Following the devastating bushfires on the NSW South Coast, a range of financial assistance has been made available to help with clean up and recovery.
The Australian Red Cross is offering Immediate Assistance Grants for bushfire-affected people in financial hardship. There are four different grants available:
- Emergency Grant $20,000
- Injury Grant $7,500
- Primary Residence Repair Grant $10,000
- Re-establishment Grant $10,000 to $40,000
The Emergency Grant of $20,000 is for people whose primary place of residence has been destroyed or is permanently uninhabitable because of the 2019-20 bushfires. Your primary place of residence can be your own house or one you rent, as long as you reside there on a permanent basis. ‘Destroyed or permanently uninhabitable’ means the dwelling must be, or has been, demolished.
The Injury Grant is a one-off payment of $7,500 or $15,000 for people who have spent two days or more in hospital as a result of physical injuries or mental health issues directly caused by the 2019-20 bushfires. The hospital admission needs to have occurred within two weeks of a bushfire affecting your area.
The full amount of $15,000 is available to eligible applicants whose out-of-pocket medical costs exceed, or are likely to exceed, $7,500.
Primary Residence Repair Grant
The Primary Residence Repair Grant of $10,000 per household is for home owners whose primary place of residence was structurally damaged by fires to make sure their home is safe to live in or return to. On 12 March 2020 eligibility was extended to include destruction or damage to critical private water, septic and/or power infrastructure attached to your primary place of residence and located on your property.
The re-establishment grant of $10,000 to $40,000 is for people whose primary place of residence was destroyed or rendered permanently uninhabitable by a bushfire from July 2019. Your primary place of residence could be a house, non-permanent structure such as a mobile home or a caravan, you could have owned or rented it as long as it was where you lived.
You also need to be seeking to re-establish housing or living arrangements, have faced financial hardship as a result of the bushfires and continue to face financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of $40,000 per household is available for home owner occupiers whose primary place of residence was destroyed and who are still experiencing financial hardship.
$10,000 per household is available for people who were renting a home that was destroyed and people whose primary place of residence was a caravan or a mobile home that was destroyed.
Further information about eligibility and FAQs can be found on the Australian Red Cross website.
Applications can be made online by clicking here. Grant applications will be open until 31 December 2020.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.