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If you have experienced family and domestic violence, you can access payments to assist while separating. For a full list of general support payments, see Prepare 1F.
Hardship assistance and payments
The Federal Government recently introduced the Escaping Violence Payment program which is available to Australian Citizens/permanent residents experiencing partner violence. This includes violent or threatening behaviour, such as:
- physical, verbal or sexual abuse
- emotional, spiritual or psychological abuse
- economic abusive
- threatening or coercive behaviour seeking to control or dominate the other person
If you are struggling with financial security after leaving an abusive relationship, you may be eligible for:
- up to $1500 in financial assistance such as vouchers for essential items
- goods and services such as removalists, bond support or basic household items for a new home
- ‘wrap-around support’
To apply for this support, see Uniting’s admissions form.
HUGS provides a one-off grant payment to help Western Australians experiencing financial hardship and at risk of disconnecting their utilities. The maximum grant per applicant is $581 (or $962 for those living north of the 26th Parallel – approximately Shark Bay on the Western Australian coast). For more information, see Hardship Utilities Grant Scheme.
This helps eligible concession card holders with dependent children to meet electricity Hardship Utility Grant Scheme | Western Australian Government costs. The rebate is calculated according to the number of dependent children on your concession card. For more information, see Dependent Child Electricity Rebate.
The Australian Red Cross Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) Financial Assistance program is available to people:
- on temporary visas, or with uncertain visa status, who are living in Australia
- experiencing family or domestic violence
- experiencing financial hardship
The program is not open to Australian citizens or permanent visa holders.
The FDV Financial Assistance program can help you with:
- payments of up to $3,000
- referral to a specialist FDV agency or other services
- casework support for up to 3 months (upon assessment)
Applications to the FDV Financial Assistance must be made online.
If you are having trouble paying bills, the first thing to do is contact your provider. Most companies have hardship officers who can help you with a plan to pay bills in instalments. Some useful sources of information are:
If you have been threatened with a disconnection notice, seek help as soon as possible. Call your provider or the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. For more information on disconnections and your rights, see Economic Regulation Authority.
Each bank has options for people in financial difficulty. If yours isn’t listed below, search using the name of your bank, such as ‘Westpac, financial hardship‘.
For more information on how banks can assist you, see Prepare 1E.
Assistance with rent
If you rent a Department of Housing home and need to stay at Women’s Refuge, you can apply for the “absentee minimum rent”, which reduces your rent to $10 per week for up to 3 months. For more information, contact the Housing Authority on 1800 093 325.
No Interest Loans for living costs
The FDV NIL’s scheme offers loans of up to $2000 without interest, fees or charges to women who have experienced family and domestic violence within the last 10 years. FDV NILs can be used to pay for essentials, goods and services such as white-goods, furniture, education, dental, car registration or car repair expenses. You must have a source of income to repay the loan. Affordability is assessed during the application process.
The scheme provides a safe and affordable alternative to high-cost finance options such as payday loans or “rent to buy” plans which can promise fast cash but can also worsen financial difficulties. The scheme can’t be used for cash, debt consolidation or car purchases. Payments are made directly to your nominated supplier or retailer.
For more information FDV NILs schemes, see Good Shepherd.
You may be eligible for household relief loans up to $3,000 for rent, rates, body corporate fees and utility bills – with no interest, charges or fees. You can also get advice through a free COVID hardship support line. For more information, call 1300 121 130 or see Household relief.
Remember stalking, harassment and abuse are not okay and not your fault.
If you are in immediate danger please call 000, or to speak to a trained counsellor and call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
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