Up to $31,950 is available to assist individuals and families suffering personal hardship and distress.

Personal Hardship Assistance Program

 

Overview

The Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) provides financial assistance to alleviate the personal hardship and distress suffered by eligible Victorians, as a result of an emergency. This assistance is not intended to replace insurance or other compensation for loss.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) administers the Victorian Government’s Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP).

 

Types of Grants Assistance

Emergency Relief Assistance

Emergency Relief Assistance is intended to help in the immediate aftermath of an emergency with expenses incurred in meeting health, safety and wellbeing needs such as food, clothing, medications, accommodation and one off transport costs.

Emergency Re-establishment Assistance

This assistance helps Victorians re-establish themselves back in their own homes as quickly as possible by providing income-tested financial assistance for alternative accommodation, removal of debris, repairs, rebuilding and replacement of essential household contents.

 

Funding

Emergency Relief Assistance provides payments of up to $520 for an adult and $260 per child (up to a maximum of $1,300 per household) to cover emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items; and

Emergency Re-establishment Assistance provides assistance of up to $31,950 per household for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing essential household contents.

 

Eligibility

Emergency Relief Assistance

You may be eligible for emergency relief assistance if you have suffered (or are likely to suffer) hardship in providing members of your household with shelter, food, clothing, personal items or specific transport needs – all as a result of an emergency.

Emergency relief assistance is provided on a needs assessment basis, and is available to assist households after house fires, and after the following natural emergency events:

  • bushfires
  • floods
  • severe storms
  • and earthquakes.

Emergency Re-establishment Assistance

To be eligible for assistance, your application must meet an income test, with income limits based on:

  • your gross weekly family income for PAYE taxpayers
  • or your gross weekly income, minus your gross weekly expenditure, if you are self-employed.

Your eligibility is established only where losses are not being met by insurance, compensation or some other assistance.

If you are eligible, the emergency re-establishment assistance payment is paid to meet any of the following needs:

  • the repair or replacement of essential household items
  • essential repairs to housing (to restore housing to a habitable condition)
  • demolition or rebuilding works (to restore housing to a habitable condition)
  • removal of debris from residential properties
  • or to cover alternative accommodation.

 

Media Release

Commonwealth Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett today announced that disaster assistance has been activated in response to recent bushfires in the Macedon Ranges, Mitchell, Murrindindi and Surf Coast.

The jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) will offer the following emergency grants to eligible individuals and families suffering personal hardship and distress:

  • Emergency Relief assistance, which provides payments of up to $520 for an adult and $260 per child (up to a maximum of $1,300 per household) to cover emergency food, shelter, clothing, and personal items; and
  • Emergency Re-establishment assistance, which provides assistance of up to $31,950 per household for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing essential household contents.

Anyone who has been affected by the bushfires and is suffering personal hardship and distress should call the Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line on 1300 799 232 to find out about the assistance that is available.

Affected local councils should contact the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance on (03) 9651 2327 or by email to [email protected] to discuss the availability of assistance.

Information regarding the assistance available can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and on the Victorian Government’s Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria website at www.recovery.vic.gov.au.