Emergency Relief provides immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis. Emergency Relief services are delivered by community organisations and help people address immediate basic needs in times of financial crisis. Emergency Relief can act as a safety net for people experiencing financial distress or hardship, and who have limited means or resources to help them alleviate their financial crisis.
Access to Emergency Relief is free, however, individual service providers may have certain criteria that need to be met in order to access their particular ER service. Your local Emergency Relief provider can be found on the DSS Service Directory.
How can Emergency Relief help?
Emergency Relief assistance is generally in the form of:
- purchase vouchers of a fixed value (for example, food, transport or chemist vouchers)
- part-payment of an outstanding account (for example rent/accommodation, utility account/s)
- material assistance such as household goods, food parcels or clothing
- budgeting assistance
- information, advocacy and referrals.
Emergency Relief activities are also an important gateway to other support services that can help people deal with more complex issues, including issues that have contributed to, or are a consequence of, financial stress. For example, Emergency Relief organisations can also refer people to services such as:
- financial counselling, microfinance and matched savings initiatives
- financial literacy programs
- drug and alcohol support
- crisis accommodation
- mental health services
- family support services.