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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 experiencing family and domestic violence
- have been released after 14 days from prison or psychiatric confinement as a result of an offence
- have severe financial hardship
- 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
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.
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
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
Before you start your claim check if you’re eligible. You must call us within 7 days of your crisis.
- find out what you need before you start your claim
- fill in your claim form
- submit the form and other documents we ask for
- wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result
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.
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.