Emergency Relief

Emergency Relief helps people deal with their immediate financial crisis situation in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual and encourages self-reliance.

It is an activity under the Australian Government’s Financial Wellbeing and Capability activity.

There are approximately 300 community and charitable organisations around Australia providing Emergency Relief services.

How can Emergency Relief help?

Emergency Relief assistance is generally in the form of:

  • purchase vouchers of a fixed value (for example, food, transport or chemist vouchers)
  • part-payment of an outstanding account (for example rent/accommodation, utility account/s)
  • material assistance such as household goods, food parcels or clothing
  • budgeting assistance
  • information, advocacy and referrals.

Emergency Relief activities are also an important gateway to other support services that can help people deal with more complex issues, including issues that have contributed to, or are a consequence of, financial stress. For example, Emergency Relief organisations can also refer people to services such as:

  • financial counselling, microfinance and matched savings initiatives
  • financial literacy programs
  • drug and alcohol support
  • crisis accommodation
  • mental health services
  • family support services.

More information

Find your nearest Emergency Relief service by calling 1300 653 227 (local call cost only) and ask to be put through to your state or territory office.

To also assist you with locating services, the DSS Grants Service Directory has been launched on the Department’s website.  The DSS Grant Service Directory includes details of new grants established from 1 March 2015, including Emergency Relief. You can search the directory by programme name, state/territory, region or postcode, or a combination of these.  The Grant Service Directory can be found at the department's website.

Emergency Relief grant recipients can find out more about guidelines and funding at Information for Emergency Relief Grant Recipient.

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