Australian Disaster Relief for Those Affected by Bushfire and Drought

Self-Employed | 19 Feb, 2020

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of Australian disaster relief for bushfire and drought victims.

The 2019/2020 bushfires and the ongoing drought have had a profound effect on Queenslanders and Australians as a whole. As of 14 January 2020, the bushfires have claimed 18.6 million hectares of land, 30 people and 1 billion animals and 5,900 buildings. In Queensland, 67.4% of the total land area is drought affected and has been since 2017.

For those affected, these disasters have been and still are tragedies beyond comprehension. Nothing can replace the lives and property lost, but there is some financial relief available. And it’s worth seeking out to determine your eligibility and start the application process. No, it won’t heal a tragedy, but it can go a little way towards aiding recovery.

Here are some options you might want to consider.

Australian Disaster Relief

Disaster Recovery Payment

The AGDRP is a one-off payment of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child. People who have been seriously injured, have lost their homes or whose homes have been damaged as a result of disaster may access this payment. It is also available to immediate family members of a person who has died as a direct result of the disaster.

You can check your eligibility and apply for assistance by visiting the Department of Human Services website or calling the hotline on 180 22 66.

Disaster Recovery Allowance

The DRA provides income support payments for up to 13 weeks in varying amounts depending on need. Applicants have to be in a designated local government area and show that they’ve lost income because of the disaster.

Eligibility and assistance can be found by visiting the Department of Human Services website or calling the hotline on 180 22 66.

National Bushfire Recovery Fund

The Australian government has established a $2 billion national bushfire recovery fund to help rebuild and support communities post disaster. A portion of that is being set aside to provide complimentary counselling sessions (up to 10) for people affected by the bushfires, including emergency services staff. The remaining money is available for grants of up to $75,000 to farm, fish and forestry regions who have been affected by the fires.

Go to the National Bushfire Recovery Agency website for details on eligibility and how to apply.

ATO Tax Payment Relief

The Australia Taxation Office (ATO) is helping with recovery from the bushfires by automatically deferring any lodgements or payments for people who live in one of the identified postcodes. They are also fast tracking any refunds that are owed to those affected.

The great thing about this ATO’s payment relief is that you don’t have to do anything to receive assistance. You will receive this payment relief automatically if you are in an identified postcode.

If your postcode isn’t on the list, call 1800 806 218 and someone at the ATO will be able to help you. Visit the ATO’s website for further information.

Queensland Government

Emergency Hardship Assistance

This grant is available to people who have been directly affected by a disaster and who can’t meet their immediate essential needs. These are things like emergency accommodation, food, clothing and medication.

Essential Services Hardship Grant

The essential services hardship grant is available to people who have lost one or more essential services due to natural disasters. This includes electricity, water and sewerage. The grant ranges from $150 per person, and up to $750 for a family for five or more.

Essential Household Contents Grant

Affected people may access this grant to replace essential household contents such as a bed, linen or a refrigerator. The grants can be up to $1,765 for single adults and up to $5,300 for couples and families.

The Structural Assistance Grant

The structural assistance grant is to help people make a one-off payment towards the repair of their home, caravan or boat in order to make it safe and secure. If you receive a grant under this program, you may receive up to $10,995 for single adults and up to $14,685 for couples and families.

For each of the Queensland grants, you can find out about the criteria for eligibility here. You can apply online via the Community Recovery Portal or by phoning the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

Australian Red Cross

Generous donations from people all over the world has enabled the Australian Red Cross to increase its emergency grant from $2,000 to $5,000 per household for people who lost their homes due to the bushfires.

The Australian Red Cross also has an injury grant for people who have been hospitalised due to the fires and a primary residence repair grant for home owners whose homes have damaged.

Find out about eligibility and how to apply here.

ABA Packages

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has put together financial assistance packages for communities impacted by natural disasters, including the bushfires and drought.

With these packages, affected bank customers can have their loan repayments deferred, fees and charges waived and existing loans restructured. This applies at many of the ABA member banks, including the big four banks – CBA, NAB, Westpac and ANZ. ING, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Bank of Queensland, Suncorp and Macquarie Bank are participants as well.

If you’ve been impacted by bushfires, or other natural disasters, ring 1800 560 685 for complimentary financial advice. Or you can visit the FPA website to be matched with a financial planner who can help.

Stapleton Finance Assistance

We aren’t as big as many others named here, but our team are still keen to do our part. So, we are setting aside blocks of time for complimentary phone consultations to work with you, members of the Stapleton Finance community and your family and friends.

Australian disaster relief options don’t have to be confusing, or overwhelming. We can help you understand the assistance that is available and the steps needed to obtain that assistance.

The first available time slots are:

9 March 2020: 9-11am and 2-4pm
16 March 2020: 9-11am and 2-4pm
23 March 2020: 9-11am and 2-4pm
30 March 2020: 9-11am and 2-4pm

You can book in for your complimentary consultation by contacting us at

Financial assistance is our stock and trade. We’re thrilled to be able to use our expertise to help you on your way to recovery. Get in touch today.


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