conditions at any time.

11.2 These Terms and Conditions, as amended, varied, deleted or supplemented from time to time, apply to any future version of, or update to, the IT system that supports the delivery of the Scheme.

12. Waiver

12.1 Failure by DCS, Service NSW and/or NSW Health to enforce any of their rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.

13. Severability

13.1 If any term in these Terms and Conditions is prohibited, void, voidable, illegal or unenforceable for any reason whatsoever, then that part is severed from these Terms and Conditions but without affecting the continued operation of the remaining Terms and Conditions.

14. Governing Law

14.1 These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and must be interpreted in accordance with the laws of NSW. The applicant, DCS, Service NSW and NSW Health submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of NSW and any Court competent to hear appeals from those Courts.

15. Survival

15.1 Clauses 6 and 8 contain continuing obligations and will survive termination of these Terms and Conditions.