Money

Bushfire emergency assistance

Published on January 7, 2020 9:47 pm, by

Like everyone we’ve been horrified and saddened by the bushfire disaster affecting so many people and communities around Australia. There are a range of financial assistance options and other benefits available for people that have been impacted. We’ve done our best to summarise them below and will update this page as new options become available or more details become available.

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Financial Assistance

NameProviderBenefitEligibilityFurther details
Disaster Recovery PaymentDep of Human Services
  • $1,000 per eligible adult

  • $400 per eligible child
  • Serious injury

  • Family member of someone killed

  • Your home is destroyed or uninhabitable
Phone: 1802266
Website
Disaster Recovery AllowanceDep of Human Services
  • Equivalent to Newstart or Youth Allowance benefit

  • Subject to income thresholds
    You've lost income due to bushfiresPhone: 1802266
    Website
    Red Cross Disaster ReliefRed Cross$5,000 grantYour home has been destroyed or is uninhabitableWebsite
    Salvation Army bushfire disaster supportSalvation ArmyPhone: 1300 662 217
    Email
    Vinnies Disaster Recovery AssistanceSt Vincent de Paul Society
    • Food & grocery vouchers

    • Clothing, blankets and other essentials

    • Financial assistance to pay bills

    • Interest free loans for household items
    Phone: 13 18 12
    Primary Producer AssistanceNSW Rural Assistance Authority
    • Recovery grants of up to $15,000

    • Concessional loans

    • Transport subsidies
    Impacted by bushfires in specific Local Govt AreasPhone: 1800 678 593
    Website
    Sporting Club AssistanceNSW Rural Assistance AuthorityConcessional loansImpacted by bushfires in specific Local Govt AreasPhone: 1800 678 593
    Website
    Church and non-profit organisation assistanceNSW Rural Assistance AuthorityRecovery grants of up to $15,000Impacted by bushfires in specific Local Govt AreasPhone: 1800 678 593
    Website

    Financial Services

    InstitutionBenefitsEligibilityFurther details
    Commonwealth Bank
    • Accommodation assistance for insurance customers

    • Expediting claims for insurance customers

    • Assistance for home loan, credit card and personal loan customers

    • Credit limit increases (subject to credit approval)
    • Loan restructuring
    • Waiving prepayment charges for customers accessing term deposits and investment bonds before maturity date
    • Waiving of selected fees and charges
    Check with the institutionPhone: 1300 720 814
    Website
    Westpac
    • Grants of up to $2,000 for temporary accommodation, food and clothing
    • Possible deferral of home loan repayments for up to 3 months
    • Emergency funds and temporary accommodation for insurance customers
    • Possible deferral of credit card repayments for up to 90 days
      Personal loans at discounted rates and no establishment fees for replacement goods (subject to loan approval)
    • Waiver of interest rate adjustments for customers withdrawing term deposits
    • Customers experiencing severe hardship may be offered a halt on interest accrual on credit products for up to 3 months
    Check with the institutionPhone: 1800 029 749
    Website
    ANZ
    • Ability to suspend repayments on loans and credit cards for up to 3 months

    • Temporary interest rate relief on lending for customers experiencing extreme financial distress

    • Access to term deposits early without incurring any fees

    • Emergency funds and temporary accommodation for insurance customers
      Check with the institutionPhone: 1800 701 599
      Website
      NAB
      • $2,000 grant for customers if their home is no longer in a liveable condition

      • Credit card and personal loan relief where appropriate

      • Suspension of home and personal loan repayments

      • Waiving costs and charges for early withdrawal of term deposits
        waiving home loan and personal loan application fees

      • Support to restructure other existing banking facilities

      Check with the institutionPhone: 1300 683 106
      Website
      AMP
      • Waiving of certain fees for customers requiring urgent access to their funds

      • Temporarily postponing home loan payments

      • Early access to your super if the ATO have assessed you as being eligible on compassionate grounds

      • Faster access to pension fund payments

      • A one-off 3 month waiver of Life, Total and Permanent Disability, Trauma, Income Protection and Business Insurance Premiums
        Check with the institutionPhone: 13 30 30 (Banking)
        131 267 (Insurance and Superannuation)
        Website

        Telecommunication providers

        OrganisationBenefitsEligibilityFurther details
        Telstra - short term
        • Free use of public payphones in affected areas

        • Free use of Telstra Air payphone hotspots in affected areas

        • Free call diversion from fixed line to mobile service

        • Local calls and STD calls from diverted mobile services and fixed line rates

        • Mobile customers with no Telstra home phone receive a one-off credit to value of $100

        Applicable until network damage due to fire is repaired or while customers remain evacuated for up to 3 months
        Check with organisation
        Phone: 132 203
        Website
        Telstra - long term
        • Free call diversion from fixed line to mobile service for up to 6 months

        • One-off credit of $500 to fixed line accounts

        Check with organisationPhone: 132 203
        Website
        Optus
        • Free call diversions from fixed phones to mobiles or other fixed phone services

        • Extended time frames for bill payments

        • Bill waivers in instances of extreme financial hardship

        • Free suspension, relocation or cancellation of a fixed phone service

        • Free pre-paid credit which can be organised at local stores
        Check with the organisationPhone: 1300 301 671

        Energy providers

        OrganisationBenefitsEligibilityFurther details
        Energy AustraliaEnergy bills of affected customers have been put on holdCheck with Energy AustraliaPhone: 1800 120 084
        Website
        AGLEnergy bills of affected customers have been put on holdCheck with AGLPhone: 131 245
        Website

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        Peter is the CEO of MoneyBrilliant. He has over 20 years experience in banking, insurance and accounting. Peter has three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 3, is a sport and fitness fanatic and a volunteer firefighter. He is passionate about improving people's lives through making financial services more accessible.

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