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Immediate financial assistance

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.

Immediate Hardship Assistance is for people in disaster affected areas, who:

  • Live or are stranded in the targeted activation zone
  • Are unable to meet immediate essential needs
  • Are unable to seek support from family or friends and
  • Demonstrate direct impact such as loss or damage to home, loss of essential personal items and/or isolation from 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:
20 November 2014

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