Victorian Bushfires - December 2019 - Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
Support for eligible people adversely affected by the bushfires in Victoria in December 2019 and January 2020.
You have until 20 July 2020 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas:
- East Gippsland
What is it
The Australian Government 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 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment you must:
- be an Australian resident or hold an eligible visa
- be 16 years or older at the time of the fire or getting a social security payment
- haven’t already received an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for the Victorian Bushfires, December 2019.
You also need to have been adversely affected by the fire. For example:
- you’ve been seriously injured
- you're the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died
- your principal place of residence has been destroyed or must be demolished
- 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
- your principal place of residence has been declared structurally unsound
- the interior of your residence has been affected by sewage contamination
- a major asset or assets you own located at your principal place of residence has or have been destroyed or suffered major damage from the fire
- you're the principal carer of a dependent child 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.
- A major asset is an asset or assets with a combined market value of $20,000 or more. For example, this can include buildings, vehicles, caravans, water tanks or large scale machinery.
- You’re a principal carer of a child if the child is your dependent and hasn’t turned 16. The principal carer must have legal responsibility for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.
If you’re a member of a couple, you can both receive this payment. You and your partner will need to complete separate claim.
You can’t claim on behalf of a person who has died or their estate.
How much you can get
If you’re eligible you’ll get:
- $1,000 per adult
- $400 for each child younger than 16.
Additional Payment for Children
The Additional Payment for Children is a one-off payment of $400 per child.
If you got or will get the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for this bushfire event, you’ll automatically get the Additional Payment for Children. There’s nothing else you need to do. We’ll pay this into your bank account automatically.
How to claim
Complete the following steps to claim the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.
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.
To claim, either:
- call us on 180 22 66 where we can take your claim
- print and complete the Victorian Bushfires, December 2019 – Disaster Recovery Payment claim form
- 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 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.
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. We’ll tell you how to do it during the claim process.
You'll 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. Call us on 180 22 66.
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
- 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
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.
What other services are available
- Disaster Recovery Allowance
- 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.
Page last updated: 23 January 2020