Information on support, immediate assistance and services to help you if you’re financially affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
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.
All visa types accepted.
Individuals must be in mandatory self-isolation, and have little or no food and have no network of family and friends to help them.
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
- Parenting Payment
- Special Benefit
- Farm Household Allowance
- or people who receive more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Community organisations support
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.
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.
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.
Reviewed 13 May 2020