Crisis Payment and disasters
Crisis Payment is different from an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.
You may claim Crisis Payment if you have been affected by a disaster and you have not received, or are not qualified for, Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment or another disaster relief payment for the same event.
To discuss crisis and special help, call us on 131 794 (Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 5.00 pm) to speak directly with a Social Worker, or to make an appointment to see a Social Worker at your local DHS Service Centre.
Help in your language
We can help you if you speak a language other than English.
You may be able to receive Crisis Payment if you:
- are a victim of domestic violence or other extreme circumstance, or
- have been affected by a natural disaster that is not covered by the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, or
- have been released from prison or psychiatric confinement, or
- have arrived in Australia for the first time on a refugee or humanitarian visa.
You must make your claim for Crisis Payment within seven days of experiencing the difficult circumstance. You must also be eligible for an income-support payment.
You cannot receive Crisis Payment if you are eligible for or have received another state or Commonwealth disaster payment for the same emergency.
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.
You need to know
Eligibility for Crisis Payment
You may be eligible for Crisis Payment if:
- you are receiving a social-security payment, and
- you are in severe financial hardship, and
- you submit your claim for Crisis Payment within seven days after the event that led you to claim, and
- you have left your home and cannot return, because of an extreme circumstance, such as domestic violence or a house fire, and you have set up or intend to set up a new home, or
- you remain in your home after experiencing domestic violence, and the family member responsible has left or has been removed from your home, or
- you have served at least 14 days in prison or psychiatric confinement and have just been released, or
- you have arrived in Australia as a humanitarian entrant for the first time.
Note: You cannot be paid Crisis Payment if you have received an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment or another disaster relief payment for the same event.
Payment rate for Crisis Payment
Crisis Payment is a one-off payment, equal to one week’s payment at your existing income-support payment rate. The payment does not include extra allowances or supplements.
Note: If you are already receiving or qualify for a payment from us (except Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit), you get Crisis Payment as an extra payment.
Number of Crisis Payments
The number of times you can get Crisis Payment is usually limited to four in any 12 months.
As a humanitarian entrant, you can get only one payment under this category.
If you are a released prisoner, the number of payments is not limited.
Residency requirements for Crisis Payment
To lodge a claim and qualify for Crisis Payment, you must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day you lodge your claim.
To qualify, you must be living in Australia permanently as:
- an Australian citizen, or
- the holder of a permanent resident visa, or
- a New Zealand citizen who was in Australia on 26 February 2001, or for 12 months in the two years immediately before that date, or was assessed as protected before 26 February 2004, or
- the holder of a specified visa sub-class, including a humanitarian entrant
Claiming Crisis Payment
You must submit your claim for Crisis Payment within seven days after the event that caused the crisis.
Documentation for Crisis Payment
Once you submit your claim, you will need to provide proof of identity.
We will tell you if there are other documents and forms you need to provide. You will need to submit these within 14 days. The sooner we receive your documents, the sooner we can process your claim.
Services for Crisis Payment
Our staff are trained to provide assistance to people receiving Crisis Payment, especially families and children experiencing domestic violence and people in extreme circumstances.
We will help you access the range of payments and support services available.
Find out more about the services available: