Introduction

If your home or essential household items were damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster, you may be eligible for the Disaster Relief Grant.

The grant helps with the cost of: 

  • replacing essential household items
  • essential structural repairs, or full rebuilds for properties that are unable to be lived in. 

Any independent adults living in the property may want to submit their own application, especially if they own their own belongings. 

To apply, call 13 77 88 or visit a Recovery Centre. You'll be referred to the NSW Reconstruction Authority to assess your eligibility before submitting an application.

Eligibility

You may be eligible to apply if:

  • you're the owner of, or a tenant that lives in (or lived in at the time of the disaster), a property that was damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster
  • the damaged property is your principal place of residence
  • you're unable to claim costs under an insurance policy
  • it has been less than 6 months since the disaster (applications received after this time may be accepted in exceptional circumstances)
  • you're a low-income earner.

You cannot apply if: 

  • you're able to claim under insurance
  • the damaged home is an investment property that you do not live in
  • lack of maintenance has caused the damage
  • the damage is minor and repairs are not essential to live in the property.

Note: You can apply for the Disaster Relief grant if you received the Back Home grant. The grant amount provided will be reduced based on the Back Home support you've already received.

What you need

  • the address of the damaged property
  • your current address if you're in a temporary residence
  • your Australian bank account details for payment.

You'll also need to provide the following for each person covered under the application:

Personal details

  • name, email address and phone number
  • date of birth
  • Centrelink reference number (if applicable)
  • occupation and employer details (if applicable).

Mortgage or rent payments

  • a copy of a mortgage statement or letter from your financial institution showing name, address, and balance (for homeowners)
  • a copy of the lease or rent ledger showing names on the lease, address, and weekly rent (for tenants)

Income details – evidence of your income, which can include: 

  • Centrelink advice letter (if applicable)
  • copies of 2 payslips covering the date of the event, or just before (if applicable)
  • a copy of your tax return or profit and loss statement (if self-employed)

Proof of assets

  • 3 months of bank statements, including 1 month covering the date of the event
  • a council rates notice (for homeowners)
  • evidence of other income that would be declared in an annual tax return.

Property details

  • information about and photos of damaged items – such as furniture, flooring and electrical items.
    Note: For loss of a fridge, stove, washing machine or hot water service, you may need a 'Beyond Economical Repair' report from a qualified electrician 
  • homeowners will also need to provide information on:
    • the external wall structure
    • roof materials
    • number of storeys and rooms
    • the internal and external structural damage (if applicable).

Insurance details (if applicable)

  • your policy number(s)
  • a copy of your insurance policy outlining that the damage and/or contents are not covered.

How to apply

  1. Check you meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Call 13 77 88
    • We'll refer you to the NSW Reconstruction Authority to discuss your eligibility. 
    • They will review your request for assistance and provide the application form as required.
  3. Gather the required documents and have them ready to submit with your application. 
  4. Submit your application with the supporting documentation and evidence.

When you submit your application, you'll receive a confirmation email with an application reference number. 

NSW Reconstruction Authority may contact you to arrange a home visit and assess the damage. You'll receive a letter telling you the result of your application.

You can also visit a Recovery Centre to apply.

More information

  • You must declare the information provided in your application is true and correct. Penalties may apply for false or misleading information. Where false or misleading information is provided, applications may be referred to law enforcement. Read the guidelines before applying.
  • If your application is unsuccessful, you may appeal the decision if your claim has been declined and you have additional information that supports your claim. Appeals must be lodged within one month and addressed to:
    Disaster Relief Grants
    NSW Reconstruction Authority
    GPO Box 5434
    Sydney NSW 2001
Last updated: 28 February 2024