Disaster Assistance for Individuals

Disaster Relief Grants

The Department of Justice, Office of Emergency Management can provide disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster. People with limited financial resources and no insurance may be eligible for a financial contribution towards replacing essential household contents and structural repairs to the home.

About the Commonwealth ​Disaster Recovery Payment

Financial assistance via Disaster Relief Grants is administered by the NSW State Government, and is separate from the one-off Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Payment, which is a non-means tested payment of $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children.

A Natural Disaster Declaration does not automatically trigger the Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Payment which is determined by the Attorney-General's Department (Commonwealth).

To enquire about whether the Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Payment is available for a specific disaster, please ring 180 2266 or visit the

Department of Human Services website

To be eligible for assistance via Disaster Relief Grants you must:

  • be a low-income earner and meet an income and assets test
  • demonstrate that the affected home is your principal place of residence
  • not be covered by insurance
  • be able to demonstrate that the damage was caused by the disaster
  • lodge the application within four months of the disaster occurring.

Financial assistance is a contribution towards the cost of essential household items and restoring the home to a safe and habitable condition.

Financial assistance under this grant does not replace insurance or act as compensation for losses. Assistance cannot be provided to cover insurance excess.

Grants toward r​eplacing essential household contents

Essential household items are those required for normal daily life, such as bedding and essential electrical items (e.g. refrigerator or washing machine).

Grants toward e​ssential structural repairs

Assistance may be provided to make essential structural repairs to your principal place of residence. Your principal place of residence is the home where you live most of the time. Assistance is not provided for repairs to other areas of your property, such as damage to fences, pools, sheds or garages.

Eligibility crit​​eria for financial assistance

To be eligible for a disaster relief grant you must meet an income and asset test. We will assess your disposable income, which is the amount of money you have left each week after you pay your minimum rent or home mortgage.

As a guide, the weekly disposable income amount (after mortgage or rental payments) is approximately the same amount as the Age Pension paid by Centrelink. We will also take into account the number of dependent children you may have living with you. Your eligibility will be assessed on the income that you were receiving at the time of the disaster.

Applying for a Disaster Relief​ Grant

To apply for financial assistance call Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444.

More information How to Apply for Disaster Assistance for Individuals.


Disaster Assistance for Individuals Factsheet [PDF 190KB]