Tasmanian Bushfires - December 2019 - Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment

Support for New Zealanders adversely affected by the bushfires in Tasmania in December 2019 and January 2020.

You have until 16 July 2020 to make a claim for the following Local Government Areas:

  • Break O’Day
  • Central Highlands
  • Southern Highlands.

What is it

The ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you. It’s not for minor damage or inconvenience.

You can choose to get this payment in 2 instalments if you prefer.

Who can get it

To get the ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment you must:

  • be 16 years or older at the time of the fire or getting a social security payment
  • haven't already received an ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment for the Tasmanian Bushfires in December 2019 and January 2020
  • be a non-protected SCV (subclass 444) holder and a ‘non-resident’ under the Social Security Act 1991, and
  • have paid tax in Australia for at least one year in the past three financial years or will do so before 17 January 2021.

You also need to have been seriously affected by the fire. For example:

  • you’ve  been seriously injured
  • you're the immediate family member of an Australian citizen who died
  • your principal place of residence has been destroyed or must be demolished
  • your principal place of residence has been declared structurally unsound
  • the interior of your principal place of residence has sustained major damage
  • damage from the fire has exposed the interior of your principal place of residence to the elements
  • the interior of your residence has been affected by sewage contamination
  • a major asset or assets you own located at your principal place of residence has or have been destroyed or suffered major damage from the fire
  • you're the principal carer of a dependent child or you're claiming for a partner and/or dependent adult who has experienced any of the above.

For the purposes of this payment:

  • Your principal place of residence is the main place where you have a right or license to normally reside.  It doesn’t include holiday homes or investment properties.
  • A major asset is an asset or assets with a combined market value of $20,000 or more. For example, this can include buildings, vehicles, caravans, water tanks or large scale machinery.
  • You’re a principal carer of a child if the child is your dependent and hasn’t turned 16. The principal carer must have legal responsibility for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.

How much you can get

If you’re eligible you’ll  get:

  • $1,000 per adult
  • $1,000 per partner or dependent adult
  • $400 for each child younger than 16.

Additional Payment for Children

The Additional Payment for Children is a one-off payment of $400 per child.

If you got or will get the Ex-gratia Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for this bushfire event, you’ll automatically get the Additional Payment for Children. There’s nothing else you need to do. We’ll pay this into your bank account automatically.

How to claim

Complete the following steps to claim the Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment.

  1. Visiting a service centre

    1. Get ready to claim

    The fastest way to claim is over the phone.

    To claim, either:

    Read more about our phone line times.

    Call us on 131 202 to talk to us in languages other than English.

  2. Gather Documents

    2. Get your documents ready

    You may need to provide evidence to show you can get this payment. For example, proof of hospital admission or damage to your principal place of residence.

    If you’re having trouble getting these documents you should still lodge a claim without delay. You can provide your supporting documents to us within 28 days.

    You may also need to confirm your identity. We’ll tell you how to do it during the claim process.

    You'll need to provide one document showing Proof of Birth or Proof of Arrival in Australia. Or, you can provide any other approved documents that add up to the value of 50 points. For example:

    • driver’s licence (40 points)
    • bank card/statement (40 points)
    • Medicare card (20 points).

    3. Submit your claim

    Remember, the fastest way to claim is over the phone.

    If you print and complete a claim form, you can submit it and any supporting documents either:

    • in person at a service centre
    • by faxing them to 1300 727 760
    • by posting them to
      Emergency Processing Centre
      Reply Paid 7815
      Canberra BC ACT 2610

    Please make sure your name is on your supporting documents so we can identify them.

How to manage your payment

It’s your responsibility to decide to claim for this payment based on your personal circumstances. It’s also your responsibility to ensure that the information you provide in your claim is true and correct.

What other services are available

For further assistance search Payment and Service Finder.

If you’re affected by family and domestic violence:

  • call us on 132 850 and ask to speak with one of our social workers - 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday, local time
  • go to our family and domestic violence webpage for more information.

Page last updated: 20 March 2020