Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity

The Australian Government, in partnership with community organisations, provides support to eligible individuals and families experiencing financial crises and help build financial wellbeing, financial capability, and resilience for vulnerable people and those most at risk of financial and social inclusion and disadvantage. People can acquire budgeting and financial literacy skills to help navigate through debt and learn strategies to better manage their money and become financially independent through the Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity.

Services include crisis support, broad financial capability building services, financial counselling and access to microfinance and microenterprise products. Services are free, voluntary and confidential and are delivered by community organisations.

Services provided under the Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity

Services include:

  • Financial Crisis and Material Aid; and
  • Financial Counselling, Capability and Resilience

Financial Crisis and Material Aid

Financial Crisis and Material Aid includes the provision of Emergency Relief and Food Relief.

  • Emergency Relief – provides immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis.
  • Food Relief – increases emergency relief organisations’ access to a cost-effective supply of food items which is provided to people in need across Australia.

Support Available Now

If you need food parcels, clothing, household items, vouchers, or assistance with part-payment of utility account/s, budgeting, and/or referrals to other services that help to address financial crisis then you can find your nearest Emergency Relief service provider which may be able to assist. Access to Emergency Relief is free and there are no citizenship or residency requirements to access this support.

Financial Counselling, Capability and Resilience

Financial Counselling, Capability and Resilience supports include financial counselling, financial literacy education, and access to financial services including microfinance products such as low or no interest loans.

Support Available Now

If you need assistance with debt management, a financial counsellor can help you work through your financial issues, advocate on your behalf, provide options on any debts you may have or link you to other community services that may be able to help.

Talk with a financial counsellor or find a financial counsellor near you by phoning the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007* or visit ndh.org.au.

*Calls from public phones/mobile phones may be timed and charged at a higher rate.

You can also find a financial counselling service through ASIC's Money Smart Financial Counselling page.

Review of the coordination and funding of financial counselling services across Australia

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Royal Commission) provided its final report to the Governor-General on 1 February 2019. The Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP released the Australian Government’s response to the Royal Commission on 4 February 2019.

The Government is taking action on all 76 recommendations outlined in the Royal Commission’s Final Report. In addition, the Government has committed to additional actions to improve the financial outcomes of Australians. This included undertaking an immediate review of the coordination and funding of financial counselling services that disadvantaged Australians rely on.

On 3 October 2019, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services, released The Countervailing Power: Review of the Coordination and Funding for Financial Counselling Services across Australia. The Government released its response to the review on 25 November 2020.

More information is available at Review of the coordination and funding of financial counselling services across Australia.

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