Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Media release: Bushfire disaster payment applications closing soon

9 July 2020

The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

The Hon David Littleproud MP

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management

Australians wishing to claim Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance for the 2019 bushfire season should put in their applications quickly, as closing dates are coming up soon.

Services Australia has so far paid out more than $283 million in bushfire assistance for the 2019-20 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires.

The total includes more than $233 million in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments (AGDRP), more than $15.9 million in Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) and around $34.7 million in Additional Payments for Children (APC).

However, with the six month claiming period drawing to a close, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud and Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert, urged anyone who hasn’t yet claimed, to get in quick.

‘The payments are designed to be immediate assistance for people trying to get their lives back together in the aftermath of natural disaster like last summer’s bushfires,’ Minister Littleproud said.

‘The closing date varies for each State and Territory, so I’d advise people to check the Services Australia website to find out more about the eligibility criteria and exactly how much time is left.’

Minister Robert said the fastest and easiest way to make a claim was over the phone by calling 180 22 66.

‘Staff on the 180 22 66 hotline have answered over 340,000 calls and processed over 229,000 claims for disaster payments since September 2019, with the line open from 8am to 5pm local time Monday to Friday .’

For more information on emergency payments, eligibility criteria, and how to claim, go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster

BACKGROUND:

Financial Assistance

AGDRP is available to eligible people whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed or who were seriously injured or lost an immediate family member in the fires. The payment is $1,000 for adults and $400 for each eligible child.

DRA is available for those eligible people who lost income as a direct result of the fires. The payment is the equivalent of JobSeeker Payment and is based on a person’s circumstances.

APC is paid automatically to an adult who is eligible for AGDRP who also has a child in their care.

Communication

Services Australia is also implementing a range of communication tactics to inform people of the upcoming end date for claims. These include:

  • website information
  • social media posts
  • information for local stakeholders to share within their communities
  • sharing information through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency’s communication channels.

Summary of claims as at 5 July 2020

Event What can you claim Closing date Total claims - rounded to nearest dollar Additional Payments for Children
Tasmanian Bushfires – December 2019 Disaster Recovery Allowance 10 July 2020 $31,370 $2,000
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment 16 July 2020
Queensland Bushfires – September 2019 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment 16 July 2020 $2,304,097 $565,600
Total for both Queensland events
South Australian Bushfires – November 2019 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment 16 July 2020 $2,500,140 $230,000
Disaster Recovery Allowance 12 August 2020
NSW Bushfires – September 2019 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment 4 August 2020 $233,764,108 $32,151,200
Disaster Recovery Allowance
Victorian Bushfires – December 2019 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment 4 August 2020 $9,819,700 $927,600
Disaster Recovery Allowance
Eastern Queensland Bushfires – November 2019 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment 4 August 2020 $763,301 ($565,600)
Total for both Queensland events
Disaster Recovery Allowance
ACT Bushfires – December 2019 Disaster Recovery Allowance 12 August 2020 $51,664 n/a

Page last updated: 10 July 2020