Relief & Recovery

Financial assistance

Financial assistance

Several support services are available to people impacted by floods and storms to help meet their immediate and essential needs.

Personal Hardship Assistance Program

The Personal Hardship Assistance Program assists people experiencing financial hardship because of a natural disaster related emergency such as flood and severe storm.  

This financial assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. 

Emergency Relief Payment

Emergency relief payments are no longer available.

A range of services, including the re-establishment payment are still available to impacted Victorians and if you require additional assistance, please contact your local council or the Storm and Flood Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760.

Emergency Re-establishment Assistance Payments  

This assistance is available to households of limited financial means, whose principal place of residence (their home) is uninhabitable (damaged or destroyed) or is inaccessible due to the June 2021 flood and storm emergency.

This financial assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. The total maximum emergency re-establishment payment is $42,250 per household. 

The assistance will be available for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing some damaged contents.  

Re-establishment assistance is available to individuals or families who do not have building (home) insurance or contents insurance and is also means tested.  

If an applicant has contents insurance only, re-establishment assistance may be available to assist with structural repairs to the home, rebuilding, clean-up tasks and reconnecting or undertaking safety checks on essential services such as gas, water or electricity. Assistance would not be available to replace or repair any household contents. 

If an applicant has building (home) insurance but no contents insurance, re-establishment assistance may be available to repair or replace essential household items. Assistance would not be available to undertake structural repairs, clean-up or rebuilding tasks that fall within the scope of the applicant’s insurance. 

Applicants with both building (home) insurance and contents insurance are not eligible for re-establishment assistance. 

The purpose of these payments is to assist people in the community who do not have the financial means to re-establish their lives after a disaster. The payments are a helping hand and should not be considered a replacement for insurance. 

How to apply

If you think you may be eligible for a re-establishment payment, please email EmergencyHardshipPayments@dffh.vic.gov.au 

In your email please include your name, address and how you would like to be contacted i.e. include you mobile number or landline phone number. 

Financial Counselling

Financial counselling is a free and confidential service available for anyone affected by an emergency. 

A financial counsellor can help you to:

  • access relief for utility bills and other payments
  • understand your government income and other entitlements
  • negotiate with your bank on debt issues
  • identify if your insurance outcome is fair and appropriate
  • provide you with options and can advocate on your behalf.

National Debt Helpline - 1800 007 007

The National Debt Helpline is a telephone financial counselling service open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The financial counsellors at the National Debt Helpline can put you in contact with your local face-to-face financial counselling service.

Anyone struggling financially due to an emergency can contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or use the live chat on the website. Visit: https://www.ndh.org.au/

Prolonged Power Outage Payment for Households

A Prolonged Power Outage Payment of $1680 per week – for up to three weeks – will be extended to all eligible households (residential customers) without power as at Thursday 17 June.

Applications will be open until 11.59pm on Friday 16 July 2021.

This financial assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

The funding package for those impacted will be assessed on a weekly basis and administered by AusNet on behalf of the Commonwealth and State governments.  

The aim is to support residential customers dealing with prolonged power loss. The financial assistance provides flexibility for people to choose best what is going to meet their personal circumstances such purchasing hot meals, necessities, paying for alternative accommodation and other additional costs, like fuel for generators.

How to apply

Eligibility criteria can be found on AusNet’s Storm Event webpage at www.ausnetservices.com.au/en/About/News-Room/News-Room-2021/Storm-Update.

AusNet has established a dedicated claims process for customers impacted by the storm, which can be accessed on its website or by calling 13 17 99.

More information is available through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning www.delwp.vic.gov.au and the Victorian Government www.vic.gov.au

Prolonged Power Outage Payments for Businesses

Disaster assistance will be available for businesses that continue to be affected by prolonged power outages from the extreme weather event in Victoria.

Applications will be open until 11.59pm on Friday 16 July 2021.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Businesses with an annual payroll of less than $10 million can apply for payments of $2500 per week – for up to three weeks – if they were without power as of 12.01am Thursday 17 June 2021.  If eligible, they will then receive the payment each week, capped at three weeks.

The payment will be administered by Ausnet – on behalf of the Commonwealth and State governments – and will help businesses dealing with prolonged power loss cover the costs of rent, wages and other operating expenses.

How to apply

Eligibility criteria can be found on AusNet’s Storm Event webpage at www.ausnetservices.com.au/en/About/News-Room/News-Room-2021/Storm-Update

AusNet has established a dedicated claims process for customers impacted by the storm, which can be accessed on its website or by calling 13 17 99.

Additional information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at www.delwp.vic.gov.au  

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance

The Australian Government has activated the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to support those most impacted by the storms and flooding in Victoria.

People in the Hepburn, Latrobe, Moorabool, Yarra Ranges, Baw Baw, Cardinia, Mornington Peninsula, South Gippsland and Wellington local government areas can now access the support package.

The AGDRP is a one-off payment of $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for children, who have suffered significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home.

The DRA provides up to 13 weeks of income support to people whose income has been affected.

How to apply

Call Services Australia on 180 22 66.

Check opening hours for this phone line here

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