Financial help for our residents: Where to find it

A guide for support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We know many people are struggling financially. Even before the pandemic, access to essential services, job opportunities and housing affordability were everyday challenges for some of our residents.

Help is available. The guide below lists resources for personal wellbeing, financial support, and advice on housing and legal matters.

Covid-19 disaster payment

If you’ve lost income due to lockdown restrictions in Sydney from June 2021, you may be eligible for the Covid-19 disaster payment from the Australian Government. A lump sum payment of up to $750 per week is available. This support is available for Australian citizens, permanent residents and eligible working visa holders to apply.

Pandemic leave disaster payment

If you can't earn an income because you must self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone with Covid-19, you may be eligible for the pandemic leave disaster payment from the Australian Government. A lump sum payment of $1,500 is available.

Test and Isolate support payment

If you need to self-isolate and are unable to work while waiting for Covid-19 test result, you may be eligible for the NSW Government's test and isolate support payment of $320.

Managing debt and ongoing finances

The NSW Government’s Covid-19 assistance guide provides access to wellbeing, employment, food and housing support along with financial services. This easy-to-use service finder gives you a personalised list based on your situation and needs.

Keep utility bills under control by finding the most cost effective provider for you. Get a comparison on all energy providers at Energy Made Easy.

Or visit Australian Energy Regulator, which helps customers having trouble paying their energy bills due to hardship. The site tells customers how to get help and outlines consumer rights and case studies in a range of languages.

If you need support with household bills

If you are having trouble paying other household bills like electricity, gas or water, contact your service provider. Many service providers are assisting customers impacted by the pandemic. Be aware they may also be experiencing delays. The Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW has good resources if you are facing financial difficulties.

General living and wellbeing assistance

Call our community hotline for advice about Covid-19-related issues including how to access food and other support services available in your area. Our trained employees are also here to help with concerns about isolation and wellbeing. Call us Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 02 9265 9333 for advice on non-emergency and non-medical information or referral to other services.

If you or someone you know needs help understanding this information or communicating with us in your language, you can call using the free Translating and Interpreting Service.

Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support service has trained counsellors to support you 24/7. If you’re feeling worried or struggling to cope, they’re here to help. Call 1800 512 348 or talk to Beyond Blue counsellors online.

Resources and support for international students

Study NSW’s International Student Welfare Services Hub has information about support services for international students. Services include accommodation, emergency food assistance, legal advice, government services and support and health and safety.

Support for temporary and provisional visa holders

An emergency extreme hardship payment is available for people experiencing financial hardship who cannot access ongoing Commonwealth income support, have zero or limited income, savings or community support. Only temporary and provisional visa holders, as well as people who may not currently hold a valid visa are eligible to apply for this $400 payment delivered through the Red Cross.

You may also be eligible for the special benefit from the Australian Government.

Rental assistance for tenants

Inner Sydney Advice & Tenancy Advocacy Service is a rental assistance program for inner-city residents. It can help with issues such as eviction, rent arrears, returned bonds, housing appeals and more. Call 02 9698 5975.

The NSW Government has introduced new temporary measures to support both tenants and landlords. Tenants who can’t pay their rent in full because they are impacted by the recent Covid-19 outbreak can't be evicted between now and 11 November 2021.

Up to $4500 per tenancy will be available for landlords who agree to reduce rent for Covid-19 impacted tenants.

General government benefits and rebates

Find out what general NSW Government benefits, rebates and concessions are available covering categories like health and wellbeing, employment, food and housing. This service-finder gives you a personalised list based on your online responses to 6 simple questions. Visit the Savings Finder.

Legal assistance

Redfern Legal Centre provides free legal assistance for people experiencing financial abuse, credit and debt distress. The community legal organisation also provides information to international students and advises on employment law.

Homelessness services

If you’re at risk of or experiencing homelessness, help is available. Link2Home is the state-wide homelessness information and referral telephone service. Call 1800 152 152, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Domestic and family violence

No one should feel unsafe in their home. Help continues to be available for people experiencing violence and abuse during this time. Call 1800 RESPECT or see more information and services.

About our community and business recovery plan

Like the rest of Australia, life for many in our local area has been difficult in the face of the global pandemic.

Residents and businesses have experienced a loss of income or employment and our community has told us they have been unable to pay basic living costs, including rent, bills, mortgage and other loans.

The pandemic can also affect wellbeing, mental health and in some cases lead to homelessness.

Our community and business recovery plan covers everything from how we safely manage public places and streets to how we best provide food and other essential services. You can read more about the 6 priorities guiding our recovery work in 2021.

Posted . Last updated .

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