16 Mar

NSW Floods – Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

  1. Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP)

The Australian Government has announced the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) to assist people that you have been significantly affected by a disaster. 

The AGDRP lump sum payments starting in Feb 2022, are to help people seriously affected by the recent NSW Floods (payments are not for minor damage or inconvenience).  To be eligible, you have to live in one of the listed Local Government Areas (LGA).   You can see which LGA you’re in by entering your address into the NSW Government ‘find your local council tool’.  Refer to https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/public/find-my-council/

You have up to 3 September 2022 to make a claim. 

The AGDRP payments are paid in two instalments. 

If you lost income as a direct result of the storms and floods, you might also be eligible for the Disaster Recovery Allowance. 

1.1       Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment – Special Supplement

In addition to the above, there is another payment (the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment – Special Supplement) for the following LGA’s:

  • Clarence Valley
  • Lismore
  • Richmond Valley

To receive this special supplement, you need to meet the AGDRP eligibility rules and you need to live in one of the above LGA’s.  You will also need to submit a claim for the special supplement.  The payment will be made in two parts.  If you have already received the AGDRP on or before 8 March 2022, you’ll get the first part of the payment from 15 March 2022.  Then second part will be paid 7 days later. 

If you have not claimed the AGDRP yet, you can still be eligible for the special supplement.  You will have until the due date (3 September 2022) to submit your claim.   Once your application has been processed and granted, you will receive your first AGDRP payment in 7 days, then second payment 7 days after that.

1.2       Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the payment, you (or a dependent child you’re a principal carer for) must meet all of the following criteria:

  • you’re an Australian resident or hold an eligible visa
  • you meet Local Government Area (LGA) rules
  • you’re claiming this payment for the NSW Floods, February 2022 for the first time

Refer to attached link for residence rules –  https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/residence-rules-for-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment-or-disaster-recovery-allowance?context=62109

You must have been seriously affected by the storms and floods, for example:

  • you were seriously injured
  • you’re the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died or is missing
  • the flood caused major damage* to your home (your principal place of residence, not your holiday home or investment property)

You must be 16 years or older at the time of the floods or getting a social security payment.  If you’re part of a couple, you can both claim this payment. You and your partner will need to make separate claims.  You also can’t claim on behalf of a person who has died, or their estate.

* Examples of major damage to your home (principal place of residence) can include:

  • it’s been destroyed or must be demolished
  • it’s been declared structurally unsound
  • this disaster has exposed the interior to the elements
  • sewage has gotten inside your home
  • this disaster has significantly damaged a major asset or assets you own at your property (major asset is an asset/assets with combined market value of $20,000 or more, and can include buildings, vehicles, caravans, water tanks, large scale machinery)

You may also be eligible if this disaster has caused major damage to the interior of your principal place of residence, for example:

  • flooring or furniture needs refinishing or replacing
  • electrical items need repairing or replacing
  • metal has begun to rust, pit and corrode and needs replacing

1.3       AGDRP lump sum payment amount

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive:

  • $1,000 per adult
  • $400 for each child younger than 16

If you meet the eligibility criteria for AGDRP and live in the Clarence Valley, Lismore or Richmond Valley LGA, you will receive the special supplement, paid in 2 parts, and is a total of:

  • $2,000 per adult
  • $800 for each child under 16

The special supplement is not taxable (you will not need to include it in your tax report or report it to Centrelink as income).

You can receive the AGDRP payment while also getting income support payment.

1.4       How to claim

There are 3 steps to claim the AGDRP payment.

  1. Claim online using your my.gov account linked to Centrelink.  If you don’t have a my.gov account, you will need to set it up online.  If you need help claiming, call the on 1802266.
  • Link Centrelink to your my.gov account.
    • If you have claimed a payment before, use your Centrelink CRN to link to my.gov
    • If you haven’t claimed before, you’ll need to prove your identity online using my.gov, then once you have proved your identity, Centerlink will link your account to your my.gov account.
  • Make your claim – Follow these steps to make your claim:
  • Sign in to myGov and select Centrelink in your linked services
  • Select Make a claim or view claim status.
  • Select Make a claim.
  • Scroll to Help in an emergency and select Get started.
  • Select Apply for Disaster Recovery Payment.
  • Select Begin.
  • Answer the eligibility and claim questions.
  • Service NSW Storm and Flood Disaster Small Business Grant

Small businesses or not-for profit organisations in NSW that have been directly impacted by the storms and floods in February and March 2022 may be eligible for this grant.

The disaster recovery grant of up to $50,000 is to help businesses pay for the costs of clean up and reinstatement of business operations including:

  • payment for tradespeople to conduct safety inspections
  • equipment and materials required for cleaning up
  • equipment and materials essential for immediately resuming operations
  • payment for a cleaner if the service would not have been needed, or exceeds ordinary cleaning costs, in the absence of the disaster
  • the removal and disposal of debris, damaged materials or damaged stock
  • repairing premises and internal fittings
  • leasing temporary premises, replacing or repair of motor vehicles, or replacing lost or damaged stock, if it’s essential for resuming operations

To be eligible, your business must be in a ‘defined disaster area’ – see attached link https://www.nsw.gov.au/disaster-recovery/natural-disaster-declarations

If you’re a primary producer, you may be eligible for financial assistance – please visit the Rural Assistance Authority website https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/storm-and-flood-programs/sdg-february-2022.

Note that this grant is only available for businesses affected by the February/March storms and floods.  Businesses affected by storms and floods in November and December 2021 will need to apply for a separate grant ‘Storm and flood disaster recovery small business grant (November & December 2021).

2.1       Available funding

The maximum grant amount is $50,000.

Funding stages and documentation required:

  • Eligible businesses will be provided funds up to $15,000, based on quotes supplied when the application is submitted online (via Service NSW).  There is no need to provide evidence of payment at this initial stage
  • You will need to provide evidence (such as tax invoice) in relation to the first $15,000 payment if you are applying for additional funding between $15,000 to $50,000. 
  • To receive funding between $15,000 to $50,000 you will need to submit evidence of payment of all relevant costs at time of application.

If your initial grant application is less than $50,000, you can submit further applications if you require further funds.

2.2       Eligibility criteria

You must be a small business owner or a not-for-profit organisation in a defined disaster area, and:

  • have suffered direct damage – ‘direct damage’ means a direct and material impact of flooding on business assets or equipment.
  • be primarily responsible for meeting the costs you are claiming
  • intend to re-establish your small business or not-for-profit organisation within the same area
  • if you are a small business, have held an ABN (which you currently hold) and engaged in carrying on the small business at the time of the floods in the defined disaster area
  • if you are a not-for-profit organisation, be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) or an equivalent state regulatory body and have held that registration at the time of the eligible disaster.

If you are a sole trader with no employees, and you satisfy the criteria above, you can apply for the grant if you can show that you derive majority of your income from the small business or that immediately before the eligible disaster, you derived majority of your income from the business, and majority of your income would have come from the business if not for the eligible disaster event.

You may also be eligible for the grant if your business is located outside the disaster area, but your business operates (part time or regular basis) within the defined area, and plant/equipment your small business owns was located in the disaster area and damaged by the disaster event.

The grant is NOT available if you are receiving funding from another government source/program, if you’re receiving or entitled to receive a claim under an insurance policy, or if your claim relates to repairs for an investment property (unless you rent the property in the course of operating your small business).

You will need to apply online at Service NSW with your MyServiceNSW account.

Should you have any questions, please contact our office.