University of Wollongong engineering student Patrick Hutton was quick to apply for the federal government's disaster payments for stood-down workers this week.
The Prime Minister announced the payments on Tuesday of $600 per week for those who lost more than 20 hours, and $375 for those who lost between eight and 20 hours.
Mr Hutton, 22, works casually every Saturday and Sunday at a bowling club during each term and five shifts a week during uni holidays.
When the bowling club closed at the beginning of the lockdown Mr Hutton lost all his casual work and thought he would be able to access the COVID disaster payment.
But when he went to apply he discovered he was not eligible because he gets a student allowance from Centrelink.
The allowance, to support his studies. is worth $615 a fortnight, less than half the disaster support he would have received.
Now he is having to get through the lockdown on half the money he would normally live on and still pay all his bills including rent.
Mr Hutton thought he would have been eligible for the $375 in additional assistance and was hoping to be able to live on $682 a week from the youth allowance and the disaster payment until the bowling club reopens.
But he now survives on $307.50 a week.
"I went online straight away to see if I was eligible. If it had been like last year I would have.
"But they failed to mention during the announcement if you are already on income support you are not eligible," he said.
"I rang Centrelink and they said they couldn't do anything about it. I have also lodged a complaint with Centrelink.
"It seems a bit unfair. I'm being punished because I'm already on income support."
Mr Hutton said there were many students in the same situation. He was eligible for assistance during the 2020 lockdown and said that support had been much fairer.
"I was lucky enough to get JobKeeper and was very grateful.
"Within the UOW community a lot of people are saying they are in the same boat."
Mr Hutton said even if he was eligible for the latest COVID disaster payment it would not be as much as he received on JobKeeper.
And it would be nowhere near what he would be making during this holiday period if there was no lockdown.
"I am already in need of assistance to support my studies. So why am I missing out on more when I am unable to work. My bills haven't gone down."
Mr Hutton said if the lockdown was only for a couple of weeks he might be able to survive on his savings.
"But how long is this lockdown going to go for?"
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