You are here

C02/2003 ACT Emergency Financial Relief Assistance



ACT Emergency Financial Relief Assistance

Note:  This DI has been amended by DI C03/2003 — Amendment to ACT Emergency Financial Relief Assistance


This departmental instruction is to provide advice relating to the income support assessment when a pensioner is granted an ACT emergency financial relief assistance payment.


On Monday 20th January, the ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, announced that immediate assistance is available to people who have been made homeless as a consequence of the recent ACT bush fires.

Initial short-term assistance has been available to those who have been required to leave their homes.  An amount of $75 has been made available to people for immediate personal expenses.

Further assistance of up to $10,000 per household for essential household and personal items for those householders whose homes have been destroyed or are no longer habitable, where insurance is not available.  The link below provides additional information.


Paragraph 5H(8)(j) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act, 1986 and paragraph 8(8)(c) of the Social Security Act 1991 states that the value of emergency relief or like assistance is NOT income for income support pension and social security purposes, respectively.

This means that the $75 and the $10,000 financial assistance made to victims of the current bushfire will not be assessed as income for social security purposes.

The amount will not be directly assessable as an asset.  However, if the person chooses not to utilise the funds to remedy their short-term situation, the assets test rules must be considered.  It is important to ascertain how the person intends to utilise the funds.  If it is temporarily banked for security purposes but soon to be dissipated on the purchase of clothing, household goods and for accommodation the amount should not be assessed.  If however, for example, the person invests some or the whole amount in a financial asset, the amount invested will form part of the total financial assets of the person and be deemed.  It should be noted that any income derived from the asset would not be exempt from the income test.


Should you have any further queries please contact Kirrily Williams in National Office on (02) 6289 6525.

Jeanette Ricketts

Branch Head


28 January, 2003