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Emergency and crises assistance
Last updated: March 2021

The Commonwealth and South Australian Governments occasionally provide limited one-off financial help to people who suffered loss as a result of declared natural, environmental or other disasters.


This page provides links to relevant schemes run by the Commonwealth and South Australian governments for people based in South Australia.

To make contact with a legal centre specific to your location



Commonwealth Government

The Commonwealth Government’s Disaster Recovery Allowance assists people who have been adversely affected by natural disasters in various local government areas. 

SA Government 

The State Recovery Office, part of the Department of Human Services (DHS), coordinates state disaster recovery operations in South Australia.

The SA Housing Authority provides information and support services such as food, financial assistance and emergency accommodation.

The St Vincent de Paul Society has been appointed by the State Recovery Office to administer, manage and distribute donated goods - eg clothing, furniture and household goods - during and after an emergency.

Other payments to help you in a crisis
You may be able to apply for an immediate income support payment.

This is available even if you are not already receiving a Centrelink benefit. The type of payment or assistance that you may be able to get will depend on your circumstances.


Examples include:

- advance lump-sum payment for people on benefits
- crisis payment, for people on benefits
- special benefit
- carer adjustment payment
- pension loan schemes
- early release of your superannuation.


For more information, call the Commonwealth Department of Human Services:

Help in an Emergency 132 850, Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Farmer assistance 132 316, Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.


Useful links 

Managing debts

Financial Counselling 

Free, independent and confidential. Our financial counsellors are non-judgmental, qualified and experienced professionals who can provide information, support and advocacy to people in financial difficulty. 83421800

National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007 
The free hotline is open from 9:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. When you call this number you will be automatically transferred to the phone service in your state (opening hours can differ in different states). Calls from mobile phones may incur a fee from the mobile phone carrier. 

You can also visit the National Debt Helpline website for information and resources that can help if you're struggling with debt.

The Consumer Credit Law Centre of South Australia (CCLCSA) 83421800

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