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Bushfire financial assistance grants

Grants for people in financial hardship as a result of bushfires in Australia during the bushfires FY19/20

Financial assistance is available for bushfire-affected people in financial hardship.

The cash grants available are:

  • Emergency grant for people who have lost their homes.
  • Injury grant for people who were hospitalised due to the fires.
  • Primary residence repair grant for home owner-occupiers whose homes have been structurally damaged. This includes destruction or damage to critical private water, septic and/or power infrastructure.
  • Re-establishment grant to help people who lost their primary place of residence – house, caravan or mobile home, whether owned or rented – to have somewhere safe to live.

As people are still coming forward for the first time, applicants for the above grants have been extended to 31 December 2020.‚Äč

 NEW  People who have already received a Red Cross grant may also be eligible for our new additional support grant if they are still facing financial hardship. This grant is open to people with a low income (who are receiving government financial assistance such as a pensioner, disability or health care card). Applications for this grant close at 5pm on 27 November 2020.

Got a question? Our Grants Q&A can help »

A note for applicants

We know it can be difficult for people to apply online, especially where internet access is low and freedom of movement is restricted due to COVID-19. We also know that people have lost essential documents in the fires.

We’re keeping the application process as simple as possible, with some checks to prevent fraud. If you’re having trouble applying, please call our grants team on 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276) and we’ll do our best to help.

Emergency grant

A $20,000 payment to support people whose primary place of residence was destroyed.

We want to make the process as simple as possible, with a few basic checks.

Before you start your application, please have a photo or scan of the following documents ready:

  1. Evidence of your identity, such as a drivers licence or passport
  2. Proof of residence, such as a recent utility bill
  3. Details for a financial transfer, such as a bank statement or internet banking screenshot clearly showing your name, bank name, BSB and account details. Handwritten notes or photos of bank cards cannot be accepted.

If your documents have been damaged or lost in the fires and cannot be replaced, please phone 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276).

Got a question? Our Grants Q&A can help »

Injury grant

A payment of $7,500 or $15,000 for people who have spent two days or more in hospital as a result of physical injuries or mental health issues as a direct result of bushfires from July 2019.

The full payment of $15,000 is available for people who meet the eligibility criteria and have additional out-of-pocket medical costs that exceed or are likely to exceed $7,500.

We want to make the process as simple as possible, with a few basic checks.

Before you start your application, please have a photo or scan of the following documents ready:

  1. Evidence of your identity, such as a drivers licence or passport
  2. Proof of injury, such as hospital discharge summary.
  3. Details for a financial transfer, such as a bank statement or internet banking screenshot clearly showing your name, bank name, BSB and account details. Handwritten notes or photos of bank cards cannot be accepted.

If your documents have been damaged or lost in the fires and cannot be replaced, please phone 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276).

Got a question? Our Grants Q&A can help »

Primary residence repair grant

A total of $10,000 for home owner-occupiers whose homes have been structurally damaged and require repair to make them safe to live in or return to.

Eligibility for this grant has been extended to include destruction or damage to critical private water, septic and/or power infrastructure attached to your primary place of residence and located on your property.

This grant amount has increased to $10,000. We are contacting eligible applicants who have received the initial grant to let them know they may be eligible for a $5,000 top-up.

We want to make the process as simple as possible, with a few basic checks.

Before you start your application, please have a photo or scan of the following documents ready:

  1. Evidence of your identity, such as a drivers licence or passport
  2. Proof of home ownership, such as rates notice, loan document or title.
  3. Details for a financial transfer, such as a bank statement or internet banking screenshot clearly showing your name, bank name, BSB and account details. Handwritten notes or photos of bank cards cannot be accepted.

If your documents have been damaged or lost in the fires and cannot be replaced, please phone 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276).

Got a question? Our Grants Q&A can help »

Re-establishment grant

A grant to help people who lost their primary place of residence in the bushfires to have somewhere safe to live in the medium-to-long term.

It is open to home owners whose primary place of residence was destroyed, people who were renting homes that were destroyed, and people who were living in non-permanent structures such as caravans or mobile homes that were destroyed in the fires.

Home owner-occupiers are eligible for a total of $40,000 (this amount has increased from $30,000). People who were renting homes that were destroyed, or were living in non-permanent structures are eligible for a total of $10,000.

If you have already received a Red Cross emergency grant, you won’t need to provide information you’ve already given us. You only need to provide documents if any details have changed.

If you have not yet applied for a Red Cross grant, the process is simple. Before you start your application, please have a photo or scan of the following documents ready:

  1. Evidence of your identity such as a driver licence (all applicants)
  2. Proof of residence such as a utility bill or rent receipt (tenants, caravans or mobile homes)
  3. Proof of home ownership such as such as a rates notice, loan document or title (owner-occupiers)
  4. Details for a financial transfer such a recent bank statement showing BSB and account details (all applicants).

If your documents have been damaged or lost in the fires and cannot be replaced, please phone 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276).

Got a question? Our Grants Q&A can help »

Additional support grant

This grant is for people who have already received a Red Cross grant, and who are on low incomes and experiencing financial hardship.

You can apply if you:

  • have received one of our previous bushfire grants, and
  • are receiving government assistance that demonstrates low income (i.e. a health care, pensioner or disability card), and
  • are still in financial hardship.

Amount provided
The amount we can pay each eligible applicant will vary depending on people’s individual needs, the number of people who apply, and the funds we have left.

How the grant can help
This grant can help with a range of costs related to the bushfires. These could be:

  • additional rebuilding or re-establishment costs
  • basic necessities like groceries, utility bills or school fees
  • further repairs to make homes safe to live in 
  • clearing unsafe and bushfire-damaged trees on your property
  • ongoing out-of-pocket medical costs
  • other costs related to individual circumstances due to the bushfires.

The application process
Applications close at 5pm on Friday 27 November. After that, we will assess all applications and allocate payments to eligible people, depending on what they need and the total amount available. Payments will be made before Christmas.

There will be a second, smaller round of applicants in February 2021.

Got a question? Our Grants Q&A can help »

This grant is for people who have already received an emergency, repair, injury or re-establishment grant. You won’t need to provide information you’ve already given us, unless your details have changed.

You will need to provide evidence that you are receiving government assistance that demonstrates low income. This could be a health care card, pensioner card or disability card.