- a victim of domestic violence or other extreme circumstance
- affected by a natural disaster that is not covered by the Disaster Recovery Payment
- released from prison or psychiatric confinement, or
- arrived in Australia for the first time on a refugee or humanitarian visa
Eligibility & payment rates
Eligibility for Crisis Payment
You may be eligible for Crisis Payment if you:
- have established an entitlement to or are receiving an income support payment
- meet residence requirements
- are in severe financial hardship, and
- submit your claim within 7 days after the event where you:
- have left your home and cannot return because of an extreme circumstance such as domestic violence, and you have set up or intend to set up a new home
- have left your home due to a natural disaster, and you have set up or intend to set up a new home
- remain in your home after experiencing domestic violence, and the family member responsible has left or has been removed from your home
- have served at least 14 days in prison or psychiatric confinement as a result of being charged with an offence and have just been released, or
- have arrived in Australia as a humanitarian entrant for the first time
You cannot be paid Crisis Payment if you have received a Disaster Recovery Payment or another disaster relief payment for the same event.
If you have received only in-kind assistance, such as replacement of electrical goods or the provision of food, you may still get Crisis Payment.
Each disaster is different and as a result the timing and nature of financial assistance varies. Read more about how we help in an emergency.
Severe financial hardship
You are considered to be in severe financial hardship if:
- you are a member of a couple, and your available funds are less than twice the equivalent of 2 weeks of the maximum payment rate of the income support payments, or
- you are not a member of a couple, and your available funds are less than the fortnightly equivalent of 2 weeks of the maximum payment rate of your income support payment
Amount and frequency of Crisis Payment
Crisis Payment is a one off payment equal to 1 week’s payment at your existing income support payment rate. The Crisis Payment does not include extra allowances or supplements.
If you are already receiving or qualify for a payment from us, with the exception of Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit, you may be able to get Crisis Payment as an extra payment.
You can usually only get Crisis Payment 4 times within any 12 months. If you are:
- a newly arrived migrant with a refugee or humanitarian visa, you can claim this payment once
- a released prisoner, the number of times you can claim this payment is not limited, but you must be eligible for a primary payment, for example Newstart Allowance, on each occasion to be eligible for Crisis Payment
Residence requirements for Crisis Payment
To be eligible for Crisis Payment you must meet the residence requirements of your income support payment and:
- be in Australia at the time of crisis and when you submit your claim, or
- have returned to Australia and claimed within 7 days of being released from a prison outside Australia
What to do if your account is overdrawn
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
Services for Crisis Payment
Help in your language
We can help you if you speak a language other than English.
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.
- Managing your money helps you control your money to help you achieve your goals, manage on a low income and know where to go for urgent money help
- Borrowing & credit provides information on loans, credit cards, other types of credit such as interest free deals and rent to buy, information about credit reports and credit repair and what to do if you are having trouble with debt
- Superannuation & retirement helps you get the most out of your super
- Investing guides you through the basic principles of investing and how to find a good financial adviser
- Scams explains how scams work, how to identify different scams and what to do if you have been scammed
- Life events & you provides information tailored to your situation including under 25s, families and over 55s
- Tools & resources provides handy tools, calculators, publications, audio files and quizzes including a budget planner, retirement planner and mobile apps