Are you dealing with financial difficulties and need assistance? Find out about the different National and VIC financial support possibilities including; loans, bill assistance, advice, counselling and more.
There are numerous free financial facilities for Australians throughout VIC. Whether you live in one of the larger regions such as Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat or Bendigo; or smaller regional areas such as Shepparton, Melton or Sunbury there are services available to you. Even small country towns have access to local and national financial assistance and programs. Many Victorians just don’t know what is available.
These special programs provide financial support to help residents pay some of their monthly and annual bills. Utilising the benefits you are eligible for can help make your finances easier to manage and can provide the extra funding necessary to meet all of your financial obligations.
Below is a look at the top financial assistance programs for low-income earners living in Victoria.
If you are in need of immediate financial assistance, visit our loans options section.
Annual Electricity Concessions. This program runs from 1 May to 31 October and reduces the eligible person’s energy bill by 17.5 per cent. They may also be eligible for an annual subsidy of $171.60.
Non-Main Electricity Concessions. For those residents who use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) instead, they can receive an annual rebate of up to $495.
Medical Cooling Concessions. If you have a medical condition that requires you to maintain the temperature in your home at a set amount, you may be eligible for this special concession. It will reduce your electric bill by 17.5 per cent from 1 November to 30 April.
Life Support Concessions. If you utilise special life support equipment that runs on electricity, the Victoria government will help you cover some of your energy costs. You may be eligible for a reduction on both your electric and water bill. This concession only applies to certain life support machines and the rate of the discounts vary by machine.
Water and Sewerage Concessions. You can receive up to a 50 per cent deduction on your current water and sewerage bill, of up to $145.50 for just water and up to $291 for water and sewerage.
First Home Owner Grant. If you are purchasing or building a home for the first time, you may be eligible for this special grant. You can receive up to a $7,000 to use towards a down payment on a home, with a value of up to $750,000.
Stamp Duty Concessions. If eligible, you may not have to pay the stamp duty fee on a property you purchase. The property must be valued between $330,000 and $750,000.
Renter Bond Loan Scheme. If you are a renter and need help paying the bond required to set up a new apartment, this scheme may help you. This program will give you the needed bond money as a non-interest loan and then you will repay it slowly over time.
Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Concessions. This concession lower the motor registration fee by 50 per cent each year. If you are a military Gold Card member, 100 per cent of your motor vehicle registration fee will be waived.
Public Transport Concessions. This concession is for qualified low-income earners, students, and seniors and typically reduces the public transport fee by 50 per cent, but this amount can be lower or higher in some locations.
Senior Card. The Victoria Senior Card is for those seniors who are over that age of 60 and are working less than 3 hours per week. It offers a significant discount on various public transport options and a discount at participating retailers, services, and dining venues throughout the state of Victoria.
Funeral Assistance. If a loved one has passed away and you are responsible for making their funeral arrangements, you may receive help from the Victorian government to help cover these costs. To be eligible the deceased person must have assets worth less than $1,000, but it will cover the costs to plan the funeral and arrange the burial.
Municipal Rates Concessions. This concession reduces the municipal council fees up to 50 per cent for qualified resident up to a maximum amount of $208 per year.
Fire Service Property Levy Concessions. This concession is based on your income, but if you qualify, you can receive up to $50 off your Fire Service Property Levy bill.
Homeground Services. This organisation strives to end homelessness. They have made it their mission to help homeless people find a long-term home and manage to keep it. They offer assistance with established rental properties in the community. They also offer supportive housing that combines quality housing with support services to help clients resolve issues the lead to homelessness.
Wintringham. Provides Specialised Aged Care. Their focus since their founding has been to provide care for the aged and homeless. They provide clinical healthcare, meals and housing for elderly Australians in Victoria. They also help their clients with financial management to avoid debt. Their approach is holistic for each individual to help with mental or health issues that led to their circumstances and providing solutions that work.
No Interest Loan Scheme (VIC). No interest loans available to help local residents get a loan for home essentials such as appliances or medical equipment that is repayable within 12 to 18 months. This loan scheme is available to low income earners who find them themselves in need of short term financial assistance but prefer to not receive charity.
Depending on your location there may also be other non-profits that will assist you such as; The Salvos, Vinnies, Anglicare and others.
Financial Counselling Australia. If you are having financial issues and need professional advice, talking to a professional financial counsellor would be highly recommended. The Financial Counsellors of Australia are free and will be able to provide you with information on services within your immediate area.