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FACTSHEET: Financial Assistance for those affected by the Australia bushfires



We've compiled a comprehensive list of government, corporate and community organisations and initiative that can support you as you navigate this challenging time, as well as tips to dealing with your bank and insurance companies.


GOVERNMENT

Department of Human Services - Help in an emergency - Payments and services if you’re recovering from a major disaster or need emergency help for homelessness, family violence, financial hardship, or bereavement. Website


Australian Government Disaster Assist - Use this map or search bar to find the Local Government Areas which have been declared natural disasters. Website


Disaster Welfare Assistance Points NSW - If you have been impacted by the fires and have immediate needs such as shelter, food or water, please visit and register for assistance. If you are unable to get to the Disaster Welfare Assistance Point please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. Website


In the Shoalhaven? Free information night to help you recover from the financial and well being impact of bushfires. Connecting the Shoalhaven community, individuals and friends that have been affected by the recent bush fires with local care organisations. Providing information and services for Financial Recovery and ongoing well being. Join this free event to find out what support is available for you and your loved ones ... Register below


COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS


Disaster Relief...


National Registration and Inquiry System – NRIS registers, finds and reunites family, friends and loved ones after an emergency. It is managed and operated by Australian Red Cross. People evacuated in an emergency (or people trying to locate family or friends) can phone the Red Cross Inquiry Centre. Website


The Salvation Army offers a range of services and assistance measures to help people who have been impacted by disasters including financial assistance, emotional support and referrals. Website


Financial Counselling...


Wesley Financial Counselling services provide free, independent and confidential counselling to assist people experiencing financial difficulty. Our counsellors work with clients to help them manage and break the cycle of debt and take control of their finances. Website


The Salvation Army - Financial Counselling if you need urgent financial help and are in ACT, NSW or Queensland call our emergency relief team Website


DEALING WITH YOUR BANK


What the banks said they will do ...


*Fee-and-loan-repayment changes

*On request, defer scheduled loan repayments

*Waive some fees and charges

*Including break costs on early redemption of farm management deposits

*Banks will also defer interest payments on a case-by-case basis

*Restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees

*Enabling debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable

*Banks are also offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages

*Increase emergency credit card limits

Participating banks CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, Macquarie, AMP, Rabobank, Suncorp, ING, Bank of Queensland and ME Bank.


National Australia Bank set up a $1 million fund to help customers and staff displaced by the bushfires. NAB customers who have lost homes this bushfire season can access $2000 grants to help cover costs such as temporary accomodation, food and clothing. SydneyMorningHerald


Ask your bank if you can ...


*Suspend repayments on loans, including credit cards, for up to three months *Or if they have temporary interest rate relief on mortgages and personal loans for those customers impacted by the fires *Whether they can waive fees associated on loan restructuring for personal and businesses loans *Access your money from term deposits early without incurring any fees

DEALING WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY

Assistance may be available for affected customers with Home and Contents insurance as they may be eligible for measures such as emergency funds and temporary accommodation.


The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) can consider a complaint you have about a life insurance or general insurance product.  Website


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