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Bushfire Support

Bushfire Support

Bushfire Customer Care service - Service NSW

The NSW Government is delivering bushfire recovery assistance to help people and businesses impacted by bushfires. The Service NSW bushfire customer care service has specialists to help guide you every step of the way.

Email
info@service.nsw.gov.au

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday, 7:00am-7:00pm

Postal Address
GPO Box 7057, Sydney NSW 2001

Call 13 77 88

Visit website

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Bushfire Housing Assistance Service

The Bushfire Housing Assistance Service can help with:

  • Emergency temporary accommodation
  • Assistance with a private rental bond and advance rent costs
  • Sourcing accommodation options from the private rental and short term housing sector
  • Assistance with sourcing accommodation options in your local communities or in areas where you have family or local networks

Referral
Call the number below or visit your local Department of Communities and Justice Housing office.

Call 1800 018 444

Visit website

Digital Support

The following websites provide easy to access mental health support and can be used alone or in combination with face-to-face therapy.

eheadspace provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 - 25 and their families and friends. headspace have also put together information for young people about how to cope with the stress of natural disasters.

HeadtoHealth website: If you’re trying to improve your own mental health, or support somebody else with mental health issues, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, phone supports, and treatment options as well as a range of digital information resources.

Emerging Minds Community Trauma Toolkit: if you are a first responder, GP, health or social worker, parent or carer, these resources will support you to respond.

MyHealthConnector website: an online directory of local health and lifestyle services to help you reconnect with your community

Financial Support
  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment ($1000 per adult, $400 for each child under 16) and can be claimed by people adversely affected by bushfires in August 2019 through to January 2020. Call 180 22 66 to apply by 5 July 2020.

  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance is available for people who lost income due to bushfires in August 2019 through to January 2020. The allowance is provided at the equivalent rate to Newstart or Youth Allowance payments for a maximum of 13 weeks. Call 180 22 66 to apply by 1 July 2020.

  • NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants are available for eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster and are uninsured. Call the Disaster Welfare Line on 1800 018 444 to apply.

  • NSW Government Disaster Recovery Grants of up to $15,000 are available for eligible primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in areas affected by the bushfires occurring from 31 August 2019. Apply online here.

  • The Australian Red Cross is offering emergency grants of $5000 to people whose primary place of residence has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable as the result of bushfires from 1 July 2019 to 28 February 2020. Apply online here.

  • Commonwealth Bank customers, including businesses, impacted by bushfires are eligible for emergency assistance packages which can include emergency accommodation, expedited CommInsure claims, loans assistance and waived fees. Call 1300 720 814 for assistance.

  • NAB customers who have lost their homes due to bushfires can apply for a $2000 grant. NAB business customers with significant damage to income-producing assets can also apply for a $2000 grant and other supports. Call 1300 683 106 for assistance.

  • ANZ customers affected by bushfires are eligible for financial assistance packages which can include temporary suspension of loan repayments and interest rate relief, and emergency funds and accommodation for ANZ Home and Contents insurance customers. Call 1800 149 549 for assistance.

  • Westpac customers affected by bushfires are eligible for disaster relief packages that can include grants up to $2000, deferring loan and credit repayments, and emergency funds and accommodation for Westpac Home and Contents insurance customers. For Westpac mortgage customers who have lost their principal place of residence, Westpac will pay the customer's mortgage repayments for one year (up to $1200 per month). Call 1800 067 497 for assistance.

  • The Australian Taxation Office is deferring any tax lodgements or payments due for people impacted by the bushfires. People living in these postcodes are eligible for automatic deferral. Anyone else impacted can call the ATO Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for assistance.
headspace Lithgow

headspace offers support to young people in person through a network of 80 centres nationwide. headspace provides access, support and information for a broad range of concerns for young people including:

  • Mental health
  • Physical/sexual health
  • Drug and alcohol
  • Counselling services
  • Employment and education and
  • Support for families and carers

When a young person comes through to headspace , their needs are assessed, care is tailored to their needs and they are linked with the appropriate support. headspace has two service streams:

  • A primary care service for young people with mild to moderate concerns and
  • A specialised service for young people who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis or at ultra-high risk of experiencing psychosis.

Address
23 Main St, Lithgow NSW 2790

Target Audience
Young people aged between 12-25 with a mild to moderate mental illness.

Email

Cost
Free

Hours of Operation
Mon, Wed: 9:00am-5:00pm
Tue, Thu: 9:30am-6:30pm
Fri: 9:00am-2:00pm

Local Areas
Lithgow

Referral
Referral through Lithgow intake number on (02) 6352 7600

Call (02) 6352 7600

Visit website

headspace Penrith

headspace offers support to young people in person through a network of 80 centres nationwide. headspace provides access, support and information for a broad range of concerns for young people including:

  • Mental health
  • Physical/sexual health
  • Drug and alcohol
  • Counselling services
  • Employment and education and
  • Support for families and carers

When a young person comes through to headspace , their needs are assessed, care is tailored to their needs and they are linked with the appropriate support. headspace has two service streams:

  • A primary care service for young people with mild to moderate concerns and
  • A specialised service for young people who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis or at ultra-high risk of experiencing psychosis.

Address
606 High St, Penrith NSW 2750
 

Target Audience
Young people aged between 12-25 with a mild to moderate mental illness.

Eligibility
All young people seeking help can access headspace Primary Care Service. The Early Psychosis Program is for people who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis or at ultra-high risk of experiencing psychosis.

Email
headspacepenrith@parramattamission.org.au

Cost
Free

Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm

Local Areas
Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Penrith

Referral
Referral through Penrith intake number on (02) 4720 8888 or Lithgow 

Call (02) 4720 8800

Visit website

Housing Support
  • The NSW Government has established the Bushfire Housing Assistance Service to support people who are temporarily or permanently displaced as a result of the bushfires. The service can help with sourcing housing,  emergency accommodation, rental bonds, advance rent costs. Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

  • Airbnb’s Open Homes program is offering free, temporary accommodation for people displaced by bushfires or helping with relief efforts between 1 January 2020 and 31 January 2020. Search for accommodation here and open an Airbnb account to book.

  • Find-A-Bed is a service where households that can offer to host and people who need a place to stay can connect. People are matched based on their needs, including their pets. Find out more about how it works here.

  • Renters have rights if their home is damaged by disaster. The Tenants Union have advice on disaster damage for renters hereEnter your postcode here to contact your local Tenants’ Advice & Advocacy Service for assistance.
Insurance Support

The NSW Government is coordinating the clean-up of both insured and uninsured residential and commercial properties affected by the bushfires. Property owners can register their details here. The Government is working through the eligibility criteria and will contact registrants when the specifics are finalised. If you are insured, also speak with your insurer.

The Insurance Council of Australia is operating a 24-hour hotline to help people impacted by the bushfires with general information about claims and recovery. Call on 1800 734 621 for assistance.

The Insurance Australia Group (IAG) are contacting their customers (including customers of NRMA, CGU, WFI, RACV) within impacted communities to offer emergency accommodation and financial assistance. Call IAG insurers for assistance:

  • NRMA Insurance: 13 11 23
  • CGU Insurance: 13 24 80
  • WFI Insurance: 1300 251 527
  • RACV Insurance: 13 72 28
Legal Support
  • Legal Aid NSW/LawAccess are operating a Disaster Recovery Hotline to offer free legal advice to people affected by the bushfires. Call 1800 801 529 for assistance.
  • The Financial Rights Legal Centre have developed a bushfire insurance guide available here and can also provide advice through the Insurance Law Service. Call 1300 663 464 for assistance.
  • Community legal centres are operating on the ground in affected communities to provide generalist and specialist advice, including financial counselling and tenancy advice. As well as local services, specialist centres are providing legal help with a range of immediate issues relating to bushfire impacts, including insurance claims, tenancy, and social security. More information can be found here, and contact details for local centres in affected areas are below.
Office in Nowra, with outreach services to Eden and Ulladulla.
Phone: 1800 229 529
Office in Moruya (near Bateman’s Bay), with financial counselling and tenancy services available for people from the Illawarra down to the Victorian border.
Phone: 4276 1939
Offices in Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
Phone: 6580 2111
Office in Katoomba, with outreach services to Bathurst and Lithgow
Phone: 1300 363 967
NewAccess

NewAccess is a confidential and free mental health coaching program for people over 16 years who are stressed, feeling anxious or overwhelmed about everyday life issues, or those who have been impacted by the recent bushfires. It is available over the phone or face-to-face.

Referral
Call the number below.

Call (02) 6333 2838

Visit website

Psychiatrists

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists NSW has compiled a list of NSW based psychiatrists who are prepared to provide bulk-billed telehealth services to people affected by the bushfire crisis. Please visit the website below for more information.

Visit website

Psychological Therapy Services - Bushfire
The Bushfire PTS stream is available to anyone in the Nepean Blue Mountains region who has been significantly impacted by bushfires. For example, people who have experienced loss of property, loss of business income, or have experienced significant mental health impacts as a result of the threat of bushfire, which could be from past trauma. Individuals are entitled to up to 10 psychological therapy face-to-face sessions free of charge until June 2021. Please note, patients DO NOT require a Centrelink issued healthcare card to access this service. In addition, patients who use services through the Better Access Bushfire Recovery Initiative are still eligible for the Bushfire PTS stream, and vice versa. Eligibility
  • Individuals must be referred by their GP
  • No Centrelink issued pension or Health Care Card is required
  • No Mental Health Care Plan is required, however GPs may choose to complete one at their discretion
Referrals GPs must call the PTS intake line on 1800 223 365 to obtain a referral code and complete the PTS referral form available on our website. Call 1800 223 365 Visit website
Well-Being Support Initiatives

Capertee Valley Resilient Farmers Program: Social interaction, learning and consultation events focusing on restoring hydration of the Capertee Valley.
Contact: email Capertee Valley Land Care

Hawkesbury Be & Co.: A pop-up social event offering free coffee and conversation. Be & Co. focuses on community connectedness and reducing social isolation.
Contact: (02) 4577 4435

Hawkesbury Feedbag Garden project: Improving social connections and overall well-being by providing new knowledge, skills and community rural support, this initiative involves providing food hampers to Hawkesbury families in need; community volunteer training; building, maintaining and harvesting food from the community garden; and building and strengthening community networks.
Contact: Hawkesbury Community Outreach Services on (02) 4573 1166

Hawkesbury Remakery: A regular schedule of Creative Lifestyle and Sustainability Skills (CLASS) through a hub of craft activities to upskill local people for leisure as well as volunteer projects to support the community.
Contact: Hawkesbury Remakery on info@hawkesburyremakery.com.au or call (02) 4587 8958

Lithgow and Hawkesbury Farmers Online Project: One-on-one digital mentoring available to farmers and community members wanting to become more online savvy, delivered by Leep NGO. Some small group workshops to improve digital literacy also available. Contact: Leep - 1300 163 106

Lithgow Lifeskills: Reducing stress, and learn new coping mechanisms through a modified Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Art as Therapy program. Available to people in Lithgow and towns in neighbouring LGAs. The program consists of five courses of 10 weeks duration.
Contact: Lithgow Lifeskills on call 0428 081 783

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