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Poverty & COVID-19

During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to support those in the Australian community who are struggling the most. The health and economic impact of COVID-19 is hitting marginalised people and communities the hardest.  We know that for many people being sick can make your poor and being poor often makes you sick.

Unemployment has doubled as a result of the COVID-19 induced shut-down, affecting many people who may never have needed support as well as those who were already out of work or didn’t have enough work before the bushfires and pandemic hit.  In August 2020 there were at least 12 people receiving DSS unemployment payments for every job advertised on the internet.

See these briefings specific to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Those in lower socioeconomic groups are at a greater risk of poor health, have higher rates of illness, disability, and death compared to those from a higher socioeconomic background.  The Federal Government has stated some people at most risk of serious infection from COVID-19 include:

  • older people – people over the age of 70 (over 65 for people who have pre-existing medical conditions, or over 50 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have pre-existing medical conditions)
  • people with weakened immune systems
  • people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart and lung conditions, kidney disease and diabetes)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who have higher rates of chronic illness.

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