New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

Disaster Recovery Allowance - NSW bushfires October 2013

Assistance for employees, small business persons and farmers who experience a loss of income as a direct result of the NSW Bushfires October 2013.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this disaster you should contact Centrelink to check your eligibility.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short term payment to assist individuals who can demonstrate their income has been affected as a direct result of a disaster.

It is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks from the date at which you have, or will have, a loss of income as a direct result of the disaster.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is taxable and you have until 22 April 2014 to lodge a claim[1] for this payment.

Eligibility for assistance

You are eligible for assistance if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you are 16 years of age or older and are not a dependent child
  • you are an Australian resident or the holder of an eligible visa and living in Australia for the period of time you receive the allowance 
  • you derive an income by working in an affected area or reside in an affected area
  • you have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the disaster
  • you are not receiving another income support payment or pension (such as Age Pension, Newstart Allowance, service pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, or Exceptional Circumstances Income Relief Payment) for the same period the Disaster Recovery Allowance is claimed for
  • your income is less than the relevant income threshold amount in the fortnight following the loss of income

Each member of a couple must qualify in their own right.

Dependent child

If you are aged 16-21 inclusive, your eligibility is determined on whether you are considered a ‘dependent’ child. Your income, personal circumstances and whether you are wholly or substantially dependent on anyone (i.e. an adult has legal responsibility for your day to day care/welfare and provides financial assistance) will be considered.

If you are considered ‘independent’ your maximum rate of payment will be determined by your accommodation circumstances.

Affected areas

You have until 22 April 2014 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas that have been declared as affected and eligible for the purposes of Disaster Recovery Allowance:

  • Blue Mountains
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Lithgow
  • Muswellbrook
  • Port Macquarie – Hastings
  • Port Stephens
  • Wingecarribee
  • Wyong

Australian residency requirements

An Australian resident is a person who resides in Australia and is either:

  • an Australian citizen
  • the holder of a permanent or special category visa
  • Holders of the following visas may be paid DRA even though they are not Australian residents:
  • 309 - Partner (Provisional);
  • 309 - Spouse (Provisional);
  • 310 - Interdependency (Provisional);
  • 447 - (Secondary Movement Offshore Entry (Temporary)) (Class XB); and
  • 451 - (Secondary Movement Relocation (Temporary)) (Class XB)
  • 785 - (Temporary Protection);
  • 786 - (Class UO) Temporary (Humanitarian Concern);
  • 820 - Extended eligibility (partner);
  • 820 - Extended eligibility (spouse); and
  • 826 - Interdependency (Provisional)

For further information please visit the Australian Government Department of Human Services website at:

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