Help For Storm Victims

Help For Storm Victims

Victoria Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge

New Hotline For Emergency Grants

Victor P Taffa

A new hotline is in operation for residents in Melbourne’s western and northern suburbs seeking information about possible emergency financial assistance in the wake of the Christmas Day storms.

Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge today said the Department of Human Services (DHS) had established the hotline telephone number 1800 990 660 to further help Victorians in genuine need of emergency relief.

“The hotline will operate during business hours to offer detailed advice on how to apply for emergency financial support provided by the Victorian Coalition Government.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

The Victorian Government offers two levels of financial support under its Personal Hardship Assistance Program:

  • Emergency Relief Assistance: Provides payment of up to $480 per adult and $240 per child up to a maximum of $1,200 per household to cover emergency shelter, food, clothing, personal items or one-off transport needs.
  • Emergency Re-establishment Assistance: Provides up to $30,000 to eligible households (who meet an established income test), to assist with clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding and replacing some damaged contents to re-establish their homes sooner.

“By last night we had issued 29 Emergency Relief Assistance payments, and we’re processing 21 applications for Emergency Re-establishment Assistance.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“We expect those applications to keep rising over the next few days, especially as local councils across Melbourne refer potential applicants to our new hotline.”

Ms. Wooldridge said the Victorian Coalition Government was committed to supporting all Victorians in genuine need as a result of these storms.

“I encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible for assistance to contact their local council, or ring our hotline for further application details.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

Ms. Wooldridge also commended the work done by Victoria’s emergency services, the Department of Human Services, local councils, and community organisations including the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, in helping people affected by the emergency.

“All the agencies are working together to help those Victorians who have been hit by these devastating storms at one of the worst possible times of the year.” Ms. Wooldridge said.