COVID-19 & Financial Support
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many in our communities with financial hardships. Thankfully, there are a number of support services and resources available to offer assistance during these challenging times.
During this time, we are continuing to offer financial counselling and emergency relief for people living with HIV through the David Williams Fund. Please note that due to current restrictions, this service will be provided over the phone or via email.
MoneySmart.gov.au is a great resource to check out when starting to tackle difficult financial decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website has a number of tools and resources to help you manage your money, reduce your debt, and plan for your future.
Check out MoneySmart.gov.au
VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The Victorian Government is offering financial support to people and businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), including:
- Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a one-off $1,500 payment for Victorian workers who, have been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine at home because they are either diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact of a confirmed case.
The worker support 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 incomes during this period.
Here are some things to keep in mind during this time:
- Communication has slowed down. Hardship departments are already overwhelmed with requests. This means that it will be difficult to get services on the phone. Many organisations have asked financial counsellors to use email where possible. Even so, emails and letters will have slow responses. You may need to regularly ask for extensions of time to respond to correspondence.
- Enforcement will slow down or, in some instances, stop. This includes:
- Hearings in courts have been suspended unless urgent
- The processing of statements of claim and summonses will be delayed and may stop
- The notice period for Bankruptcy Notices has now been changed from 21 days to six months
- Forced bankruptcy cannot proceed for the next six months unless the debt is over $20,000
- Debt collection calls should also slow down due to a reduced workforce and physical distancing
- Repossession of assets—goods, cars and houses—will be difficult with physical distancing and limited access to courts
- It will be difficult (if not increasingly impossible) to sell assets
- Centrelink is overwhelmed and there will be delays
- There may be a larger than normal use of payday lenders to bridge the delay in accessing Centrelink entitlements