Commonwealth assistance for people affected by the floods
Links in bold and Italics
The Federal Government has announced that people from 26 LCA’s in Queensland and New South Wales are eligible to apply for financial assistance via Services Australia.
Northern New South Wales:
The government has initiated the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child to support people impacted by the floods in the affected local government areas.
The ADGRP is a one-off, non-means tested payment that is available to eligible people who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or suffered serious injuries.
The Federal Government has also announced that the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) will also be provided into the 26 affected local government areas.
The DRA helps employees and small business owners who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster. The DRA provides for a maximum of 13 weeks’ payment from the date you ha loss of income experienced as a direct result of a disaster. The payment is set at the maximum equivalent rate of Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance, as is dependent on your personal circumstances, and is taxable.
Residents in affected areas can claim support online via myGov, or by calling Services Australia on 180 22 66.
Queensland government assistance for people affected by the floods.
The Queensland Government is currently offering Emergency Hardship Assistance Grants to support flood-affected communities around the state. Grants of up to $180 per person, and a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, are available to eligible people experiencing financial hardship as a result of the floods.
The grants are available for the following LCA’s:
For more information on Emergency Hardship Assistance, Queensland people can contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349, or visit the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Portal.
A number of other joint state and federally-funded grants are also available for Queensland residents affected by the floods. These include:
For more information on each of the above grants, including eligibility criteria, Queensland residents can contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349, or visit the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Portal.
NSW government assistance available for people affected by the floods
NSW residents affected by recent severe storms and flooding may be eligible for a state government Disaster Relief Grant. According to the NSW Government, you may be eligible for financial support if all of the following apply:
You may not be eligible if either of the following apply:
To apply for this payment, call 13 77 88 and ask about the Disaster Relief Grant administered by Resilience NSW.
The NSW Government is also offering disaster recovery assistance payments for businesses in eligible local government areas that have been affected by storms and floods, and a variety of grants and loans may be available for people affected by natural disasters.
If you have a small business or not-for-profit organisation that was directly impacted by the NSW storms and floods from from 9 November 2021 onwards, you may be eligible for a storm and flood disaster recovery small business grant.
Other government assistance is available for disaster victims?
Aside from the Disaster Recovery Payment, Services Australia has a list of other types of payments that are available for people affected by natural disasters, including:
Good Shepherd offers No Interest Loans (NILs) to people in financial hardship.
Assistance that are banks offering to people affected by the floods
Australia’s big four banks are all offering assistance to people affected by the floods in Queensland and northern New South Wales, with some providing cash grants to affected customers and others offering short-term payment relief.
National Australia Bank (NAB)
NAB is offering $1,000 grants to customers in Queensland who have been directly affected by the floods. Current support available includes:
This support is in addition to NAB’s previously announced disaster relief package, providing a range of financial relief measures for Queensland customers.
NAB is also offering $1,000 grants and other financial relief to customers in northern New South Wales who have been affected by the floods and need funds to cover immediate needs in the aftermath of the crisis.
Customers in Queensland or New South Wales who have suffered damage to their homes and need assistance can call NAB Assist on 1300 308 132.
Commonwealth Bank (CommBank)
CommBank is offering Emergency Assistance support to people affected by the floods. They say that this support can include loan restructuring and waiving of selected fees and charges. Personal banking customers can call CommBank on 1800 314 695 or visit any branch, while business banking customers can call on 1800 314 695 or speak to their CommBank relationship manager to discuss further.
CommBank has also kicked off its CanGive Flood Appeal, pledging an initial $500,000 to customers in flood affected areas. Donations can be made via the CommBank app, and the bank has pledged to match donations up to $500,000.
ANZ has announced a financial relief package for customers affected by flooding across south east Queensland and northern New South Wales. ANZ customers will have access to a variety of financial relief measures, including:
ANZ customers affected by flooding are encouraged to contact the bank’s dedicated financial hardship team on 1800 149 549 or visit their website for natural disaster support.
Westpac is offering emergency financial assistance to customers in Queensland and northern New South Wales who have been affected by the floods. The bank says customers in these areas may be eligible for its disaster relief package, with home loan and credit card customers given the option to defer payments, amongst other measures.
Customers can call 1800 067 497 to find out about the bank’s emergency financial assistance package. Customers can also apply online for financial hardship assistance. Westpac customers who are suffering hardship as a result of disasters are encouraged to contact Westpac Assist.
Does home and contents insurance cover flooding?
Today alone, insurers have received almost 31,000 claims relating to the ongoing flood emergency in Queensland and the New South Wales coast, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
Whether or not and to what extent your home is covered fro flood damage will depend on your insurance provider, and the exclusions of your building-only or home and contents insurance policy. While flood cover is included in many policies, this is not always the case, and with some providers you may have to add it for an additional premium.
It is also important to understand that different insurance providers use different terms to explain what they will and won’t cover in relation to floods. For example, a recent survey found that almost 90% included cover for flash flooding due to heavy rain as standard, with 11% including this as optional.
Likewise, over 80% included cover for flooding from a natural water course such as a river or creek as standard, while just over 17% included this as optional, with the same applying for flooding due to release from a catchment area such as a dam.
Home and contents insurance can be complex when damage to your home and the things inside it is caused by heavy rains or flash flooding of rivers, creeks or drains. Insurance providers will generally want to pinpoint the source of the water, and if the damage occurred after a storm, they may well ask how soon after the storm the flooding occurred.
If you’re unsure about what your home insurance policy covers in relation to flooding, check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) for the details, or contact your provider as soon as you can to find out about what you’re covered for.
If you are renting or living in an apartment, then contents insurance may cover damage to your possessions, if you have it.
What should you do if you need to make an insurance claim?
You can also call the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) hotline on 1300 728 228 if you have concerns over your policy or are not happy with the benefits that have been offered.
If you require support from ABIC please contact us on 1800MYABIC.