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Immediate financial assistance

Power Loss Assistance

Individuals living in the activated disaster area who have experienced hardship as a result of power loss for 7 days or more, are being provided with food vouchers to the value of $200 per person, up to a total of $1000 per household.

The Red Cross is distributing this assistance with priority being given to those most in need.

The new food vouchers are in addition to the Immediate Hardship Assistance that continues to be available, and to existing food vouchers being distributed by Anglicare.

To qualify, applicants will need to provide authorisation to allow for the checking of their energy provider’s records to confirm loss of power and sign a declaration to verify details.

Applicants also need to provide:

  • verification of the number of people in the household by producing a Medicare card
  • verification of their address by showing a driver’s license or utility account.

Red Cross staff are available in the community recovery hubs to assist people wishing to apply.

People can call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 for more information.

Immediate Hardship Assistance

In the first few days following a disaster, people who are unable to meet their immediate essential needs for temporary accommodation, food, essential clothing and medication may be eligible for financial assistance.

Financial assistance has now been triggered for TC Marcia.

Immediate Hardship Assistance is available as a contribution to support people directly impacted by a disaster to meet their immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation.

To be eligible, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • live or are stranded in the targeted activation zone
  • be unable to meet your immediate essential needs or seek support from family or friends
  • be directly impacted by the disaster through one or more of the following:
    - direct physical damage to your home
    - loss of essential contents
    - isolation from your home for more than 48 hours.

Immediate Hardship Assistance is not income or asset tested.

The payment is available to claim for seven days following the declaration of a disaster.

Subject to the criteria above, applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of five or more.

Payment is usually made through a Community Recovery outreach team, or at a recovery hub if one has been established in the disaster affected area. Eligible residents will receive a prepaid Recovery debit Card which can be used at all retailers with Eftpos facilities and all ATMs. If you have received a card, you can login to check the balance of your card

For further information about assistance, phone the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP)

People who have been affected by flood and storm-damage may also be eligible for an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1000 per adult and $400 per child. The activation of this payment, and its eligibility criteria, is the decision of the Australian Government.


We need to know who you are and where you live before we can help you. When making a claim for assistance please bring all of these documents:

  • driver licence or other photo identification
  • Medicare card showing members of your family
  • a recent rates notice, electricity or other account showing your current address.

If you don’t have identification documents, help is available to replace lost or destroyed documents.

Helpful resources

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
2 March 2015

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