Disaster Recovery Allowance

Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short term payment to help you if the bushfire crisis directly affects your income.

You can get it for a maximum of 13 weeks. It’s payable from the date you lose income as a direct result of the bushfire crisis.

Disaster Recovery Allowances will not be subject to tax.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who:

  • gets an income by working in an affected Local Government Area or lives in an affected Local Government Area
  • loses income as a direct result of the bushfires
  • can show you will earn less than the relevant income threshold amount in the fortnight following the loss of income.

Independent child

If you’re between 16 and 21 years of age, you may be able to get Disaster Recovery Allowance if you’re considered independent.  Things considered will include:

  • your income
  • personal circumstances, and
  • whether you’re dependent on anyone, such as an adult who has legal responsibility for your care and provides financial assistance

How much you can get?

The maximum payment rate is the equivalent of Newstart or Youth Allowance, based on your circumstances. Your rate of payment will be affected by your income prior to and following the disaster.

If you’re independent, your maximum rate of payment will be determined by your accommodation and personal circumstances.

If you’re

Max. fortnightly payment

Single, no children


Single, with a dependent child or children


Single, aged 60 or over, after 9 continuous months on payment



 (each) $504.70

Single principal carer granted an exemption from commitments for any of the following:

  • foster caring
  • non-parent relative caring under a court order
  • home schooling
  • distance education
  • large family


Documents you will need to make a claim

You’ll need to provide the following evidence supporting the claimed loss of income.

  • Your Tax File Number
  • 8 weeks (or 4 fortnights) pay slips from your employer from before the bushfires; OR bank statements showing previous bank deposits from your employer
  • A letter from your employer stating the TEMPORARY reason for your loss of income or reduced income; OR if your job loss is permanent, a separation certificate
  • If you are self-employed you will need profit & loss statements; income tax returns or other account relate documents that identify cash flow.

CFMEU Manufacturing - we are here to help you

If you require assistance with completing claim forms; insurance claims; financial advice or other support, the CFMEU can help you.  Call us on 1800 060 556.  We are available from 7.30AM – 5.00PM EST Monday to Friday to assist you.


Authorised by Michael O'Connor, National Secretary,165 Bouverie Street Carlton 3053