Queensland Floods: Payments Available

Contact my office for Fact Sheets and Application Forms. JA 

 

Australian Government

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, $1000 for every adult, $400 for each child

Disaster Income Recovery, fortnightly payment for 13 weeks to cover loss of income, payments range from $424 to $508 depending on marital status and number of children

The Australian Tax Office may also provide assistance with any tax liabilities.

 

Queensland Government

 Personal Hardship Assistance Grant, non-means tested once-off payment of $170 per person, up to a maximum of $850 for a family of five or more

 Essential Household Contents Grant, means tested once-off payment of up to $1,705 per adult, up to a maximum of $5,120 for a couple/family to cover loss of cooking utensils, clothing, bedding and linen, floor coverings, essential furniture and white goods and food lost due to storm damage. Those with insurance are ineligible.

 Structural Assistance Grant, means tested once-off payment of up to $10,500 per individual, and up to $14,200 for a couple/family to cover costs of repair of a residence to a habitable and secure condition. Those with insurance are ineligible.

 Special Disaster Flood Assistance Grants (small business), grants of up to $25,000 to assist eligible small businesses repair buildings and purchase equipment, among other things.

 Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Assistance Loans (small business), a loan of up to $250,000 at an interest rate of 4% for a total term of up to 7 years. No fees and charges for the life of the loan. The loan can be used by small businesses to repair building and purchase equipment, among other things.

 Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Assistance Loans Freight subsidies (primary producers) of up to $5000 information, call the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation on 132 523.

 Sport and Recreation Services Disaster Recovery Program up to $5,000 for replacement of operational items and up to $20,000 to assist the repair of sport and recreation infrastructure damaged by flooding. For more information, call the Department of Communities, Sport and Recreation on 1300 656 191.

 You can also get free replacement birth certificates.

 

To access Australian Government grants call  180 22 66

To access Queensland Government grants call 1800 173 349

More information about some of these payments and respective claim forms is below.

Commonwealth Government

 There are two payments that the Commonwealth Government offers:

 

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP)

·       The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) gives a $1000 one-off payment to those adversely affected by a major or widespread disaster ($400 for each child).

·       “Adversely affected” means, among other things, “that the person’s principal place of residence sustained major damage or was destroyed.”

You must lodge a claim by 4 July 2011. A claim form is available here http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/filestores/ss443_1005/$file/ss443_1005en_p.pdf

Full fact sheet: http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/filestores/em002_1101/$file/em002_1101en_b.pdf

 

Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy

The Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy is available for employees, small business persons and farmers who can demonstrate they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the flooding and severe weather that commenced on 29 November 2010 and continued in December 2010, January 2011 and February 2011.

To be eligible you must derive an income from the area affected by the disaster, or resides in the area affected by the disaster; and

·       have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the disaster;

·       can show evidence supporting the claimed loss of  income within 28 days (for example, pay  slips from an employer, bank statements showing previous  bank deposits from an employer, a letter from the employer,  BAS statements, income tax returns, or other account  documents identifying cash flow);

·       is not currently (at the time of lodgement) receiving  another income support payment or pension

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

If eligible you will receive $424 per fortnight for 13 weeks (each if both you and Barry are eligible). If Charlotte is eligible she will receive $469.70 per fortnight for 13 weeks.

You must lodge a claim by 28 February 2011. A claim form is available here http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/filestores/a2231_1101/$file/a2231_1101en.pdf     

Full fact sheet: http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/filestores/em005_1101/$file/em005_1101en.pdf       

 

Tax assistance

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can help individuals and businesses who have been affected by natural disasters. Assistance may include:

·       fast-tracking of refunds

·       extra time to pay debts

·       more time to meet activity statement, income tax and other lodgement obligations

·       support if you are suffering financial hardship as a result of the disaster.

Phone the ATO on 1800 806 218 to discuss your individual circumstances.

 

Claiming Commonwealth Government assistance

Special arrangements apply for the Toowoomba and Withcott areas meaning that you can apply for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy by calling Centrelink on 180 22 66.

You can also fax the relevant forms to 1300 727 760

You can also apply online here (registration required) http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/online_services/index.htm

 

Queensland Government

The Queensland Government offers additional assistance. I have included some information on grants for those without insurance. I am not sure if you will be eligible but you might want to investigate them anyway.

More information on Queensland Grants http://www.communityservices.qld.gov.au/community/community-recovery/support-assistance/support-assistance.html

 

Personal Hardship Assistance Grant

Personal Hardship Assistance may be available to individuals and families who do not have the capacity to meet immediate, unexpected basic costs for food, clothing, medical supplies or accommodation caused by the disaster.

This grant is a non-means tested once-off payment of $170 per person, up to a maximum of $850 for a family of five or more.

Personal Hardship Assistance are not means tested, however if you are seeking assistance you will need to establish that you have experienced, or will experience, personal hardship as a result of the disaster.

Individuals and families can express an interest in this grant by calling 1800 173 349

 

Essential Household Contents Grant

An Essential Household Contents Grant may be available to people who own essential household contents that have been lost or damaged in the disaster and who do not have contents insurance.

This grant is a means tested once-off payment of up to $1,705 per adult, up to a maximum of $5,120 for a couple/family.

Eligible household contents may include cooking utensils, clothing, bedding and linen, floor coverings, essential furniture and white goods and food lost due to storm damage. The grant assists with the repair or replacement of essential items and maximum limits apply for individual items.

An income test will be applied to applications for this grant. If you are eligible, departmental officers will visit your home, to assess the damage and to complete an application form with you.

You can apply for this grant by calling 1800 173 349.

 

Structural Assistance Grant

 

A Structural Assistance Grant may be available to property owners whose home has been damaged by the disaster. The home must be uninsured for this disaster event, owned by the applicant and their sole place of residence at the time of the disaster. The grant provides a contribution towards repair of the residence to a habitable and secure condition.

This grant is a means tested once-off payment of up to $10,500 per individual, and up to $14,200 for a couple/family, less amounts paid as an Emergent Assistance Grant and/or Essential Household Contents Grant.

An income and assets test will be applied to applications for this grant. If you are eligible, departmental officers will visit your home to assess the damage and to complete an application form with you.

You can apply for this grant by calling 1800 173 349.

 

Eligibility for an Essential Household Contents Grant or a Structural Assistance Grant

The Essential Household Contents and Structural Assistance grants are means tested and will need to satisfy income and asset tests for these grants.

Income and asset tests are as follows:

Upper income limits:

Individual: $704/week + $51 for each dependent

Couple: $930/week + $51 for each dependent

Upper asset limits:

Pensioners: $25,101

Others: $6,135

Applications will be assessed on a case by case basis and you will need to discuss your eligibility for these grants with officers from the Department of Communities.

 

Special Disaster Flood Assistance Grants (small business)

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to assist eligible small businesses as follows:

·       Initial claim: up to $5,000 to assist you with immediate early recovery (subject to future audit)

·       Subsequent claim: up to $20,000 to recover costs that you have paid in order to repair direct flood damage.

The assistance enables you to cover the costs associated with cleaning and restoration activities including:

·       purchasing, hiring or leasing plant, equipment or materials to clean or resume business activities (including stock replacement)

·       clearing or disposing of debris and damaged goods

·       repairing buildings or fittings in buildings other than houses

·       leasing temporary premises for the purpose of resuming trading

·       engaging a person clean or to conduct a safety inspection of premises

·       paying additional wages to an employee to assist with the clean-up and restoration work.

To be eligible for the grant you must:

·       own (whether as sole owner, in partnership or as a private company) a small business

·       have been engaged in your small business, in the prescribed November and December 2010 flood disaster area and have suffered direct damage as a result of the flood event

·       intend to re-establish your small business enterprise

·       be responsible for meeting the costs you are claiming.

 

To apply for the initial claim up to $5,000, what do I need to provide with my application?

In the initial claim, some evidence of damage that has occurred to your enterprise will be required. (e.g. photographs, quotes and/or tax invoices.)

 

To apply for the subsequent claim up to $20,000, what do I need to provide with my application?

The subsequent claim requires you to have made payments for repairs. QRAA will require:

1. tax invoices showing full details of goods or services supplied (to be identifiable as flood related damage on the invoice), including the initial claim up to $5,000 and
2. an official receipt from the supplier or contractor – if this cannot be obtained, photocopies of cheque butts, bank transfers and bank statements will be required, including the initial claim up to $5,000.

 

Applications must be received by 30 September 2001. Application form available here http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/images/Application_Forms/sdfa%20sb%20nov%20dec%20v2.pdf 

Full fact sheet: http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/images/Fact_Sheets/flood%20assistance%20fact%20sheet%20040111.pdf

 

Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Assistance Loans (small business)

Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Assistance provides you with a loan of up to $250,000 at an interest rate of 4% for a total term of up to 7 years. No fees and charges for the life of the loan

The loan can be extended up to 10 years after 4 years.

Assistance is available to recover and re-establish your business, including:

·       Repairing and/or replacing damaged plant and equipment

·       Repairing and/or replacing buildings

·       Providing up to one month’s supply of lost stock

·       Maintaining the liquidity of your business.

Application form available here http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/images/ndrra%20sb%20complete%20application%20form%20v2%20170910.pdf 

Full fact sheet: http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/images/Fact_Sheets/flood%20assistance%20fact%20sheet%20040111.pdf

 

Loss of birth certificates and deferral of outstanding fines

Flood victims can now apply for free replacement birth, death, marriage or change-of-name certificates. Flood victims with outstanding fines with the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) can apply to have the fines temporarily deferred.

Simply apply at a courthouse or a Queensland Government Agent Program office or phone the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages on 1300 366 430 or email BDM-mail@justice.qld.gov.au.   

 

 (eligibility varies for these payments – please call the numbers listed below to check) 

 (eligibility varies for these payments – please call the numbers listed below to check)