Essential cash assistance to help get families back on their feet

Cash assistance is an important and effective way of providing humanitarian and financial assistance following a disaster. It gives people the freedom, dignity and independence to choose their own recovery needs.

In response to the QLD and NSW floods, Australian Red Cross allocated $42.6 million in cash grants for people directly impacted by the floods, including the $27.2 million raised through the Australia Unites Telethon. These grants were distributed in three key stages of activity:

  • Stage 1: Bereavement Grants and Relief Grants (18 March–21 April 2022)
  • Stage 2: Discretionary Financial Hardship Grants (26 July–27 September 2022)
  • Stage 3: Flood Relief Additional Support Grants (October–November 2022)

Stage 1: Bereavement and Relief Grants

Bereavement Grants
These grants provided $20,000 in cash assistance for senior next-of-kin who lost a loved one in the floods and who were experiencing immediate financial hardship (funeral costs and other related expenses).

Relief Grants
Relief Grants were made available for households where people were experiencing financial hardship as a result of flood impacts to their primary place of residence. Each grant was worth $500.

Stage 2: Discretionary Financial Hardship Flood Grants

The Discretionary Financial Hardship Flood Grants provided up to $1,500 to households experiencing ongoing financial hardship as a result of the floods. These grants were facilitated by our Australian Red Cross recovery teams on the ground and other support agencies already working with impacted communities.

Stage 3: Flood Relief Additional Support Grants

After processing all eligible Discretionary Financial Hardship Flood Grants applications, funds remained due to a number of ineligible and incomplete applications.

In recognition of the challenges facing residents in flood-affected areas, and to ensure remaining funds were distributed quickly and efficiently, Australian Red Cross established the Flood Relief Additional Support Grant. These $80 grants were made available to previous recipients of Flood Relief Grants and Discretionary Financial Hardship Flood Grants. Payments were made on an automatic rolling basis from October–November 2022.

Whilst our grants program is now closed, the remaining funds from ineligible applications and unclaimed payments have been allocated to our recovery program (approx. $700,000). This ensures Australian Red Cross is supporting individuals and communities in the long term.

“We’re near the Mary River, which is notorious for flooding in this town. The first flood, I was very lucky. The second flood, I couldn’t get any help to get sandbagged, because it was so fast. For what the Red Cross has done for people, we are lucky to live in Australia, honestly. Who else gets this type of support?”

Communities in New South Wales and Queensland have experienced major overlapping disasters over the last three years, and many now face years of recovery. Red Cross continues to stand alongside them, committing $9.3 million (which includes remaining funds from the grants program) to a three-year recovery program that began in mid-May 2022.

The QLD/NSW recovery program provides a long-term commitment to psychosocial support for individuals and families. It will also enable support and training for local councils, community organisations and community leaders who are pivotal to effective recovery efforts.

I cannot thank you all enough. I’m beyond grateful. Thank you so much from my three children and myself.”

— Kirsten

It’s hard to describe the overwhelming sense of gratitude from everyone who has helped us in the past six weeks. We are very grateful for your support.”

— Julie

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