Up until Monday, Minnie Chaiyabarn had steady work at a Barton cafe several days a week.
Now the Chifley resident has been forced onto Centrelink for the first time, following the shutdown of non-essential services such as cafes, bars and restaurants due to coronavirus.
She spent most of Tuesday morning waiting in a large line outside the Woden Centrelink to access support payment.
"The job losses were bound to happen, if it didn't happen on Monday, it would've happened later this week," she said.
"I heard that on Monday there had been queues for Centrelink out the door and I thought I would come here early.
"I've been trying online but the website was still down so I came here."
Ms Chaiyabarn had been waiting in the queue for more than an hour and was only halfway in the line.
She said she expected to be there waiting in line for some time.
As Canberra grapples with the shutdown of non-essential services, thousands of people are seeking to access welfare payments as a result of snap unemployment.
It was the second day in a row that long queues formed outside Centrelink offices in the capital with lines snaking around the block.
Those in line reported waiting several hours just to get in, partly due to touch screens being turned off and social distancing measures inside Centrelink buildings restricting the number of people who can enter at one time.
Many were lining up to access Centrelink support in person after the MyGov website crashed on Monday and again on Tuesday due to the surge in demand for welfare.
Further back in the Centrelink line were Deakin friends Will Dimoff and Max Hartmann.
The coronavirus had already forced the pair to cancel their plans to take a gap year around Europe.
Now the virus has led to the shutdown of their jobs at Pialligo Estate and forced them to seek welfare payments.
"We only finished school last year, this was our first full-time job after school," Mr Dimoff said.
"It's our first time trying to access Centrelink."
"It's good that the shut down has happened for prevention," Mr Hartmann said.
"We tried to set up MyGov yesterday and we're trying to get in today."
Mr Hartmann said while the circumstances were unprecedented, he was trying to remain optimistic.
"Why get bothered about it and let it dwell on you?" he said.
"It's happened, let's just get on with it."
Those in the hospitality sector have been the greatest affected by the shutdown with thousands losing their jobs.
Cafes, restaurants, bars and other non-essential services have been ordered to shut down due to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
It will still be a month before those on Centrelink will be able to receive the $1100 a fortnight payments.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said up to 1 million people could be paid the special allowance due to coronavirus and associated job losses.
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Social Services Minister Anne Rushton said Monday's peak saw 100,000 people try to access the MyGov system at one time.
There were still 123,000 people on the website at one time on Tuesday.
An extra 5000 people have been put on to deal with the demand.
Ms Chaiyabarn said closing down cafes and restaurants was the right decision to stop the spread of COVID-19, but the next few months would bring a period of great uncertainty.
"It's been putting all these people out of jobs," she said.
"If this lasts six months, that's a not a lot of money coming through, but hopefully the payments help."
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