Help for people who can show they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of Northern New South Wales Bushfires, February 2019.
You have until 20 August 2019 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas:
What is it
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 Northern New South Wales Bushfires, February 2019.
Disaster Recovery Allowance is a taxable payment. You can ask us to withhold voluntary tax deductions from your payments.
If you get 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 Disaster Recovery Allowance you must:
- be 16 years or older at the time of the fire and not a dependent child
- be an Australian resident or hold an eligible visa
- 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 Northern New South Wales Bushfires, February 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 a member of a couple, you can both receive this payment. You and your partner will need to complete separate claim forms.
If you’re between 16 and 21 years of age, you may be able to get 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 2018:
Aged 22 years and over
|Income threshold amount|
|Single, no children||$1,046.00|
|Single, principal carer with dependent child/children||$1,591.75|
|Single, with dependent child (but not the principal carer)||$1,120.83|
|Member of a couple (each)||$956.83|
|As at 1 January 2019:
Aged 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 Disaster Recovery Allowance.
1. Get ready to claim
The fastest way to claim is over the phone.
- call us on 180 22 66 where we can take your claim, or
- print and complete the Northern New South Wales Bushfires, February 2019 – Disaster Recovery Allowance claim form, or
- go to a service centre
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.
You can submit this evidence online. We’ll tell you what else we need during the claim process.
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. You can submit your supporting documents online.
If you print and complete a claim form, you can submit it and any supporting documents:
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 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
- Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
- Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment
- Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance.
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, and
- go to our family and domestic violence webpage for more information.