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Here’s how temporary visa holders and asylum seekers can access emergency financial support

Food Rescue Charity OzHarvest Continues To Serve Community During Coronavirus Outbreak Source: Getty Images

Government-funded relief payments are available for temporary visa holders and asylum seekers experiencing extreme hardship. Nearly 200 charities and community organisations are delivering financial support and food relief to people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temporary visa holders and asylum seekers who aren’t eligible for government payments can access emergency financial assistance if they are experiencing hardship during the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Temporary visa holders were left out of the federal government’s JobKeeper program in 2020. This year, the COVID Disaster payments are available to some eligible temporary visa holders who have lost income due to health orders.

However, many are still not covered by this safety net.

Red Cross Australia’s Head of Migration Programs, Vicki Mau, says many people are struggling to access basic necessities.

“We have situations where people are living in cars, we have had a lot of issues around homelessness or people couch-surfing with friends, for example, we have had a situation where parents are unable to get the school supplies that their kids might need to study at home and other situations because many of them don’t have Medicare – medicines are quite expensive, and it also might have been that their private health insurance has lapsed in the meantime because they are not bringing in the income to pay for it.”

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this audio in Punjabi.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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