More communities in the Hunter impacted by the flooding disaster will have access to Commonwealth financial help from today.
The Australian Government has activated the Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) in Cessnock, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter.
AGDRP is a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child and is available to eligible people in those affected LGAs who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury.
Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) has also been extended to these four LGAs.
DRA assists employees and sole traders who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster and is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks and is taxable.
Senator for New South Wales, Perin Davey, said the Australian Government understands that financial help is needed in these regions following recent flood.
“As the full scale and impact to Hunter is being realised, our hearts go out to those people whose lives have been devastated,” Senator Davey said.
“We have made financial help available now because we know the economic impact of disasters like these are felt long after the flood water recedes.
“There are still tough days, weeks and months ahead for thousands of people, and recovery process will take some time, but we are here to ensure locals receive the support they need,” Senator Davey said.
Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the floods.
“The easiest and quickest way to claim AGDRP and DRA is online through myGov. If people require support to claim, they can call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66,” Senator Davey said.
“To provide further support, we are also pausing Centrelink debt raising and new debt recovery in the affected locations.”
Online claiming via myGov is available 24×7. The Australian Government Emergency Information Line is open local time 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday. For more information on support available, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster