There have been a number of changes and added resources, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a collection of links to information that may be relevant to you.
The Covid-19 emergency disaster payment changed in July 2021. For the first two weeks of a lockdown, you may be able to claim $325 a week if you’ve lost fewer than 20 hours of work per week, or $500 if you’ve lost more than 20 hours. For the third and subsequent weeks, you’ll get $375 if you either lost:
- between 8 and 20 hours of work per week
- a “full day” of your usual work hours per week.
For the third and subsequent weeks, you can get $600 per week if you’ve lost more than twenty hours of work per week.
For more information about eligibility, how to claim, and the amount you may be able to claim, visit the Centrelink website.
University Bursaries and Interest Free Loans
Currently general bursaries and interest free loans are available to domestic and international students. Check the Uni website for details.
There are many COVID-19 related scams happening online, on telephone, and in person, at the moment. This includes, people pretending to be from a government department, companies giving out free food vouchers, and important messages from phone or internet providers. Before giving away any money or information have a look at Scamwatch’s information. There are increasing reports of Covid-19 vaccine-related scams. The best course of action is to only seek information from reliable sources including NSW Health or ABC news.
There are many different types of accommodation arrangements, each with different rights and responsibilities. It is a good idea to get advice on your specific situation, before taking any action.
From July 2021, there is a 60 day moratorium on residential tenancy evictions in NSW for households that have lost 25% or more of their income as a result of the Stay at Home Orders. The full details and legislation are currently being worked out – continue to check the NSW Fair Trading Website for the most up to date and official information regarding this. If your landlord is not following these new arrangements, or if you need to terminate your accommodation agreement, or if you need emergency accommodation, please seek advice from an SRC caseworker.
Health and Wellbeing
It is very normal in circumstances like these to feel scared, lonely, or bored. It’s a good idea to actively look after your mental health, so that you can look after all the other aspects of your life as well.
There are many counselling services available in Australia. Here are just a few of the services that offer free, professional and confidential services.
The University’s counselling service (CAPS) offers telephone or online appointments Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. Call 8627 8433 to make an appointment. You can also contact the Mental Health Wellbeing Support Line at any time, by phoning 1300 474 065 or texting 0488 884 429.
eHeadspace has some online forums on a range of different topics, as well as one-on-one chat available between 9am-1am.
Beyond Blue has telephone (1300 22 46 36), online and email chats available. See their website for details.
Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Services
1800 RESPECT is a 24 hour a day support line (telephone or online) for anyone impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
Policing – Know Your Rights
The NSW Legal Observers Network have developed these guides and resources for dealing with Police during the latest NSW Government restrictions, which include having to carry and present ID when exercising, engaging in outdoor recreation or leaving Sydney.
If you are currently overseas, you will not be able to access any one-on-one appointments. However, you can still participate in online forums or support groups. If you are feeling unwell and need to have a one-on-one appointment, please talk to your doctor or go to your local hospital to ask for help. Most doctors are offering telephone or video appointments. Alternatively, you can check this database for services in your country. There is no shame in wanting to be well.
Covid Testing & Treatment
Covid tests are free, and very easy to get with many walk in and drive through sites scattered throughout NSW. It is great to see lots of people accessing this service, so if you have even the slightest of symptoms, get tested.
Other Health Needs
Many doctor’s surgeries, including the University’s Health Service, are offering telephone and online appointments. Call your doctor to find out what services they can provide.
Stop the Boredom
There are many different activities that you can engage in during isolation. The University’s Peer Learning Advisors can talk to you about a range of online activities that you might like to try. Zoos, aquariums, museums and galleries around the world are hosting virtual tours and live cams. Online dance parties are also available on weekends. Membership to the Uni library also gives you free access to Kanopy, a movie and television show streaming service. There is so much that you can do from your home, and you can also use this time to just relax.
Documents of proof – student declaration in lieu of a PPC or a statutory declaration. Make sure that if you are submitting a Student Declaration you include the dates that you were affected and explains why you were unable to obtain other supporting documentation. For example, if you are unable to access other documentation due to a Covid-19 Stay at Home Order, you should mention this.
International students will most likely be permitted to reduce their study load if they have been affected by COVID-19.
Accessing the SRC
The SRC can give advice on academic appeals (anything to do with your degree), accommodation issues, or Centrelink questions. You can send an email to email@example.com with all of the details of your questions together with any supporting documentation, or if you prefer to speak to a caseworker, call the office on 9660 5222. We will not be able to provide in person appointments until semester 1, 2022.