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3.12.4 Domestic or Family Violence - Remaining in the Home
Last updated 21 December 2006
Intent of crisis payment - remaining in the home
Crisis payment for a person who remains in the family home after being subjected to domestic or family violence is intended to assist with minor repairs to the home e.g. replacing or re-keying locks, or repairing or replacing essential household items.
Criteria for domestic or family violence when the victim remains in the home
A person applying for a crisis payment due to domestic or family violence must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:
- has been subjected to domestic or family violence by a family member who was living with the person at the time of the violence,
- remains in the family home after the perpetrator has left or been removed from the home,
- was in Australia when the domestic or family violence occurred,
- claims the crisis payment within seven days of the domestic or family violence occurring,
- on the day of the claim was in severe financial hardship,
- on the day of the claim is receiving or has made a claim for (on that day or earlier) and is eligible for an income support pension and is eligible to receive payment on that day, and
- has received less than four crisis payments due to domestic or family violence or extreme circumstances in the last twelve months.
Note: A person will not be eligible for a crisis payment for domestic or family violence if the Commission is satisfied that the perpetrator of the violence left the person's home with a view to enabling the person to obtain a crisis payment.
Who can claim
It is possible for a crisis payment due to domestic or family violence to be paid to more than one person, provided all other eligibility criteria are met.
Example of who can claim
A person and their elderly mother who lives with them are subjected to domestic violence by the partner of the person in the family home. The partner is removed by the police and an apprehended violence order (AVO) is issued, meaning that the partner is not able to return to the home. Provided all other criteria are met, both the person and their mother are able to claim a crisis payment for the same incident. The partner who has been removed is also able to claim crisis payment for extreme circumstances causing departure from the home. The person's father, who also lives in the home, was not present at the time of the incident, therefore is not eligible to claim a crisis payment.
A crisis payment is a one-off non-taxable payment to extend immediate financial assistance to people in severe financial hardship who:
- are forced to leave their home due to extreme circumstances, such as domestic or family violence or a house fire, or
- have been subjected to domestic or family violence by a family member and choose to remain in the family home after the perpetrator has left or been removed from the home, or
- released prisoners released from either goal or psychiatric institutions.
Domestic or family violence is described by a variety of terms, including but not restricted to:
- assault, sexual assault,
- child, wife/partner, elder abuse,
- domestic violence,
- economic, social, verbal, emotional, psychological abuse,
- financial coercion,
- maltreatment, or
According to section 5L of the VEA a family member, in relation to a person, means:
- the partner, father or mother of the person, or
- a sister, brother or child of the person, or
- another person who, in the Commission's opinion, should be treated as one of these relations for the purposes of this definition.
Please note, the definition of a parent is further defined in section 10A of the VEA.
In general terms, this is where someone is suffering from serious money difficulties, such as insufficient income to manage their basic living expenses. More detailed descriptions of various financial hardship situations are covered under the following topics:
- financial hardship provisions under section 52Y of the VEA, for the purpose of the calculating a rate of service pension or income support supplement,
- financial hardship for the purpose of crisis payment,
- hardship amount for income stream purposes,
- hardship assessment of lump sum advance repayments under section 79O of the VEA,
- financial hardship for special deeming exemptions of 'saved' personal loans and 'frozen' unlisted property trusts,
- early release of superannuation benefit due to severe financial hardship, and
- proof of identity at time of pension claims in emergency or hardship situations.
Income support pension is:
- a social security pension
- a service pension;
- an income support supplement.