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Getting help

Payments and allowances

People affected by bushfires that are declared disasters may able to apply for the following payments:

One-off Disaster Recovery Payment

We may provide a one-off payment to support eligible people adversely affected by the bushfires called the Disaster Recovery Payment.

Short-term income support Disaster Recovery Allowance

We may provide short-term income support to people who can show they lost income as a direct result of the bushfires called the Disaster Recovery Allowance.

Emergency accommodation

See: Factsheet - temporary facilities during emergencies

To access emergency accommodation at a Defence base, call 1800 333 362 or visit Department of Defence website.

Communications during emergencies


See: Factsheet - Communications during emergencies


Current list of NBN Co’s free wi-fi locations


  • Bushfire support - Optus will cover the December and January bills for SES volunteers as well as professional fire fighters.
  • Waiving mobile bills for volunteer firefighters (December-January)
  • Bushfire update & Media Statement - 8 January 2020
    • Customer Hotline (1300 301 671) for financial assistance including:
      • free call diversions from an Optus fixed home phone to any mobile or fixed number
      • extended timeframes for bill payments
      • bill waivers in instances of extreme financial hardship, and
      • free suspension, relocation or cancellation of an Optus fixed service, and
      • free prepaid credit which can be organised at our local stores
  • Financial Hardship Assistance policy



Help with translating and interpreting

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is an interpreting service we provide to help:

  • people who do not speak English in their daily lives
  • agencies and businesses to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.

Contact TIS National on 131 450 (within Australia).

See Translating and Interpreting Service

Help making a telephone call

  • Text telephone (TTY) or modem callers can contact the National Relay Service (NRS) on 133 677 (within Australia).
  • If it is hard for you to understand on the phone you can use the Speech to Speech Relay (SSR) via the NRS on 1300 555 727 (within Australia).

See National Relay Service

Department of Agriculture Crisis Assistance

For more information on the types of agricultural and rural financial support offered to people such as farmers, primary producers and exporters see: Department of Agriculture Crisis Assistance factsheet (507KB PDF)