Deadline nearing to claim 2019 bushfire assistance

The deadline is approaching to claim disaster assistance for the 2019-20 bushfires.

People in declared Local Government Areas may be eligible for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) or the Disaster Recovery Allowance.

Services Australia General Manager, Hank Jongen, encouraged people to get their claim in as soon as possible.

“With much of the country affected by bushfires at the end of last year, the deadline to claim assistance varies, and the claim dates for events are starting to close,” Mr Jongen said.

 “If you were significantly affected by one of the bushfires, you may be eligible for assistance. Check if you live in a declared Local Government Area then call us on 180 22 66 to make a claim.”

Along with financial assistance for people and communities affected by the bushfires, free counselling and additional mental health support is available for individuals, families and emergency services workers affected by the bushfires.

“It’s important for people in affected communities to know they can access these services if they need it,” Mr Jongen said.

“You can access a range of services by speaking to one of our social workers.”

The AGDRP is for people significantly affected by a declared disaster and is a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 for each child under 16.

If you’re eligible for the AGDRP and you have a child in your care, we’ll also pay you the Additional Payment for Children. This is an additional $400 on top of the AGDRP. You don’t need to claim it separately, we’ll pay it into your bank account automatically.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term, non-taxable payment for people who lost income as a direct result of the fire. If you’re eligible, you can get it for up to 13 weeks.

To make a claim or to speak with a social worker, call 180 22 66 Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster for more information.