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Utility subsidy support – Victoria

Financial support through the Utility Subsidy Program for people seeking asylum to help meet essential household utility needs.

Here is some important information to read before you contact us.

What is utility subsidy support?
Who is this service for?
How do I apply?
I need help now
Extra support for people in Victoria

Utility Subsidy Program Flyer is available in:
English | Arabic | Tamil | Urdu | Malay | Persian

 

What is utility subsidy support?

The Utility Subsidy Program provides support to help people meet their essential household utility needs like water, gas and electricity.

Australian Red Cross has received Victorian Government funding specifically to support people seeking asylum in Victoria who do not have access to utility concessions and are experiencing financial hardship.

An application for one-off support can be made if you are struggling to pay your utility bills, which will be assessed against the eligibility criteria at the time.

Utility subsidy payments are not income support. They are limited, one-off payments and we know they may not meet all needs that you have.

Who is this service for?

Applicants must meet all of the following:

live in Victoria

be unable to access other utility concessions  

be seeking asylum

have no or very limited income, savings or community support

How do I apply?

Before you start your application, you will need the following documents, which all must be in your name:

  • Your utility bill(s) – photo or screenshot is acceptable
  • Current bank statements (showing the past one month of transactions) for all adult members of the family – screenshots are acceptable only if they show your name, account number and address
  • Travel documents for all family members (ImmiCard/Passport) – Red Cross does not share personal or visa information with the government
  • Proof of Asylum claim
  • Any concession cards (including Public Transport Victoria card) – photo is acceptable

Submitting the above information will help us process your application as quickly as possible. If we need to ask you for missing information, this will delay the outcome.

You must attest that all information provided to Red Cross is true and correct. If this application contains information or documentation believed to be false or misleading, including concealing any relevant circumstances, your application will be declined.

If you need assistance with your online application, please call 03 8327 7370​ or email us. Our phone line operating hours are 10AM to 4PM, Monday to Friday. Please do not send any documents via email. To protect everyone’s safety during COVID-19, please do not come to our Red Cross offices.

You can also view our guide for step-by-step instructions for how to complete the online application:

English

I need help now

If your health or safety is under threat now, please call 000.

If you can access your savings, or support from home, please do so.

If you require more information about food relief and community support services available in Victoria please see resources here. 

Additional resources that may be helpful:

Extra support for people in Victoria

Emergency relief support is available for temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants living in Victoria to help them meet their basic needs, like food, medicine, or shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply here.

If you live in a low-income household or are experiencing hardship, you may be eligible to apply for a grant to help with overdue electricity, gas and water bills under Victoria’s Utility Relief Grant Scheme. Find out more about these grants here or call 1800 658 521. If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.

Victorian Energy Compare is an independent government tool to help you to compare electricity, gas and solar offers from all energy retailers, based on information you provide about your household. To find the best energy offers for you visit Victorian Energy Compare.

If you're a person seeking asylum, you may be eligible for a PTV Asylum Seeker ID and a Concession myki. This gives you a 50 per cent discount on travel. Find out more and check your eligibility here.

The Energy and Water Ombudsman is a free and independent service that helps resolve complaints about electricity, gas, and water companies. If you need help with a complaint, you can find out more here or call 1800 500 509.

There are some simple things you can do to save energy and knock a few dollars off your bills too. Find out about energy saving tips here or register to attend a free online event to learn how to cut down your bills and ask any questions you might have about energy costs.

Financial counselling is a free and confidential service offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies.
A financial counsellor will listen to your problems and help you with things like:

  • Bills or fines you’re struggling to pay
  • Being harassed by debt collectors
  • Gas, electricity or phone disconnection
  • Being evicted from your house

Find out more about financial counselling here.