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Essential household contents grant

The Essential Household Contents Grant (EHCG) helps people who are uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, and who meet an income test, by providing a contribution towards repairing or replacing essential household contents that have been damaged or lost in a disaster.

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What the EHCG is

Uninsured, low income earners may receive up to $1,765 for single adults and up to $5,300 for couples or families to help with repairing or replacing essential household contents, such as beds, linen and whitegoods, that have been damaged or lost in a disaster.

Who can apply

You can be a tenant or an owner-occupier in the home that was affected.  People who aren’t Australian citizens can also apply for this grant.

You must meet all these requirements:

  • your principal place of residence (home) is in an eligible area for a disaster event
  • you were living in your principal place of residence (which includes a caravan or boat) when the disaster happened.
  • your essential household items were lost or damaged as a result of the disaster.
  • you must own the essential household items which you are claiming for.
  • you must not hold an insurance policy that covers you for expenses or losses sustained during the disaster
  • if you hold an insurance policy:
    • you do not have coverage for a particular event (e.g. storm/flood) and/or
    • you must have evidence that the insurance claim has been declined.
  • you must qualify under the income test outlined below.

Income test (how much you earn)

Your gross (before tax) weekly income must be less than:

  • individual: $988 ($51,398 per year)
  • couple: $1,367 ($71,061 per year)
  • sole parent, one child: $1,368 ($71,110 per year)
  • couple, one child: $1,694 ($88,111 per year).

For each additional child, add $327 per week. For each dependent adult, add $378 per week.

The income of any other adult/s in the household is not included.

How to apply

You can apply for this grant either:

What you need to apply

You need to have:

  • date, details and photos* of the damage
  • either:
    • a statutory declaration advising you do not hold an insurance policy or
    • evidence from your insurance company confirming you do not have coverage for the particular event (e.g. storm/flood) or
    • evidence that your insurance claim was declined
  • evidence that you meet the income test (e.g. payslips, Centrelink benefit statement or Australian Taxation Office notice of assessment).

*If you have damaged household items that need to be thrown away prior to a Community Recovery worker visiting your home (virtual or face-to-face) as they are affected by mould from the disaster and pose a health risk, please take photos before you dispose of the items.

To complete your application, you will also need to provide evidence of your identity and place of residence. This can be:

  • Driver licence or other photo identification
  • Medicare card showing members of your family that you are applying for.

If you don’t have this information, you will need to provide other evidence that shows your name, date of birth and address.

For help with your application, call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or visit a Community Recovery Hub.

How to replace lost or destroyed documents.

Finalising your application

When your application is complete, we will call you to arrange a visit to your home (virtual and/or face-to-face) by a member of the Community Recovery team to assess the damage.

This grant can be paid by either:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to the bank account you listed in your application. The timing depends on when your bank processes the payment.
  • Cheque mailed to the address listed in your application.

More information