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How to claim the $1,000 flood relief payment

·3-min read
House submerged by NSW flood waters
If you live in one of the eligible areas, you may be able to get a $1,000 flood relief payment. (Source: Getty)

Flood victims in 23 local government areas (LGAs) in NSW are now eligible for disaster recovery payments worth up to $1,000.

People who have been struck by severe storms and flooding may now be able to access $1,000 per adult and $400 per child, depending on their eligibility.

They will be available to those in the affected LGAs who have suffered a significant loss as a result of the floods, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or a serious injury.

Flood victims can apply for a Disaster Recovery Payment by following these three steps.

  1. Set up a myGov account

According to the Services Australia website, if you’re an Australian resident or protected visa holder, the simplest way to claim is online.

To do this, you’ll first need to set up a myGov account, if you haven’t already.

People who need help lodging a claim can call Services Australia on the emergency information line on 180 22 66.

2. Link your myGov account to Centrelink

Next, you’ll need to link Centrelink to your myGov account.

If you have lodged a claim for a payment before through Centrelink, you’ll be able to use your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) to link Centrelink to myGov. You’ll also need to answer some personal questions, the department advised.

If you haven’t lodged a claim before, you’ll need to prove your identity online using myGov.

To do this, you may need to meet some identity requirements. You’ll need to include details from two acceptable sources of identity and your Medicare card, as well as enter some other personal information.

If you don’t know your CRN or can’t answer the personal questions, you’ll need to follow the instructions as though you’ve never applied for a payment before.

3. Make a claim

Once you’ve set up a myGov account and linked it to Centrelink, you can sign in and click “Apply for Disaster Recovery Payment”

You’ll need to answer several eligibility and claim questions before you can submit your claim.

Warning: don’t cheat the system

During the last floods in NSW and Queensland, then-government services minister Linda Reynolds warned people not to claim the payment if they weren’t affected.

At the time, she said the Government had “very sophisticated intelligence and investigation capabilities” to detect fraud and prosecute people.

While the Government has not advised what the penalties are for rorting the latest round of disaster relief, in the past, people who have continually cheated government payments have been hit with steep penalties.

For example, two people living in Melbourne were sentenced to prison over a series of fraudulent COVID-19 Pandemic Leave Disaster Payments, totalling $54,000.

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