Crisis payment is one-off financial assistance provided under certain qualifications to help people get rid of emergency cash needs. As a social welfare measure, this enables many to endure their darkest financial periods of life without much turmoil. The stipend provides a ray of hope to fight back and a moral boosting to start fresh.
What is crisis payment?
Crisis payment is an assistance given through Centrelink to those living in Australia and facing severe financial hardship. The national law defines the term severe financial hardship as an economic condition where available funds are less than two weeks of maximum rate of social security payment.
The help is also available for those who have already received only in-kind assistance, in the form of food and goods support. Homeless people, just-released prisoners, victims of domestic violence, psychiatric patients and asylum seekers stand to gain from the welfare scheme.
How much is paid as crisis payment?
One gets crisis payment equivalent to income support payment paid for one week. There is no extra allowance or additional benefits attached to it. If you are receiving rent assistance or payments to care for and support children, these amounts are not counted as part of the crisis payment and continued to be paid as extra.
What is the frequency of crisis payment?
No limit in the frequency of crisis payment to those discharged from mental hospitals or released from prisons subject to the condition that they are eligible for new-start allowance. Victims of domestic violence or other extreme situations can get it four times in a year. Crisis payment for refugees or asylum seeks on humanitarian basis is a one-time affair.
Who is eligible for crisis payment?
One must fulfil the following conditions to receive crisis payments.
• He or she should be a resident of Australia and facing financial hardship of extreme nature.
• He or she should be entitled for an income support allowance or special benefit.
• The applicant is a victim of extreme circumstances, such as domestic violence, family cruelty, sexual or psychological abuse, health risks following unforeseen circumstances, etc., forcing him or her to become a destitute.
• Recently released from prison or mental asylum and need help to start afresh. Australian prisoners released from foreign jails a returning to country within 7 days are also eligible.
• First-time refugees arriving in Australia on the grounds of belonging to subclass200, humanitarian asylum seeker, special humanitarian requirement, emergency rescue and women facing the risk of being exploited.
How to claim crisis payment?
Any claim for crisis payment must be submitted to Centrelink. First, get registered within 7 days of being released from a psychiatric hospital or prison or becoming a destitute. Then, submit a claim within the next 2 weeks.
Released prisoners or patients can register themselves 21 days prior to their date of release. The 7-day time frame for those leaving home due to extreme circumstances starts from the day the victim decided not to return. For domestic violence cases, it starts from the day of leaving the home or the perpetrator is removed. For refugees, the deadline starts as soon as they reach Australia.
Those with rejected claims have a second chance offered through easy and free appeal to an Authorised Review Officer of Centrelink.