Hardship Payments Increased

Hardship Payments Increased

The Victorian Government is doubling an assistance payment for those experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as part of a $50 million program to make sure people are not falling through the cracks.

The Government has commissioned the Red Cross to provide financial assistance, information and referrals to those doing it tough during the pandemic who are not eligible for Commonwealth support or the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

Last Thursday the Victorian Government announced a doubling of the assistance payment for eligible people. Single people who have zero or very limited savings, income and community support can now apply to receive a $800 payment. Families still receive more based on the number of people in the household.

People who previously received a $400 payment (or equivalent family amount) can apply for a $400 ‘top up’ payment. For more information see the Q&As and Community service provider fact sheet on the DHHS website.

Some other recent program changes include:

  • a change to the bank statement requirement – applicants now only need to provide a one month bank statement that is no more than two weeks old.
  • phone application option for people who do not have access to a device or the internet.


Applicants struggling to source required information or apply through the online portal should call Red Cross to discuss their options: 1800 855 240. A reminder that Red Cross is not required to share individual visa information with government.

Emergency supports are available for people on temporary visas, not eligible for Commonwealth support or the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

You may be eligible for an emergency payment to help meet basic needs, such as food, medicine and bills. Find out more: www.redcross.org.au/vicrelief


Help for those on temporary visas


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