A NSW free from poverty and inequality

Bushfire Relief Assistance Resource

There are a number of supports available to individuals and communities impacted by the current bushfire crisis in NSW.  We have compiled a resource to assist you to access these supports. This resource is a living document and will be updated regularly.

Please note that NCOSS is a peak body and cannot directly provide people with assistance for bushfire relief. Below are details of key services that can provide immediate assistance. For those people looking to volunteer or donate, information can be found here.

Where to get assistance with bushfire relief

Replacing damaged documents (licences, permits, certificates)
Financial support
Housing
Insurance
Phone and mobile
Food and clothing
Child care
Pets and livestock
Counselling
Legal assistance
National Disability Insurance Scheme

 

For general information on Disaster Assistance in NSW, visit the NSW Office of Emergency Management website or call the Disaster Welfare Line on 1800 019 444. The Office of Emergency Management is also hosting community recovery meetings at these locations.

 

Replacing damaged documents (licences, permits, certificates)

Financial support

  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment ($1000 per adult, $400 for each child under 16) and can be claimed by people adversely affected by bushfires in August 2019 through to January 2020. Call 180 22 66 to apply by 5 July 2020.

  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance is available for people who lost income due to bushfires in August 2019 through to January 2020. The allowance is provided at the equivalent rate to Newstart or Youth Allowance payments for a maximum of 13 weeks. Call 180 22 66 to apply by 1 July 2020.

  • NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants are available for eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster and are uninsured. Call the Disaster Welfare Line on 1800 019 444 to apply.

  • NSW Government Disaster Recovery Grants of up to $15,000 are available for eligible primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in areas affected by the bushfires occurring from 31 August 2019. Apply online here.

  • The Australian Red Cross is offering emergency grants of $5000 to people whose primary place of residence has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable as the result of bushfires from 1 July 2019 to 28 February 2020. Apply online here.

  • Commonwealth Bank customers, including businesses, impacted by bushfires are eligible for emergency assistance packages which can include emergency accommodation, expedited CommInsure claims, loans assistance and waived fees. Call 1300 720 814 for assistance.

  • NAB customers who have lost their homes due to bushfires can apply for a $2000 grant. NAB business customers with significant damage to income-producing assets can also apply for a $2000 grant and other supports. Call 1300 683 106 for assistance.

  • ANZ customers affected by bushfires are eligible for financial assistance packages which can include temporary suspension of loan repayments and interest rate relief, and emergency funds and accommodation for ANZ Home and Contents insurance customers. Call 1800 149 549 for assistance.

  • Westpac customers affected by bushfires are eligible for disaster relief packages that can include grants up to $2000, deferring loan and credit repayments, and emergency funds and accommodation for Westpac Home and Contents insurance customers. For Westpac mortgage customers who have lost their principal place of residence, Westpac will pay the customer's mortgage repayments for one year (up to $1200 per month). Call 1800 067 497 for assistance.

Housing

  • The NSW Government has established the Bushfire Housing Assistance Service to support people who are temporarily or permanently displaced as a result of the bushfires. The service can help with sourcing housing,  emergency accommodation, rental bonds, advance rent costs. Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

  • Airbnb’s Open Homes program is offering free, temporary accommodation for people displaced by bushfires or helping with relief efforts between 1 January 2020 and 31 January 2020. Search for accommodation here and open an Airbnb account to book.

  • Find-A-Bed is a service where households that can offer to host and people who need a place to stay can connect. People are matched based on their needs, including their pets. Find out more about how it works here.

  • Renters have rights if their home is damaged by disaster. The Tenants Union have advice on disaster damage for renters hereEnter your postcode here to contact your local Tenants’ Advice & Advocacy Service for assistance.

Insurance

  • The Insurance Council of Australia is operating a 24-hour hotline to help people impacted by the bushfires with general information about claims and recovery. Call on 1800 734 621 for assistance.

  • The Insurance Australia Group (IAG) are contacting their customers (including customers of NRMA, CGU, WFI, RACV) within impacted communities to offer emergency accommodation and financial assistance. Call IAG insurers for assistance:

    • NRMA Insurance: 13 11 23

    • CGU Insurance: 13 24 80

    • WFI Insurance: 1300 251 527

    • RACV Insurance: 13 72 28

Phone and mobile

  • Telstra customers impacted by bushfires are eligible for relief packages which can include one-off phone credit and free diversion from an affected phone service to another service, regardless of carrier. Volunteer firefighters can also get their mobile phone bills waived for December 2019 and January 2020. Call 132 203 to register.

  • Optus customers impacted by bushfires are eligible for financial assistance which can include free prepaid credit, bill waivers in extreme cases, and free diversion from an affected phone service to another service, regardless of carrier. Volunteer firefighters can also get their mobile phone bills waived for December 2019 and January 2020. Call 1300 301 671 to register.

  • Vodafone customers who are volunteer firefighters can get their mobile phone bills waived for December 2019 and January 2020. Call 1300 650 410 to register.

Food and clothing

Child care

  • Families and child care providers impacted by bushfires are eligible for assistance from the Australian Government, including child care subsidy payments when a child is absent from a session of care they would normally attend, and discounted fees. Families seeking subsidies should apply through their Centrelink online account and child care providers should contact the Department of Education CCS Help Desk on 1300 667 276.

Pets and livestock

  • RSPCA NSW staff are at evacuation centres across NSW, helping people keep their pets and livestock safe. They are also delivering pet supplies to bushfire emergency relief centres. Check their Facebook page or call on 1300 278 3589 for more information.

  • Animal safe places have been assessed by NSW Agriculture and Animal Services for safety and suitability for people who have no other arrangements in place and need to relocate their animals, including larger animals such as horses, cattle and sheep. Check the list of animal safe places here.

Counselling

Legal assistance

  • Legal Aid NSW/LawAccess are operating a Disaster Recovery Hotline to offer free legal advice to people affected by the bushfires. Call 1800 801 529 for assistance.

  • The Financial Rights Legal Centre have developed a bushfire insurance guide available here and can also provide advice through the Insurance Law Service. Call 1300 663 464 for assistance. 

  • Community legal centres are operating on the ground in affected communities to provide generalist and specialist advice, including financial counselling and tenancy advice. As well as local services, specialist centres are providing legal help with a range of immediate issues relating to bushfire impacts, including insurance claims, tenancy, and social security. More information can be found here, and contact details for local centres are below. 

Office in Nowra, with outreach services to Eden and Ulladulla.
Phone: 1800 229 529
 
Office in Moruya (near Bateman’s Bay), with financial counselling and tenancy services available for people from the Illawarra down to the Victorian border.
Phone: 4276 1939
 
Offices in Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
Phone: 6580 2111
 
Office in Katoomba, with outreach services to Bathurst and Lithgow
Phone: 1300 363 967
 

National Disability Insurance Scheme

  • The NDIA website provides downloadable accessible and Easy Read Bushfire Information and Support resources and other information regarding access to NDIS in impacted areas.

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