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Disaster assistance for individuals

The Ministry for Police and Emergency Services can provide financial assistance to people affected by a disaster who are experiencing financial hardship and who are unable to meet the cost of repairs for essential household contents and/or structural repairs to their homes.

Financial assistance is a contribution towards the cost of essential household items and restoring the home to a safe and habitable condition.

Financial assistance under this grant does not replace insurance or act as a compensation for losses. Assistance cannot be provided to cover insurance excess.

Disaster Assistance for Individuals Factsheet (PDF 146KB)


To be eligible for assistance you must:

  • be a low-income earner and meet an income and assets test

  • demonstrate that the affected home is your principal place of residence

  • not be covered by insurance

  • be able to demonstrate that the damage was caused by the disaster

  • lodge the application within four months of the disaster occurring.

To be eligible for a disaster relief grant you must meet an income and asset test. We will assess your disposable income, which is the amount of money you have left each week after you pay your minimum rent or home mortgage.

As a guide, the weekly disposable income amount (after mortgage or rental payments) is approximately the same amount as the Age Pension paid by Centrelink. We will also take into account the number of dependent children you may have living with you. Your eligibility will be assessed on the income that you were receiving at the time of the disaster.

What the grants are for

Grants toward replacing essential household contents

Essential household items are those required for normal daily life, such as bedding and essential electrical items (e.g. refrigerator or washing machine).

Grants toward essential structural repairs

Assistance may be provided to make essential structural repairs to your principal place of residence. Your principal place of residence is the home where you live most of the time. Assistance is not provided for repairs to other areas of your property, such as damage to fences, pools, sheds or garages.

Applying for a Disaster Relief Grant

To apply for financial assistance call Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444. A Disaster Welfare Officer will assist you and provide you with a disaster relief application form if you appear eligible. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible after the disaster.

Applications will be accepted up to four months after the date the disaster damaged your home.

You must complete all sections of the application form and provide all of the documentation requested. This information will help to determine your eligibility for financial assistance.

Information you provide will be checked and we will contact the agencies that you have nominated, such as Centrelink, financial institutions and insurance companies. When you sign the application form you are giving us permission to check that information.

You will be required to provide some information and evidence with your application, such as a statement of income, assets, rent or home loan repayments. You should read this information before contacting us.

More information on Applying for a disaster relief grant

Disaster Relief Grant Checklist

We have created a quick checklist that you can use to ensure that you have all of the information and evidence that are required for your application.

More information on the Disaster Relief Grant Checklist


application/pdf Disaster Assistance for Individuals Factsheet
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