The Albanese Government has today announced the rollout of disaster payments from tomorrow for eligible residents in 23 local government areas (LGAs) affected by severe storms and flooding.
The wild weather has continued to impact large areas of Metropolitan Sydney and the east coast of New South Wales since its resurgence in recent weeks.
Claimants can access the disaster payment via the MyGov portal from 2pm Thursday 7 July.
Claimants can also call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66 from 2 pm Thursday.
Essentially an extension of the payment announced for Queensland and Northern NSW residents earlier in the year, claimants submit a questionnaire and information on how floods impacted their household.
Are you eligible?
Under the one-off Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, $1,000 will be granted per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.
The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) has also been made available to assist employees and sole traders who experience a loss of income as a direct results of a major disaster and is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks. DRA is taxable.
To meet the eligibility requirements, residents claiming the Disaster Payment must have been impacted in the suburbs of Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Canterbury Bankstown, Campbelltown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Kiama, Lithgow, Liverpool, Northern Beaches, Penrith, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, The Hills, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Wollongong.
Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens ('non-protected' Special Category Visas, subclass 444 holders) affected by the floods.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the communities resilience has been tested time and time again over the last few years.
"It’s heartbreaking to think that for many people this is the third or fourth time in 18 months that their lives have been disrupted by a natural disaster of this magnitude," Mr Albanese said.
"I want everyone in a flood affected region to know that the Commonwealth stands ready and committed to provide support now and through the recovery."
For emergency help in storms call the State Emergency Service on 132 500. Alternatively, visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au. In a life-threatening emergency call 000 (triple zero).
Australian banks lending a hand
Prior to the government announcement Wednesday, three of Australia's leading banks declared their own Emergency Assistance packages.
On Monday the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and ANZ vowed to deliver their own financial support and assistance to customers affected by flood water. NAB followed suit releasing its financial support measures on Tuesday.
CBA has outlined a range of options for it customers as part of their Emergency Assistance including:
- Customised payment arrangements for your home loan, credit card, personal loan and some business loans.
- Waiving fees and charges.
- Temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval).
- Waiving fees and notice periods for early access to Term Deposits.
- For CommInsure customers, we are able to assist with emergency accommodation if your home has been damaged.
- Loan restructuring for business customers and existing loans.
- Waiving fees for temporary and damaged merchant EFTPOS terminals, as well as support with merchant terminal rental fees.
- We can also expedite claims to CommInsure for customers seeking help through their home and contents insurance.
CBA is encouraging those affected to visit their nearest Commonwealth Bank branch, contact the bank using the CommBank app or to phone 1800 314 695 to discuss their individual circumstances.
ANZ has taken a similar approach, announcing a financial relief package available to its affected customers.
Measures outlined within the relief package include:
- Short-term payment relief on home loans, credit cards, personal loans and some business loans (we may still charge interest during this period)
- Waiving fees for restructuring business loans
- Waiving fees for accessing term deposits early
ANZ customers affected by the floods are encouraged to visit their local branch when it is safe to do so, or to contact their relationship manager to discuss the impact on their business or personal circumstances.
The bank is urging customers who have been affected by flood waters to get in touch to consider a range of financial relief measures, including:
- Loan deferral or reduced repayment arrangements for home, personal and some business loans.
- Deferring upcoming credit card payments.
- Waiving and/or refunding fees and charges, including for example: merchant terminal fees and early access fee to term deposits.
NAB customers can visit their nearest open branch, where it is safe to do so, contact their banker directly, or call NAB Assist on:
- 1300 308 132 for personal customers (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, or 9am to 1pm Saturday AEST/AEDT);
- 1300 769 650 for business customers (8am to 5pm Monday to Friday AEST/AEDT)Visit nab.com.au/disaster.
- Agri customers who need help can contact their banker.
Photo by Jim Gade via Unsplash