This article focuses on the assistance provided to NSW Residents as devastating floods make their way through parts of Queensland and Northern NSW.
For immediate assistance
For immediate assistance with flood and storm damage, you should call the State Emergency Services (SES) on 132 500. For other emergencies and life-threatening situations please call 000.
The NSW and Federal governments are providing disaster relief payments to eligible people in affected Local Government Areas (LGAs). This disaster relief is for people and businesses impacted in LGAs that have been declared disasters. This list is being updated as necessary.
Several organisations are also helping their customers.
We’ve outlined the main assistance below and will update this list as it grows, and new forms of assistance as they become available.
Disaster Recovery Payments
A one-off payment of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child under 16 is available if you’ve been adversely affected (examples include seriously injured or your principal place of residence has been significantly damaged) by the flood and reside in one of the designated LGAs.
Claims can be made up to 3 September 2022.
This assistance is available from Services Australia. For further information, including the list of Local Government areas eligible for support, please visit Services Australia here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/nsw-floods-february-2022-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment
Disaster Recovery Payments – Special Supplement
An additional special supplement is being paid for those eligible for the Disaster Recovery Payments (above) and live in the following LGA’s –
- Clarence Valley
- Richmond Valley
The supplement doesn’t require a further application but will be paid to you after you have been approved for the Disaster Recovery Payment if you live in one of the applicable LGAs. You can also apply for this separately.
The Special Supplement is a payment of $2,000 per adult and $800 per child – paid across two payments, seven days apart.
Information about the payments and eligibility can be found at Services Australia.
Disaster Recovery Allowance
The Australian Government is paying an allowance to people living in the affected LGAs, who have lost income as a result of the NSW floods.
The payment is income tested and the amount you can get is the maximum rate of the JobSeeker payment or Youth Allowance depending on your personal circumstance.
Visit Services Australia to find out more about eligibility, tax treatment, and how to apply.
NSW Disaster Relief Grant
These grants are a contribution to support those eligible individuals whose home or essential household contents were damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.
The grant has eligibility criteria including but not limited to:
- your home (primary place of residence) was damaged by a natural disaster
- you do not have insurance for the damage
- you are a low-income earner with limited financial resources
- it has been less than 4 months since the disaster.
For more information or to apply, please contact 137788 and ask about the Disaster Relief Grant administered by NSW Resilience.
Other Assistance that is available
Other assistance is available from many commercial businesses and charitable support organisations. This includes:
Red Cross Financial Assistance Grants
The Red Cross will have two types of grants available to people who have been impacted by the NSW and QLD Floods.
The Bereavement Grant is to support senior next-of-kin of people who died as a direct result of the floods with immediate needs such as funeral expenses. The Red Cross will be contacting senior next-of-kin directly to offer this grant to them.
The Relief Grant is cash assistance for people who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of flood impact to their primary place of residence. This grant aims to help people who can’t return home with basic, urgent needs, such as food, clothes, bedding , or personal items. Please visit the Red Cross site to view the eligibility criteria.
Applications for the Relief Grant open on 18th March and are available until funds are exhausted. We suggest you familiarise yourself with the requirements and eligibility before that time and apply as soon as the grants are open.
St Vincent De Paul
Vinnies is offering financial assistance of up to $3,000 to people whose home has been impacted by the floods.
The amount provided is dependent upon damage to your property, insurance status, and family size.
To apply for one of these grants, please visit one of the recovery centres in Lismore, Casino, or Ballina.
More information is available here.
Salvation Army Financial and Emotional Assistance
More information is available here: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/need-help/disasters-and-emergencies/
Westpac Disaster Relief Package
Westpac customers can contact Westpac for assistance. The assistance available includes deferred home loan and credit card repayments, discounted personal loans, waived break fees on term deposits, and waived fees for restructuring business loans for customers. Westpac insurance customers may also be able to access emergency funds and temporary accommodation. More information is available here: https://www.westpac.com.au/about-westpac/sustainability/initiatives-for-you/customers-disaster-relief/
Banks and Insurance Companies
Like Westpac, many banks are offering their affected customers assistance. We suggest you check whether your bank and insurance provider has a website for their customers affected by emergencies and/or disasters.