Are you eligible for the disaster recovery payment?

If you’ve been caught in a disaster, such as the floods currently affecting south-east Queensland and northern NSW, you may be entitled to claim the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP).

As a catastrophic ‘rain bomb’ moves down the east coast, many Australians are facing the worst flooding ever experienced.

The federal government is offering a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child to residents of affected areas.

This is in addition to the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA), which pays eligible people the equivalent of the maximum rate of JobSeeker if they are unable to work due to the disaster.

Read: Centrelink boss tells how to ensure benefits are paid promptly

Residents in 26 local government areas (LGAs) across Queensland and NSW are now eligible to apply for the AGDRP.

The Queensland LGAs of Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba are eligible.

Across the border in NSW, the LGAs of Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed are also now eligible to apply.

“We know that when people are having to leave home that you need immediate financial support,” the minister for emergency management and national recovery and resilience, Senator Bridget McKenzie, told 7News.

Read: Older Aussies and the unemployed called on to help out in crisis

“We’ve got those payments through myGov of $1000 per individual and $400 per child and we’ve also stood up the DRA,” she said.

“This very unusual weather system has just sat over the top of these communities and continues to rain.”

How to apply

Applications for the AGDRP can only be made online. You’ll need to set up a myGov account if you don’t already have one and link that account to Centrelink.

If you have claimed a different payment in the past, you can use the same customer reference number (CRN) to link Centrelink to your myGov account. If you’ve never claimed a payment, or don’t know your CRN, you will need to prove your identity online before a payment will be made.

Read: Should you be receiving this special Centrelink payment?

Once Centrelink is linked to your myGov, you can select ‘make a claim’ to begin the application or ‘view claim status’ to check on the progress of a claim.

You will need to answer a series of questions regarding your eligibility before your claim can be submitted.

Eligibility requirements

Beyond the requirement to be a resident of one of the eligible LGAs, applicants must be an Australian resident or hold an equivalent visa.

You, or your dependent child, must have been seriously affected by the storms and floods. The government is defining ‘seriously affected’ as being seriously injured, being the immediate family member of someone who has died or is missing and/or the flood causing major damage to your home.

If you’re part of a couple, you can both claim this payment. You and your partner will need to make separate claims.

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Written by Brad Lockyer

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