Many things have changed for mother of four Jessica Russell in the past few months.
Mainly, she says, her cost of living has increased substantially. But her income has not kept up.
Coronavirus: All the latest updates on COVID-19 for Tasmania
"The cost of food has gone up. Because people are buying out most of the cheap stuff in bulk, we've been forced to buy expensive things. So it's had a big impact," she said.
"I feel we have been forgotten about. There's a lot of people out there who have disabilities. But with COVID-19, they can't get access to what they are used to."
Ms Russell has gone from studying full-time at TAFE, to homeschooling all of her children by herself.
Her five-year-old daughter Melanie lives with autism spectrum disorder. Her other daughters, Summer-Rose, Samara and Maddie, also have food allergies.
"If I can't get what we need from the supermarket, it means I have to go to a health food shop - which means more money," Ms Russell said.
"There are people out there with more significant disabilities than my daughter and I wonder how much this is all affecting them."
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Despite receiving the government's fortnightly Carer Payment of $860.60, along with the Family Tax Benefit, Ms Russell said the impact of COVID-19 meant they were barely getting by.
On Friday after completing her weekly shopping and paying the bills, she said she was left with only a few dollars in her bank account.
In March the federal government announced a coronavirus supplement of $550 would be paid to a number of welfare recipients. The fortnightly payments began on April 27.
While extended to those already on the likes of JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment, the supplement does not apply to people on a Carer Payment or a Disability Support Pension.
"With COVID-19, everything has become so expensive. You are trying to keep on top of normalising things, but you can't," Ms Russell said.
"Getting that extra supplement could mean that gets us through another week. But instead, I am probably going to have to ask to borrow money from family or friends if we need anything, because we don't have back up."
Ms Russell said her Carer Payment contributed to the cost of psychologists and therapies for Melanie, who had just started attending school before the pandemic hit.
"Everything for her [Melanie] needs to be very routine based. Things had been going smoothly for us, but that's all changed," Ms Russell said.
"She was going to school full-time ... she knew what was coming next. At home at the moment, there's just a lot of different behaviour issues because she is bored. It's hard for someone with autism to cope with such a dramatic change."
A Difficult time for everyone
Bass Liberal MHR Bridget Archer said there were not many people in the community who had not been financially impacted by the coronavirus - including those living with disability and their carers.
"The government responded to these needs very quickly by introducing the $750 economic stimulus payment, the first which was distributed in April and the second to come in early July," she said.
"I understand that the stimulus payment is not a silver bullet that will fix all the financial challenges faced by many on such payments. However, the government has been working to ensure that all members of our community who have been financially affected by the impact of COVID-19 are supported during this crisis."
In a statement, a spokesperson for Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the federal government announced a $90.7 million support package to help Australians with disability with employment and other support services, including a dedicated phone line to provide accessible information, counselling and outreach services.
"The $550 fortnightly Coronavirus Supplement is a temporary measure for job seekers in recognition that the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic will directly impede people's ability to find and retain paid employment over coming months.
"Pensions, including Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment, are long term payments and are already paid at the highest rate of support in the system - significantly higher than the regular JobSeeker base rate - because recipients are not expected to work to support themselves due to age, disability or caring responsibilities."
A recent survey by Health Consumers Tasmania, the state's peak body representing patients, carers and communities, highlighted a heightened sense of fear being experienced by people living with a disability amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online survey of 435 Tasmanians, with analysis from the University of Tasmania, found that 60.61 per cent of people with a disability felt unsafe, compared to 52.6 per cent of non-disabled people.
It also found people with disability were more likely not to download the COVIDSafe app at 51 per cent, than other Tasmanians (27 per cent), while non-disabled Tasmanians favoured using it (48 per cent), compared to those with a disability (25 per cent).
HCT chief executive Bruce Levett said there were many reasons behind this, including access and misinformation.
"During the early phase of the pandemic, there was heightened fear that, if you had a disability you may be denied medical treatment, we all saw the stories from Italy," he said.
"As Tasmanians told us in their own words: 'Will I be judged as not a worthy life to save in a pandemic because I live with a disability' and being worried about the 'withdrawal of health services from people with chronic health conditions'.
"This anxiety created a barrier for those with a disability as many were too afraid to visit their GP or seek their medical appointments for fear of catching the virus and our research confirms that they are also more likely to not download the CovidSafe app."
Mr Levett said people with a disability were also expressing the need for clearer information about how COVID-19 can be caught and spread.
"Health Consumers Tasmania believe the government needs to do more to support those vulnerable people in the community as they clearly have concerns about the virus," he said.
"They tend to be left behind in the things most people take for granted, like visiting a GP, owning a phone and being able to download the CovidSafe app.
"Or how and where to buy groceries and stay safe."
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