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A one off payment if you’re in severe financial hardship and extreme circumstances.
- be eligible for an income support payment from us, and
- have severe financial hardship, and
- have an extreme life change such as leaving a violent relationship, getting out of jail or being a refugee, or
- go through a natural disaster not covered by the specific Disaster Recovery Payment
1. Eligibility Crisis Payment
You need to meet eligibility requirements to get Crisis Payment, and how much you'll get.
Crisis Payment can help if you are in severe financial hardship and:
- are experiencing family and domestic violence
- have been released after 14 days from prison or psychiatric confinement as a result of an offence
- are a Humanitarian entrant in Australia for the first time
- go through a natural disaster not covered by the Disaster Recovery Payment
- are eligible for an income support payment - not including Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Subsidy.
Severe financial hardship
You’re in severe financial hardship if you’re:
- single and your funds total less than 2 weeks of the highest rate of your income support payment
- part of a couple and your funds total less than 4 weeks of the highest rate of your income support payment.
Other rules to meet
You must call us on the Help in an emergency line within 7 days of your crisis.
You must meet residence rules.
Who can’t get it
You can’t get Crisis Payment if you’ve received a Disaster Recovery Payment or another disaster relief payment for the same event.
Help in an emergency
Each disaster is different so the timing and type of financial help varies.
If you only got in-kind help, like new electrical goods or food, you can still claim for Crisis Payment.
Read more about how we help in an emergency.
How much Crisis Payment you can get
The amount you can get depends on the income support payment you get.
This one off payment is equal to a week’s pay at your existing income support payment rate.
It doesn’t include extra allowances or supplements.
How often you can claim
The number of times you can get Crisis Payment depends on the reason you’re making the claim. If you:
- have arrived in Australia on a refugee or humanitarian visa, you can only claim once
- are a released prisoner you can claim each time you leave prison - you must be in custody for more than 14 days and remain eligible for an income support payment each time you claim
- are going through extreme circumstances, you can get up to 4 payments over 12 months
Residence rules for Crisis Payment
On the day you claim Crisis Payment you must meet the residence rules of your income support payment.
You must also:
- be in Australia when the event occurred, and when you submit your claim, or
- have returned to Australia and claimed within 7 days of being released from a prison outside Australia
2. Claiming Crisis Payment
You can claim Crisis Payment if you’re experiencing difficult or extreme circumstances.
Before you start
Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim. To do this call us on your main payment line within 7 days of your crisis.
Start your claim
Download and complete the claim form for your situation:
- Claim for Crisis Payment - extreme circumstances and domestic violence form
- Claim for Crisis Payment - humanitarian entrants form
- Claim for Crisis Payment - prison release and anticipated payment form – if you have a Prison Liaison Officer, you don’t need to complete this form
If you don’t have access to a printer
Submit your claim
You need to give us:
- your claim form
- any other documents we’ve asked for
Submit other documents
If we ask you to confirm your identity, you’ll need to do this at a service centre within 14 days.
If you leave prison, we ask you to complete a Crisis Payment – prison release receipt form. This is only if you get a Crisis Payment when you leave prison and we ask you to.
If you can’t provide the documents we ask for now, submit the claim and give us the documents when you can.
Wait for the results
We’ll tell you:
- if we accept your claim
- when we will pay you
- how much you’ll get
You have the right to appeal our decision. Read about reviews and appeals.
Confirm your identity
Confirm your identity when you claim a payment or service.
What are common documents to confirm identity
You need to give us these original documents to confirm your identity:
- 1 Commencement document to confirm your birth or arrival in Australia
- 1 Primary document to show the use of your identity in the community
- 1 Secondary document to show the use of your identity in the community.
At least 1 of these documents must have a photo of you on it. The documents must show the same name as your claim. If you can’t do this, you need to give evidence you’ve changed your name.
We can’t accept:
- copies or certified copies
- expired documents, except an expired Australian Passport for up to 3 years from the expiry date
- Australia Post Keypass identity card
- the same document twice.
If you can’t give us the documents we need, tell us. We’ll talk to you about other options.
We may ask you to give us documents again if you claim another payment or we review your circumstances.
Jenny uses her Australian passport as her Commencement document to prove her birth or arrival in Australia. This means Jenny can’t use her passport as a Primary or Secondary document. She’ll need to use other documents from the list.
Commencement documents to confirm your birth or arrival in Australia
You must give us 1 of the following.
|Australian birth certificate||A full birth certificate in your name or former name issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages. We can’t accept birth extracts or birth cards.||No|
|Australian visa||A current resident or tourist visa issued in your name or former name. We can’t accept expired visas.||No|
|Australian citizenship certificate||Issued in your name or former name. If your name appears on your parents’ certificate, you can use that.||No|
|ImmiCard||A card issued in your name or former name by the Department of Home Affairs.||Yes|
|Australian passport||Issued in your name or former name, within 3 years of the expiry date.||Yes|
|Certificate of identity||Issued in your name or former name by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.||Yes|
|Document of identity||Issued in your name or former name by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.||Yes|
Primary documents to show the use of your identity in the community
You must give us either:
- another Commencement document
- 1 of the following.
|Australian driver licence - motor vehicle||A current licence issued in your name with your photo or signature. We can accept current a learner permit and provisional licence.||Yes|
|Australian marriage certificate||Issued by a state or territory government. We can’t accept ceremonial, church or celebrant issued certificates.||No|
|Foreign passport||A current passport issued by another country, with a valid entry stamp or visa.||Yes|
|Proof of age card||Issued by a state or territory government in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Shooter or firearm licence||A current licence, issued in your name with your photo or signature. We can’t accept minor or junior permits or licences.||Yes|
|Secondary student ID card||A current ID card, issued in your name with your photo or signature. You can only use this if you're under 18 and don’t have the other documents.||Yes|
Secondary documents to show the use of your identity in the community
You must give us either:
- another Commencement document
- another Primary document
- 1 of the following.
|Security licence||A current security protection industry or crowd control licence. It must be in your name and show your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Bank or financial institution card, statement or passbook||Issued by a bank, credit union or building society. Cards Statements or passbooks must be current, in your name. Your signature must be on the card and your current address on the statement or passbook. We can’t accept documents from foreign banks or institutions.||No|
|Child’s birth certificate||Australian birth certificate with your name as a parent or guardian.||No|
|Defence Force identity card||Issued by the Australian Defence Force and shows your name and photo or signature.||Yes|
|Australian divorce papers||In your name or former name. For example, a Decree Nisi or Decree Absolute.||No|
|Educational certificate||From an Australian school, TAFE, university or Registered Training Organisation. This must be in your name or former name.||No|
|Certified academic transcript||From an Australian university in your name or former name.||No|
|Mortgage papers||For an Australian property in your name or former name. These need to be legally drawn.||No|
|Name change||Legal change of name or deed poll certificate.||No|
|Veterans’ Affairs card||A current card issued in your name.||No|
|Tenancy agreement or lease||A current formal agreement or lease in your name and showing your address.||No|
|Motor vehicle registration||Current registration papers with your name, address and proof of payment.||No|
|Documents issued by foreign governments||Foreign birth, marriage or education certificate. Driver licence, national identity card or a lapsed passport.||No|
|Australian government issued photo ID card||A current photo ID card issued by the Commonwealth, state or territory in your name.||Yes|
|Rates notice||A paid rates notice issued in your name with your address that is less than 12 months old.||No|
Water, gas, electricity or phone account with a receipt number. This must be in your name, show your address and be less than 12 months old. Must be a paid account.
|Student ID card||
A current student ID card from an Australian secondary school, TAFE, university or Registered Training Organisation. It must have your name with your photo or signature.
|Electoral enrolment||Proof of enrolment card in your name and showing your address.||No|
|Aviation security identity card||A current card issued in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Maritime security identity card||A current card issued in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Police identity card||A current card issued in your name with your photo or signature.||Yes|
|Prison release certificate||In your name with your photo or signature.||No|
|Tangentyere Community ID card||A current card issued in your name and with your photo.||Yes|
How to submit your documents
To confirm your identity, you’ll need to give us your original identity documents. You can do this at either:
- a service centre
- an Agent or Access Point.
If we can’t confirm your identity, we’ll ask you:
We must confirm your identity before you can make a claim.
Once we verify your photo identity, you can give us the other identity documents online. You can do this when you claim:
- Newstart Allowance
- Youth Allowance
- Age Pension
- Carer Payment
- Carer Allowance
- Parenting Payment.
You can also give us the other identity documents online, if you apply for one of these concession cards:
- Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card
- Foster Child Health Care Card
- Low Income Health Care Card.
What happens if you have an authorised nominee
We understand sometimes people can’t visit a service centre. You may be able to confirm your identity through an authorised nominee.
How to change or correct your legal name
It’s important to tell us if you change your legal name.
To change or correct your legal name, we’ll need an original document issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages. We can’t accept copies or certified copies.
When you need to confirm a partner's identity
We need to confirm both your and your partner's identity, if you're claiming:
- Parenting Payment
- Low Income Health Care Card
- Farm Household Allowance.
If we’ve already confirmed your partner’s identity, we may not need further documents from them.
3. Resources Crisis Payment
Tools, information and other services we offer.
Payment and Service Finder
Select the options that describe your circumstances. Then explore a list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Payment and Service Finder can help you work out amounts of:
- Centrelink payments, including pensions and allowances
- Family Tax Benefit
- Child care fee assistance.
To work out how much money you may get, answer the questions and choose a payment you want to estimate.
Start using Payment and Service Finder.
Services in a crisis
We can help you if you're going through family and domestic violence or extreme circumstances.
Manage your money
We’ve got tips and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.
Help in your language
We can help you with translated information or you can speak with a skilled bilingual service officer.