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Have enough money to fly family to China - now complaining their Centrelink has been cut off

And Their ABC goes in to bat for them.

Australians have a lot to learn about the real world.

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A Sydney family trapped in China for almost two months due to a coronavirus lockdown says they are struggling to afford food after Centrelink cut off their welfare payments.

Joanne Bao and her three teenage daughters flew to Wuhan in January to spend time with the girls' sick grandmother during their school holidays.

The city was placed into lockdown soon after and, while the family tried to evacuate on the final flight to Christmas Island, they were turned back at a military checkpoint.

One of the daughters, Antonia Harb, speaking on behalf of her mother who has limited English, said Centrelink suspended the family's welfare payments because they had been out of the country for too long.

"They cut off everything including the money for us kids, even after we told them our situation here," she said.

The high school student said the family was struggling to afford food and needed to pay for basic supplies to be delivered to their door because they could not leave the apartment.

Ms Harb, 16, said her family was also facing eviction as they could not afford rent on their home in Guildford, in Sydney's west.

"They [the landlord] said they'd kick us out if we don't pay rent but the money in our account isn't enough for both rent and food," she said.

"I'm really stressed."

Calls for Centrelink leniency

Centrelink has strict protocols when it comes to temporary international travel.

Some payments, like Newstart, can be cut immediately if prior approval isn't granted. Other assistance, like the disability support pension can be suspended after 28 days overseas.

And after six weeks the family tax benefit is terminated, and the age pension reduced.

There are more than 350 Australians still trapped in China's Hubei province, including almost two dozen children.

Those receiving welfare payments would now be approaching Centrelink's travel limits.