FPA pro bono support program for bushfire impacted Australians
The FPA is in the process of establishing a pro bono program where FPA members can volunteer their time to help Australians impacted by the bushfires rebuild financially. FPA members that are interested in being part of this pro bono program should contact the FPA to get more information by emailing [email protected]
The process for applying for pro bono support from FPA members is currently being finalised and will be announced in the coming weeks.
As Australians begin to re-build following the recent bushfire emergencies, here are some useful contacts and information:
GOVERNMENT DISASTER ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT PROGRAMS
Federal government assistance
DisasterAssist is being used as a temporary website for the current bushfire disaster as well as for disaster recovery payments. This information will move to the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency website soon.
National Bushfire Recovery Agency
In January 2020, the Government announced the creation of a new National Bushfire Recovery Agency to lead and coordinate a national response to rebuilding communities affected by bushfires across large parts of Australia.
Department of Human Services
The Department of Human Services provides a list of contacts for people directly affected by bushfires in disaster declared areas.
Summary of relief/assistance available
Disaster payments – Services Australia (Centrelink)
Information about claiming disaster payments for those affected by bushfires.
Australian Tax Office (ATO)
The ATO can provide support to those impacted by bushfires including through lodgement/ payment deferrals, helping you find lost tax file number (TFN) details, re-issuing income tax returns, activity statements, notices of assessment, fast tracking refunds owed, helping you re-construct tax records and more.
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
The NDIA has developed a resource page for NDIS participants and providers including information on urgent assistive technology repairs.
The NDIA has also produced an easy read emergency guide with bushfire information and support.
State government assistance
NEW SOUTH WALES
The NSW Office of Emergency Management provides a list of support and resources including housing, insurance and other financial support for those impacted by emergencies.
Disaster Welfare Assistance Line: 1800 018 444
NSW Rural Assistance Authority
This link provides information about disaster recovery grants for primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
This link provides information about emergency relief assistance payments, financial counselling and more.
VIC Rural Finance
Find out about Disaster Recovery Assistance to assist eligible primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
Department of Human Services
The SA Department of Human Services provides information about disaster recovery including grants and financial assistance for those impacted by bushfires.
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)
This link provides information and advice for agricultural and primary producers impacted by the recent bushfires.
Finding lost life insurance policies
The Financial Services Council (FSC) can assist with in finding a ‘lost’ life insurance policy by contacting its life insurance members and asking them to check their records and contact you if they have a policy or other relevant information.
If you have been affected by the bushfires, lodge a claim directly with your insurer or insurance broker.
Insurance Council of Australia (ICA)
The ICA provides general guidance on how to prepare for a bushfire emergency and what to do if you have been affected.
The Australian Banking Association (ABA)
The ABA has a list of resources about practical ways your bank can help for people dealing with the impact of the bushfires.
FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS, COUNSELLING & MORE
Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
AFCA can assist individuals and small businesses impacted by the bushfires including making an insurance claim, getting help for financial difficulty, support for small business and more.
Financial counselling is a free service offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies.
National Debt Helpline (NDH)
The NDH is a not-for-profit service that helps people tackle their debt problems. Professional financial counsellors offer a free, independent and confidential service. Call 1800 007 007
Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI)
The ACCI has launched a portal to help fire-affected small-to-medium-sized businesses access critical information in one location, including listings of available funding and grants from federal and state governments as well as information and resources on insurance, tax, work health and safety and more. The site also tracks what Australia’s chambers of commerce and industry associations are doing to help impacted businesses and communities.
Immediate support for impacted small businesses
The federal Government has announced a package to assist small businesses in bushfire affected areas including top up grant funding, concessional loans, tax relief and financial counselling services.
FINDING A FINANCIAL PLANNER
Once the emergency has abated and you’re ready to start to re-build from disaster, you may need the support of a professional financial planner who has the technical expertise and knowledge of the latest legislative changes. Read more about how to find a financial planner including how to make sure your planner is properly licensed and qualified.
Use the FPA’s Find a Planner online directory to find financial planners who are FPA members in your geographic area. You’ll find their contact details so you can call or email directly to arrange a meeting.
Alternatively, you may prefer to use our new Match My Planner tool to connect with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional. Using this tool, you can interact and get to know your potential financial planner until to feel ready to arrange a meeting.
Whichever service you choose, feel confident knowing that you will connect with highly reliable and knowledgeable financial planners.
resources FOR FPA MEMBERS
FPA practitioner members can access free, confidential support via FPA Wellbeing. If you need support or would like guidance on how to help someone you know who may be struggling, please access the service today.
There is a critical incident and major events resources kit available, which includes information and articles on how to support yourself and others impacted. This kit has been produced by Benestar.
OTHER COMMUNITY RESOURCES
Life in Mind
Life in Mind is a national gateway connecting Australian suicide prevention services to each other and the community. There are a range of services available for people who wish to seek mental health support due to the impact of bushfires.