Eastern Queensland Bushfires - November 2019 - Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance
Help for New Zealanders who can show they have a loss of income as a direct result of the bushfires occurring in November 2019 in eastern Queensland.
You have until 21 May 2020 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas:
- Gold Coast
- Lockyer Valley
- Scenic Rim
- Southern Downs
What is it
Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income.
You can get it for a maximum of 13 weeks. It’s payable from the date you lose income as a direct result of the Eastern Queensland Bushfires, November 2019.
Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance is a taxable payment. You can ask us to withhold voluntary tax deductions from your payments.
If you get ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance you might be able to access Beneficiary Tax Offset. This reduces the amount of tax you may have to pay. You’ll need to contact the Australian Taxation Office to find out more about this.
Who can get it
To get the ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance you must:
- be a non-protected SCV (subclass 444) holder and a ‘non-resident’ under the Social Security Act 1991, and
- have paid tax in Australia for at least one year in the past three financial years or will do so before 22 November 2020.
You must also:
- be 16 years or older at the time of the fire and not a dependent child
- get an income by working in an affected Local Government Area or live in an affected Local Government Area
- lose income as a direct result of the Eastern Queensland Bushfires, November 2019
- show you will earn less than the relevant income threshold amount in the fortnight following the loss of income.
You must not get the following payments for the same period you’re claiming this payment:
- an income support payment or pension
- Parental Leave Pay
- Dad and Partner Pay
- ABSTUDY living allowance
- Farm Household Allowance, or
- a Service Pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
If you’re between 16 and 21 years of age, you may be able to get ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance if you’re considered independent.
We’ll look at:
- your income
- personal circumstances, and
- whether you’re dependent on anyone, such as an adult who has legal responsibility for your care and provides financial assistance.
How much you can get
If you’re independent, we’ll determine your maximum rate of payment by your:
- accommodation, and
- personal circumstances.
The income threshold is the most you can earn in the fortnight after your loss of income. You need to show you’ll earn less than the relevant threshold amount in that period.
|As at 20 September 2019: 22 years and over||Income threshold amount|
|Single, no children||$1,060.67|
|Single, principal carer with dependent child/children||$1,615.75|
|Single, with dependent child (but not the principal carer)||$1,136.83|
|Member of a couple (each)||$970.17|
|As at 1 January 2019: 16 - 21 years||Income threshold amount|
|Single, under 18 years, no children, at home||$576.17|
|Single, over 18 years and under 22 years, no children, at home||$660.50|
|Single, under 22 years, no children, required to live away from home||$919.50|
|Single, with children||$1,155.00|
|Member of a couple, no children (away from home)||$919.50|
|Member of a couple, with children||$994.00|
How to claim
Complete the following steps to claim the ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance.
1. Get ready to claim
The fastest way to claim is over the phone.
To claim, either:
- call us on 180 22 66 where we can take your claim
- print and complete the Eastern Queensland Bushfires, November 2019 – Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance claim form, or
- go to a service centre.
Phone lines are open:
- 8 am to 8 pm (local time) Monday to Friday and
- 8 am to 5 pm (local time) Saturday and Sunday
- 8 am to 5 pm (local time) on the Australia Day Public Holiday.
Call us on 131 202 to talk to us in languages other than English.
2. Get your documents ready
You’ll need to provide evidence supporting the claimed loss of income. For example:
- pay slips from an employer
- bank statements showing previous bank deposits from an employer
- a letter from your employer
- profit and loss statements
- income tax returns, or
- other account documents identifying cash flow.
If you’re having trouble getting these documents you should still lodge a claim without delay. You can provide your supporting documents to us within 28 days.
You may also need to confirm your identity. You can’t do this online. We’ll advise you how to do it during the claim process.
You will need to provide one document showing Proof of Birth or Proof of Arrival in Australia. Alternatively, you can provide any other approved documents that add up to the value of 50 points. For example:
- driver’s licence (40 points)
- bank card/statement (40 points)
- Medicare card (20 points).
3. Submit your claim
Remember, the fastest way to claim is over the phone.
If you print and complete a claim form, you can submit it and any supporting documents:
- in person at a service centre
- by faxing them to 1300 727 760, or
- by posting them to:
Emergency Processing Centre
Reply Paid 7815
Canberra BC ACT 2610
Please make sure your name is on your supporting documents so we can identify them.
How to manage your payment
If you get ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance you will need to:
- report your income fortnightly, and
- report any changes to your circumstances.
The quickest way to report your income is by calling 180 22 66.
It’s your responsibility to decide to claim this payment based on your personal circumstances. It’s also your responsibility to make sure the information you provide in your claim is true and correct.
You’ll need to update your income estimate if you’re:
- getting Family Tax Benefit, or
- have a current Child Support assessment in place.
What other services are available
- Disaster Recovery Allowance
- Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
- Ex-gratia Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.
For further assistance search Payment and Service Finder. If you’re affected by family and domestic violence:
- call us on 132 850 and ask to speak with one of our departmental social workers - 8 am and 5 pm (local time) Monday to Friday
- go to our family and domestic violence webpage for more information.
Page last updated: 23 January 2020