How to claim

There are 3 steps to claim Disaster Recovery Allowance.

Before you start claiming, check who can get it.

When claiming, you need to make sure the information you give us is true and correct. You must base your claim on your actual circumstances.

If you have a Centrelink online account that’s linked to myGov, sign in and start your claim now.

Sign in to myGov

If you don’t have these set up, you’ll need to follow these steps.

Steps to claim Disaster Recovery Allowance


    1. Get ready to claim

    You can claim online.

    If you need help claiming you can call us on the Emergency information line. If you need an interpreter, let us know and we’ll arrange one for you.

    If you want to speak to someone in your language, call our Multilingual Phone Service.

    If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian, you can also call and speak to our Indigenous call centre for help.

    You can have someone deal with us on your behalf. This is called a correspondence nominee. They can call the Emergency information line to submit a claim for you. They cannot submit an online claim on your behalf.

    If you’re a member of a couple you can both claim this payment. You and your partner must make separate claims.

    To claim online, you need a Centrelink online account linked to myGov.

    If you don’t have a myGov account, you’ll need to set it up online.

    If your Centrelink online account isn’t linked to myGov, you can prove who you are through myGov to link Centrelink.


    2. Link Centrelink to your myGov account

    Sign into myGov and select View and link services, then select Centrelink to link it to your myGov account. How you do this will depend on if you’ve claimed a payment from us before.

    If you’ve claimed a payment before

    If you’ve claimed a payment before, you can use your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) to link Centrelink to myGov. You’ll also need to answer some personal questions.

    If you don’t know your CRN or can’t answer the personal questions using your CRN, select No to Do you have or know your CRN?

    You’ll need to prove your identity online, using myGov. Follow the same instructions for ‘If you haven’t claimed a payment before’.

    If you haven’t claimed a payment before

    If you haven’t claimed a payment from us before, you’ll need to prove your identity online using myGov.

    You’ll need to enter some personal information and details from 2 acceptable identity documents and your Medicare card. Once you prove your identity, we’ll link Centrelink to your myGov account.


    3. Make your claim

    Now your accounts are set up, sign in and start your claim.

    Sign in to myGov

    Then follow these steps:

    1. Select Centrelink.
    2. Select Payments and claims from the menu, then Claims, then Make a claim.
    3. Select Help in an emergency.
    4. Select Apply for Disaster Recovery Allowance and answer the eligibility and claim questions.
    5. Submit your claim.

    Our Centrelink online account guide on how to claim the Disaster Recovery Allowance will step you through this process.

    Evidence you may need to provide

    We may ask you to give us evidence of your loss of income.

    Evidence can include any of the following:

    • pay slips from your employer
    • bank statements showing previous bank deposits from your employer
    • a letter from your employer.

    If you’re a farmer, have a small business, or involved in a trust or partnership, evidence can also include any of the following:

    • profit and loss statements
    • income tax returns
    • other documents that show cash flow, such as a bank statement for your business
    • trust or partnership tax return that shows you have been paid a wage or salary.

    If you don’t have evidence, call us on the Emergency information line to discuss your options.


    4. After you claim

    We’ll let you know if you’ve successfully submitted your claim.

    To track the progress of your application online, sign in to myGov and select Make a claim or view claim status.

    Sign in to myGov

    You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

    We’ll try to process your claim as quickly as possible. We may call you to ask for more information. We appreciate your patience at this time.

    We’ll let you know the outcome of your claim in one of the following ways:

    • SMS
    • myGov inbox message
    • letter.

    If you want to discuss the outcome of your claim, you can call us on the Emergency information line.

We often see the best come out in people and communities that are affected by a natural disaster. Most people want to do the right thing and help. But there are others who try to take advantage of this stressful time.

Read about how to avoid scams and fraud.

Contact numbers available on this page.

Emergency information line

Call this line if you’re affected by a natural disaster and need help to claim a payment.

Natural disaster payment support

Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.

There are other ways you may want to contact us.

Page last updated: 9 January 2024.
QC 65640