Essential services hardship assistance grant

This grant is available as a contribution to 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.

If deemed eligible, 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.

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 only when residents are unable to stay in their principal place of residence due to health and safety issues.

The Essential Services Hardship Assistance grant is not income or asset tested.

How to apply

  • online via the Community Recovery Portal
  • by phoning the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 where a customer service officer will assist you to complete an online application
  • or by visiting a Community Recovery Hub (when open)


  • electronic funds transfer (EFT) to a nominated bank account and processed in timelines established by your nominated banking facility, or
  • prepaid Recovery Debit Card which can be collected at a Community Recovery Hub and used at all retailers with EFTPOS facilities and all ATMs. Login to check the balance of your Recovery Debit Card


To complete your application, you will need to provide evidence of your identity and place of residence, with any of the following items:

  • 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