Primary producer grants extended and more accessible. Learn more.

Combined list of help for individuals and families

The COVID-19 pandemic adds further strain to bushfire affected communities, many of which were already under pressure from drought or flood events.

A list of Australian Government support, and how to access it, is below.
It includes bushfire, drought, flood and COVID-19 assistance.

This list focuses on the needs of individuals and families.

All of these measures have eligibility criteria, so make sure you check out the detail to see if they match your circumstances.

Visit australia.gov.au for detail on the Australian Government response to COVID-19.

For state and territory government assistance with COVID-19 visit australia.gov.au and follow the links at the bottom of the page.

On this page

 

 

I want to talk to someone about how I’m feeling

Type of support How to access

Bushfire - Mental health

  • For people directly affected by the fires
  • Up to 10 free counselling sessions, and Medicare rebates for up to 10 psychological therapy sessions
  • Access to help lines

Call 180 22 66 and ask about the free counselling

To access Medicare rebated sessions, contact your preferred psychologist

For help over the phone call:

COVID-19 - Mental health

  • Get help to cope with life’s changes as a result of COVID-19

Visit headtohealth.gov.au  or coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au for links to online counselling or call:

 

I want support with drug or alcohol problems

Type of support How to access

COVID-19 - Drug and alcohol support

  • Additonal funding has been provided to support drug and alochol servcies moving online.

Call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015 or visit drughelp.gov.au

 

I am experiencing domestic violence

Type of support How to access
For anyone who needs it

  • Support services are available to help you

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

My property was destroyed by this season’s bushfires

Type of support How to access

Bushfire - Clean up

  • Register for debris removal and clean up through your state

In NSW call 13 77 88

In VIC call 1800 560 760

In SA call 08 8204 2051

COVID-19 - HomeBuilder Scheme

  • If the bushfires damaged or destroyed your home, the Homebuilder grant may be useful to you.
  • Homebuilder may cover those knocking down or rebuilding a home. This includes homes destroyed in the fires. This applies under the rules for substantial renovations rather than new builds. 
Visit Treasury.gov.au for full details and eligibility regarding the Homebuilder scheme.
 

I need a bit of money for short term living costs

Type of Support How to access

Bushfire - Emergency relief

  • Emergency relief to help with things like bills, food, clothing
  • Delivered through charities, funded by the Australian Government

Salvation Army 1300 662 217

St Vincent de Paul 13 18 12

Bushfire - Financial assistance

Red Cross 1800 733 276

Bushfire - Disaster Recovery Payment

  • For people who suffered loss in the fires (property, injury or loss of a family member)
  • $1,000 per adult, $800 per child

Call Services Australia on 180 22 66 or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au and search for bushfires

Please note, application periods are closing across July and August 2020.

Drought Community Support Initiative

  • Apply for immediate financial support of up to $3,000

Salvation Army 1300 551 030

St Vincent de Paul 1300 846 643

Bushfire - For customers of Indigenous Business Australia

  • Relief from loan repayments
  • $2,000 bushfire crisis grants

Call Indigenous Business Australia on 1800 107 107

COVID-19 - Early release of superannuation

  • Individuals affected by COVID-19 can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21

Apply to the ATO through myGov (www.my.gov.au) from mid-April

Find out more at Treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

COVID-19 - Support for retirees

  • Temporary reduction to minimum drawdown requirements for account based pension
  • Reduces the need to sell investment assets to fund minimum drawdowns
 Find out more at Treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

COVID-19 - Support for retirees

  • Changes to deeming rates, to acknowledge the impact of low interest rates on income from savings

This change will be applied automatically

Find out more at Treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

I need income support for living costs longer term

Type of support How to access

Bushfire - Disaster Recovery Allowance

  • Income support payment for up to 13 weeks
  • For people who lost income as a direct result of the fires

Call Services Australia on 180 22 66 or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au and search for bushfires

Please note, application periods are closing across July and August 2020.

COVID-19 - Financial support for people affected by COVID-19

  • Expanded eligibility for some payments and moves to make them easier to claim

Claim online at servicesaustralia.gov.au 

Or over the phone on 132 850.

COVID-19 - Economic Support Payment

  • $750 payments for people on certain government payments

Will be paid automatically to people who are eligible

For more information visit Treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

COVID-19 - Supplement

  • Higher rate of support through $550/fortnight Coronavirus Supplement

Will be paid automatically to people on relevant payments

Treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

COVID-19 - Residential tenancies

  • Six month moratorium on evictions for tenants in financial distress
Discuss with your landlord and refer to your state's consumer affairs or trading authority.

Drought - Farm Household Allowance (FHA)

  • Four years of support (in every 10) for eligible farming families, usually at the same rate as JobSeeker Payment
  • Activity Supplements of up to $4,000 are also available to help primary producers improve their financial position
  • People who reach their limit of FHA before 1 July 2020 will also get a one-off relief payment of $7,500 (single recipient) or $6,500 (couple recipients)

For more information visit agriculture.gov.au/fha or call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316

To apply visit servicesaustralia.gov.au and search for ‘farm household allowance’

I am worried about losing my job

Type of support How to access

COVID-19 - JobKeeper

  • Employers significantly impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees
  • A subsidy of $1,500/fortnight per employee for up to six months
  • Available to businesses, not-for-profits and sole traders

Your employer will notify you if they intend to claim the payment on your behalf.

Employers can register interest at ato.gov.au (search for JobKeeper)

For more information visit Treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

I need advice on debt or an urgent personal loan

Type of support How to access

For anyone who needs it

  • Free financial counselling, funded by the government

Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007

COVID-19 - Relief services

  • Expanding access to the No Interest Loans Scheme
  • Alternative to high-risk, high-interest products like credit cards or payday loans
Find out more on at moneysmart.gov.au (search ‘No Interest Loans Scheme’) 

I am a parent or carer

Type of support How to access

COVID-19 - Early Childhood Education and Care Relief

  • Gives families fee relief while supporting child care services to keep their doors open and employees in their job

Talk to your childcare provider

For more information visit australia.gov.au and scroll down to ‘Education & child care information’

Drought - Isolated Children Scheme

  • Assistance if your child can't go to a local government school because of geographical isolation, disability or special needs
Visit ServicesAustralia.gov.au and search ‘Isolated children’

Drought - In Home Care

  • For families with child care requirements
  • Provides flexible care that supports families’ workforce participation and child care requirements where other options are not available or appropriate

Visit education.gov.au/in-home-care

Additional Child Care Subsidy Temporary Financial Hardship

  • This is short-term help for families who use child care and are experiencing significant financial hardship
Visit servicesaustralia.gov.au and search for ‘additional child care subsidy temporary financial hardship’

I rent my home

Type of support How to access

COVID-19 - Evictions

  • Evictions will be put on hold for six months by the states and territories, for those in financial distress because of COVID-19

Discuss with your landlord and refer to your state's consumer affairs or fair trading authority

Visit business.gov.au (select ‘coronavirus information’)

 I need a job

Type of support How to access

COVID-19

  • Jobs Hub is a platform for job seekers searching for vacancies

More information can be found at dese.gov.au/covid-19/jobs-hub