Essential services hardship assistance grant

This grant supports people directly impacted by a disaster to meet their immediate needs where they have experienced loss of one or more essential services for more than 5 days.

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

  • your principal place of residence must be in the activated financial assistance disaster area and loss of power is confirmed by the energy provider
  • be directly impacted by the loss of one or more essential services for more than 5 days as a direct result of an eligible disaster
  • be suffering hardship
  • experienced loss of:
    • electricity (or other alternate power supply), where this is the only source of power to your property
    • gas, including bottled gas, if the principal place of residence is gas only (if electricity is connected, then gas alone does not qualify for assistance
    • water, including water tanks where your principal place of residence is reliant on tank water, but only where an alternate source of water is not supplied
    • sewerage including septic tanks.

The Essential Services Hardship Assistance grant is not income or asset tested. Subject to the criteria above, applicants may receive $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of 5 or more. The grant is initially available to claim for 7 days following the activation of the grant in your area.

How to apply

Apply online via the Community Recovery Portal or by phoning the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 where a customer service officer will assist you to complete an online application.


When completing an online application form by yourself or with the assistance of a Community Recovery Hotline customer service officer you will have the opportunity to choose either to have the funds electronically transferred (EFT) to a nominated bank account (preferred method) and processed in timelines established by your nominated banking facility, or to visit a Community Recovery Hub and collect a prepaid Recovery Debit Card which can be used at all retailers with EFTPOS facilities and all ATMs. If you wish to check the balance of your Recovery Debit Card, you can login to check the balance of your card.


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 with you:

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

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

Helpful resources