Northern New South Wales Bushfires, February 2019 - Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment

Help for New Zealanders adversely affected by the Northern New South Wales Bushfires, February 2019.

You have until 20 August 2019 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas:

  • Armidale
  • Kyogle
  • Inverell
  • Tamworth
  • Tenterfield.

What is it

The ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you. It’s not for minor damage or inconvenience.

You can choose to get this payment in 2 instalments if you prefer.

Who can get it

To get the ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment 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 21 February 2020.

You also need to have been seriously affected by the fire. For example:

  • you have been seriously injured
  • you are the immediate family member of an Australian citizen who died
  • your principle place of residence has been destroyed or must be demolished
  • your principle place of residence has been declared structurally unsound
  • the interior of your principal place of residence has sustained major damage
  • damage from the fire has exposed the interior of your principal place of residence to the elements
  • the interior of your residence has been affected by sewerage contamination
  • you are the principal carer of a dependent child or you are claiming for a partner and/or dependent adult who has experienced any of the above.

For the purposes of this payment:

  • your principal place of residence is the main place where you have a right or license to normally reside - it doesn’t include holiday homes or investment properties
  • you’re a principal carer of a child if the child is your dependent and has not turned 16. The principal carer must have legal responsibility for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.

How much you can get

If you’re eligible you will get:

  • $1,000 per adult
  • $1,000 per partner or dependent adult
  • $400 for each child under 16 years of age.

How to claim

Complete the following steps to claim the ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment.

  1.  

    1. Get ready to claim

    The fastest way to claim is over the phone.

    To claim:

    Call us on 131 202 to talk to us in languages other than English.

  2.  

    2. Get your documents ready

    You may need to provide evidence to show you can get this payment. For example, proof of hospital admission or damage to your principal place of residence.

    You’ll also need to provide evidence showing your participation in the Australian tax system. For example:

    • income tax returns
    • notice of assessments, or
    • pay slips from an employer.

    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 you 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.  

    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:

    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

It’s your responsibility to decide to claim for this payment based on your personal circumstances. It’s also your responsibility to ensure that the information you provide in your claim is true and correct.

Other assistance

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.

Page last updated: 25 February 2019