vic_logo
multiculturalcommission.vic.gov.au

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support and assistance

To help you find support during COVID-19, we have gathered a range of useful resources, services and supports you may be able to apply for.

Information on support, immediate assistance and services to help you if you’re financially affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Government support

  • Eligible households can receive a two-week supply of essential goods.

    Food packages include items such as long-life milk, pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and sugar.

    Personal care packages can also be distributed to eligible households and include soap, toothpaste and deodorant. Additional items may also be provided depending on the needs of the household, such as nappies or baby formula.

    Visa requirements

    All visa types accepted.

    Eligibility criteria

    Individuals must be in mandatory self-isolation, and have little or no food and have no network of family and friends to help them.

    Find out more about the Emergency Relief Food and Essential Supplies Packages.

  • A regular extra payment to assist with the payment of rent, fees in a retirement village, lodging, board and lodging, site or mooring fees for a caravan or relocatable home.

    How much Rent Assist you can access depends on how much rent you pay.

    Renters who receive one of the following payments from Centrelink are eligible for Rent Assistance payments:

    • JobSeeker Payment
    • Youth Allowance
    • Austudy
    • ABSTUDY
    • Parenting Payment
    • Special Benefit
    • Farm Household Allowance
    • or people who receive more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit

    Find out more about Rent Assist.

  • This support service helps people to find paid work in Australia.

    The types of jobs which may be available include:

    • Cleaning and sanitation of buildings, public spaces and transport.
    • Food services and catering.
    • Health care and carer/community support roles.
    • Outreach for people who are isolated or who need supplies delivered to their homes.
    • Manufacturing roles including food manufacturing.
    • Logistics including warehousing, security services and driving roles.
    • Customer service and call centre roles.
    • Waste management.
    • Environmental management. 
    • Outdoor work including regional infrastructure damaged by bushfires (e.g. walking trails).
    • Agricultural, including fruit harvesting.

    All jobs will be paid at or above award rates.

    Find out more about Working for Victoria.

  • Get help to pay a mains electricity, gas or water bill that is overdue due to the coronavirus crisis.

    You can receive a maximum of $650 on each utility type in a two-year period (or $1,300 for households with a single source of energy (e.g. electricity only) and you can apply for separate grants for each utility (electricity, gas and water).

    For your application to be successful you will need to show that you have no way of paying the account without assistance, and meet one of the three following criteria:

    • you have had a recent decrease in income,
    • you have had high unexpected costs for essential items,
    • the cost of shelter is more than 30% of your household income.

    Find out more about the Utilities Grant Relief scheme.

  • The JobSeeker Payment is a regular income support payments available to eligible individuals. How much you are paid depends on how much income you have.

    Individuals are eligible for this payment if they are aged between 22 and Age Pension age and one of the following:

    • unemployed and looking for work,
    • sick or injured and unable to do your usual work or study for a short time,
    • a permanent employee who has been stood down or lost your job,
    • a sole trader, self employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced,
    • caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.

    Find out more about the JobSeeker Payment.

  • Beginning 27 April 2020 an additional $550 per fortnight will be paid into your account on top of your Centrelink income support payment if you receive one of the following payments from Centrelink:

    • JobSeeker Payment
    • Partner Allowance
    • Widow Allowance
    • Sickness Allowance
    • Wife Pension
    • Youth Allowance for job seekers
    • Youth Allowance for students and apprentices
    • Austudy for students and apprentices
    • ABSTUDY for students getting
    • Living Allowance
    • Parenting Payment partnered and single
    • Farm Household Allowance

    This payment will continue for up to 6 months for eligible individuals.

    Find out more about the Coronavirus Supplement.

  • The Crisis Payment is a once-off payment to the value of one week’s worth of your base income support payment.

    Individuals are eligible for this payment if they currently receive an income support payment from Centrelink, are in severe financial hardship, and one of the following:

    • need to self-isolate or are caring for someone self-isolating, or
    • are experiencing family and domestic violence.

    Find out more about the Crisis Payment.

Community organisations support

  • Food relief program delivering emergency food and supplies to African Australian clients and their families living in South East Melbourne.

    afri-auscare.org

  • Food: Take away food packages and day to day essentials for people seeking asylum who live in or around Melbourne.

    Healthcare: ASRC Health Clinic in Footscray offers primary health services including: general practitioner (GP) and nursing consultations; physiotherapy and psychology.

    Legal aid: The ASRC Human Rights Law Program can offer free legal advice and assistance to people seeking asylum who cannot afford a private lawyer and have no access to government-funded legal advice.

    Visit:  asrc.org.au

  • Can provide immediate aid including food parcels and Coles vouchers. Support and referral to other programs and services that can assist to overcome financial distress – including negotiating with creditors. Can help with part of overdue utility bills and assist with part payment of rent arrears.

    Visit:  amcservices.org.au

  • Assistance can be provided with food, prescriptions and travel for emergency needs for people living in the City of Casey. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all enquiries are via phone. Call 03 9705 6699 and ask for information relevant to your area.

    Visit:  caseynorthciss.com.au

  • Emergency food relief and essential items available in several locations including Greater Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Gippsland and Bendigo.

    Visit:  ccam.org.au

  • Emergency relief including food, food vouchers, travel cards, petrol vouchers, assistance with bills, rent and medicines.

    Visit:  cisvic.org.au/getting-help/financial-hardship

  • CSF are offering Frankston residents a telephone (9783 7284) and email (csf@frankston.net) based assistance service. You will be able to speak with an interviewer, who will assess your current needs and discuss how they can provide emergency relief and essential support to you.

    Visit:  frankston.net

  • Emergency support including food, clothing and financial assistance for people living in the Dandenong Ranges.

    Visit:  drers.org.au

  • There is no service delivery from the Northern Community Hub office until further notice. However we will continue to provide a service to communities through phone contact with you. You can still call the office number 5260 6000. 

    Visit:  diversitat.org.au/covid19

  • The program is supporting people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Each eligible household will receive a two-week supply of essential goods.

    Visit:  foodbank.org.au

  • Emergency food relief. Priority given to people living in Bayswater, Bayswater North or Boronia who are homeless or at risk of being homeless and are receiving income from Centrelink. Call the office on (03) 9720 5097 and leave a message for a staff member to call you back. 

    Visit:  glenparkcc.com.au

  • Can deliver a box of relief Halal food and hygiene items to those who require crisis support and asylum seekers. Suitable for 1-2 adults for a week.

    Visit:  halalfoodbankmelbourne.wordpress.com

  • Emergency relief for residents of the Latrobe local government area experiencing financial crisis. Support can include food and pharmacy vouchers as well as material aid, including sleeping bags and winter coats.

    Visit:​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​ lchs.com.au/community/emergency-relief

  • Homelessness services, family violence services, doorways and emergency relief.

    Visit:  sacredheartmission.org

  • Pre-packaged food service to anyone in need. Send a text to 0450 039 288 to find out more information.

    Visit:  stpeters.org.au

  • Free meals, accommodation support, case management. Takeaway meals, coffee and some material aid is available from Homelessness Resource Centre on Flemington Road, North Melbourne, from 10am-1pm, Monday to Friday.

    Visit:  vincentcare.org.au

Add your community organisation to this list

The Commission is inspired by the amazing work our multicultural community organisations are doing during the coronavirus crisis, and we would love to hear how communities are supporting each other during this period.

If you would like to tell us about an inspiring organisations supporting Victorians in need, please get in touch with us at contact@vmc.vic.gov.au.

Reviewed 30 March 2021

Experienced racism? Here's what you can do

Racism is never ok and should never be tolerated. If you feel you have been discriminated against, victimised or vilified, you or someone on your behalf can make a complaint to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Find out more
Was this page helpful?