If you live in the ACT and are in need of financial help, you will find numerous options here. Find out about different National and ACT specific support options including; loans, bill assistance, advice, counselling and more.
Whether you live in one of the larger regions of Canberra like Belconnen, Tuggeranong or Gungahlin; or smaller areas such as Western Creek or Molonglo Valley there are great services available.
Even smaller regional areas have access to national and local financial assistance programs.
Low income earners in the Australian Capital Territory have access to numerous government benefits and non-profit financial support programs and services. These benefits can provide you with additional funds to help pay some of your expenses, or reduce the overall amount of money you owe for certain things.
Below is a look at the top financial assistance programs for low-income earners in the ACT.
If you are in need of immediate financial assistance, visit our loans options section.
Energy and Utility Concessions. This program is specifically for those who have a Centrelink Health Care, a Pensioner Concessions Card, or a DVA Gold Card. It provides these residents with a rebate on their energy and utility bills. For electric and natural gas expenses, this concession provides a rebate of $.0524 per day from 1 November to 31 May, and $1.928 per day from 1 June to 31 October, for a maximum amount of $322.10 per year. This program also offers a flat utility concession of $84.05 per year.
Life Support Concessions. If you utilise any eligible life support equipment due to health reasons, you may be eligible for a special rebate of up to $121.87 per year to help offset the cost of running this equipment on a consistent basis.
Medical Heating and Cooling Concessions. If you have a medical condition, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, or Multiple Sclerosis that requires you to maintain a set temperature in your home throughout the year, you may also be eligible for rebate of $121.87 per year to help offset the costs of your heating and cooling bills.
Rental Bonds Loan Scheme. If you are a renter and do not have the necessary bond funds to set up a new apartment, you may be eligible to receive a loan from the ACT to help cover these costs. The government will pay as much as 90 per cent of your total bond amount. You will then need to repay this loan amount over the next 20 months.
First Home Owner Grant. If you area a first time home owner and looking to build your first home, you may be eligible for a special grant of up to $12,500 to use towards your down payment. This grant is only for those looking to build a new home, and not to purchase an established home.
ACT Dental Health Program. This dental program helps to cover the cost for basis and emergency dental services. The adults who have a Pensioners Concessions Card, and DVA Gold Card, or a Health Care Card are eligible, as is many children under19-years old.
Spectacle Subsidy Scheme. This concession helps eligible residents obtain one pair of eyeglasses once every two years.
Transport Concessions. Seniors who hold a Pensioners Concessions Card or a DVA Gold Card are eligible to receive a 100 per cent discount off their driver’s licence fees and registration fees. If you are unemployed, you may be able to obtain a motor vehicle registration for just $10 and a 50 per cent reduction on your driver’s licence fees. If you have a Health Care Card, you may only need to pay $10 for your motor vehicle registration.
ACT Senior Card. The ACT Senior Card is specifically for those residents who are over the age of 60-years old and are working less than 20 hours per week. Seniors who hold this card will receive a discount while utilising the ACTION buses, and a special discount at more than 500 businesses throughout the ACT region.
Secondary Bursary Scheme. This program helps students who are entering years 7 through 10 offset some of the costs involved in the schooling. The scheme pays a flat payment of up to $750 per year per student.
Funeral Assistance. If someone you love has passed away and you do not have the necessary funds to cover the funeral costs, you may be eligible for funeral assistance of up to $500 from the ACT to help cover these expenses.
ADRA Australia. This organisation helps to provide assistance to the poor and distressed residents of ACT. It provides numerous services throughout the territory, such as assisting women in crisis with safe housing, food relief, help with household expenses, emergency and disaster relief, free community meals, and maintains numerous Op Shops that provides clothing, furniture, home wares, and more to those in need.
Carer ACT. This program is specifically designed for those who take care of an elderly senior or a person with disabilities. It provides a wealth of resources, advice, advocacy, counselling, support, and respite services.
St. Vincent de Paul Society. This society has programs in various locations throughout the territory. It provide an array of services, such as disaster recovery, food, food vouchers, furniture, clothing, help with utility bills, budgeting support, back to school supplies, and help to families facing domestic violence with support, such as housing, immigration issues, Centrelink assistance, health care, counselling, and education.
The Smith Family. This is an organisation specifically set-up to help children excel in their education. It provides tutoring services, learning support assistance, and mentorships.
Australian Red Cross. This well-known organisation helps people who they consider locational disadvantage overcome some of the obstacles they face. The provide services, such as emergency and disaster relief, food, nutritional education, early intervention, and parenting classes.
Salvation Army. The Salvation Army helps both individuals and families through the ACT with a variety of programs, such as financial assistance, addictions support, domestic violence support, housing, aged care, help finding employment, and more.
Financial Counselling Australia. If you need some professional financial advice the FCA is a great place to start. There service is free and 100% confidential, independent and unbiased.