Crisis and special help

There are payments and services available if you are experiencing severe financial hardship, recovering from a disaster, or in need of special assistance.

Payments to help you in a crisis

If you receive your payment by cheque, the way we pay you will change in 2016. Register your bank details through myGov, or call or visit us today.

The type of payment or assistance you may be able to get will depend on your individual circumstances.

If you already receive a income support payment, you may be able to receive an advance lump sum payment from your existing income support payment.

Crisis Payment provides a one off immediate financial payment to people who are experiencing severe financial hardship or extreme circumstances.

Special Benefit provides financial help to people who are not able to support themselves and their dependents, and cannot receive any other income support payment or benefit.

Carer Adjustment Payment is a one off payment that helps you deal with the increased care needs of a child aged under seven years who has had a sudden accident.

The Pension Loans Scheme can help you if your capital is tied up in assets and you need more income to live on. You can also apply for early release of your superannuation on specific compassionate grounds or if you are experiencing severe financial hardship.

Additional help

Our social workers can help you during difficult times by providing counselling, support and information.

Community Engagement Officers can help you access information, payments and services if you have complex needs and difficulty managing your income support requirements.

Centrepay is a voluntary bill paying service which is free for Centrelink customers. Instead of having large bills every month or quarter, your bills are paid in manageable amounts from your payment, making it easier for you to budget.

Financial Information Service is a free, confidential service that provides education and information on financial issues to all Australians.

Other government and community support services

There are a range of other organisations that provide support services and useful information you may find helpful. You can use Service Finder to locate assistance in your local area.

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Offers tips and tools to help you make the most of your money. MoneySmart also has information about charities and community organisations that can help you with:

  • one off food, transport or chemist vouchers
  • rent or accommodation
  • part payment of electricity, gas or water bills
  • food parcels or clothing
  • budgeting or referrals to other programs

For more information, read the Urgent money help section on the MoneySmart website. provides information and support including emergency and disaster assistance.

on the line provides counselling, information and referrals to relevant services.

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, you may find it helpful to talk to somebody about your mental health.

Page last updated: 6 February 2017