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Immediate hardship assistance

In the 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 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
  • have suffered hardship as a result of the event
  • are unable to meet your immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation.

Immediate hardship assistance is not asset tested. If deemed elgible, applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of 5 or more.

The loss of power to your home is not an eligibility criterion for access to immediate hardship assistance.

However, if we are able to verify you have had no access to power for more than 5 days, you may be eligible for an Immediate hardship assistance - Essential services grant.

How to apply

An application can be made by completing the online application form 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), 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 your balance of a Recovery Debit Card, you can login to check the balance of your card.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

Activation of the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is the decision of the Australian Government. Under this payment, people who have been affected by flood and storm-damage may also be eligible for financial assistance of $1000 per adult and $400 per child. 


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 current address.

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

Helpful resources


For assistance with a life threatening situation call 000 immediately.

For assistance with non-life threatening situations such as help with a damaged roof, rising flood water, or storm damage call the SES on 132 500.

For assistance call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

Follow @RecoveryQld on Twitter to help you prepare for storm and cyclone season, and receive community recovery updates when a disaster or emergency strikes.

Information in your language

Read our translated fact sheets about the Immediate Hardship Assistance Grant to find out more in your language.

Current disasters

Information is available to individuals and families affected by Queensland disasters.

Self Recovery App

Access to vital information about Queensland disasters and emergencies is now available through the Self Recovery App.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
14 December 2016

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