The 2022 floods in New South Wales and South East Queensland have caused widespread damage and suffering, with the Insurance Council of Australia reporting that 107,844 claims have been filed in flood-affected areas, totaling an estimated $1.62 billion .
Below we have put together a list of financial assistance packages available to Australians who have been affected by the recent severe weather events, along with various support measures put in place by banks.
“Knowing who you can contact, what financial assistance services are available, and gaining access to funds will be paramount for people as they rebuild their homes, businesses, and communities,” says Mozo spokesman Tom Godfrey.
Income requirements will apply to many of these grants and awards, so be sure to carefully read the eligibility criteria on the appropriate government website.
There are three types of government financial assistance available to NSW residents who have been affected by floods or other natural disasters:
Disaster Recovery Allowance
- For whom: those who have lost income as a direct result of the floods.
- How many: biweekly payments start at $573.30 for those in partnerships and go up to $862.10 for those in special circumstances. Payments are available for up to 13 weeks.
Disaster Relief Grant
- For whom: those whose houses or essential household items were destroyed by the floods.
- How many: unspecified amount.
Disaster Recovery Payment
- For whom: those who have been seriously injured or whose homes have been destroyed or severely damaged.
- How many: up to $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.
To check your eligibility, go to the Service NSW website or use the disaster assistance finder.
Queensland residents who are uninsured (or unable to claim insurance) and have suffered damage or destruction to their home and contents may be eligible for up to three types of government grants:
Household Essentials Grant
- For whom: those whose essential household items, such as beds, bedding, and appliances, were destroyed.
- How many: grants are $1,765 for single adults and $5,300 for couples and families.
Structural Assistance Scholarship
- For whom: those whose homes require repairs to make them safe.
- How many: a one-time payment of up to $10,995 is available for single adults and up to $14,685 for couples and families.
Security subsidy and reconnection of essential services
- For whom: those who have lost connection to essential services (such as electricity, gas, water and sewer or septic systems).
- How many: Payments of up to $4,200 are available for the repair and reconnection of essential services. Up to $200 is also available for a safety inspection of each essential service that needs reconnection.
Queensland residents experiencing hardship as a result of the flooding may also be eligible for two types of financial assistance. These grants are available to claim for seven days after the grant activation in your area.
Emergency hardship assistance
- For whom: those who cannot access essentials such as food, clothing, medical supplies, or temporary housing.
- How many: up to $180 per person and up to $900 for a family of five or more.
Essential Services Hardship Assistance
- For whom: those who have experienced the loss of one or more essential services for more than 5 days.
- How many: $150 per person and up to $750 for a family of five or more.
To check your eligibility, visit the Queensland Government Community Support page.
In light of the recent flooding, several banks are providing support to customers in the form of loan deferments and reduced payment plans on home, personal and business loans.
“It’s always worth contacting your bank if you’re experiencing financial difficulties or difficulties, with a variety of emergency support packages available for those concerned about meeting payments in these difficult times,” says Godfrey.
NAB relief measures
- $1,000 business grants are available to help restart or reopen and cover the cost of property, equipment, fencing, and lost or damaged livestock.
- Credit card and personal loan relief
- Exemptions from establishment fees for the restructuring of commercial facilities
- Concessional loans for clients seeking support to restructure existing facilities to assist with repairs, replenishment and business reopening.
- Discounts and moratorium on housing and personal loan installments
Commonwealth Bank Emergency Assistance
- Customized payment arrangements for your home loan, credit card, personal loan, and some business loans
- Waivers of fees and charges
- Temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval)
- Commission exemptions and notice periods for early access to Time Deposits
- Loan Restructuring for Business Clients and Existing Loans
- Fee waivers for temporary and damaged business EFTPOS terminals, as well as support with business terminal rental fees
CommBank has also launched a Flood Relief Fund, which will distribute a total of $2 million to nonprofit and community organizations involved in cleanup, rebuilding and recovery efforts. Individual organizations may apply for grants of up to $10,000.
ANZ Disaster Relief Package
- Short-term payment relief on home loans, credit cards, personal loans, and some business loans (interest may still be charged)
- Business Loan Restructuring Fee Waivers
- Commission exemptions for early access to time deposits
Westpac and St George flood financial support
- Deferred mortgage loan payments for up to three months
- Deferred payments to a credit card for up to 90 days
- Discounted interest rates without establishment commission on personal loans for asset replacement
- Exempt interest rate adjustments for clients who wish to withdraw time deposits
- Stop all accrual of interest on unsecured credit products for a period of up to three months
- Business loan deferred repayments for up to three months
- Restructuring of loans without incurring the usual commissions of bank establishment
Essential banking support services from the client-owned bank
Six customer-owned banks (Summerland Credit Union, BCU, G&C Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, Newcastle Permanente and Southern Cross-Credit Union) have partnered with Southern Cross University to provide immediate essential banking services to Lismore residents.
Due to damaged infrastructure, Lismore residents have had limited access to banking services. These customer-owned banks hope to remedy this by delivering ATMs and physical cash to cities to help people buy goods while branches are down. A temporary banking center has also been set up on Military Road, East Lismore.
* Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products displayed on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may affect the level of benefits and coverage available under any of the insurance products displayed on Mozo’s website. Please refer to the applicable Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination on the provider’s website for more information before making any insurance product decisions.
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