As our country continues to work through the worst bush fire season on record, the number of people impacted continues to rise. We are all incredibly saddened by the tremendous loss our country has suffered and is still suffering through, so we wanted to reach out to our people, especially those in impacted. If you or someone you know has been impacted by the fires, there are various services and financial assistance currently available to you. If you are in a position to help, we also shed light on how to effectively support others in need.
Assistance available for our people impacted by bushfires
For those who qualify (usually you need to be approved for at least one ‘natural disaster’ government allowance or grant – see list below), there are a number of ways government, non-profit organisations and businesses are supporting those affected:
Grants & Benefits
- Disaster Recovery Payment: $1,000 per adult & $400 per child for those who are injured by fires or have lost their home.
- Disaster Recovery Allowance: For those who have lost income due to fires.
- Red Cross Disaster Relief Grant: $5,000 for those whose home has been destroyed or is uninhabitable.
- Insurance providers: some insurers are waiving insurance fees to clients affected in NSW & QLD.
- Major banks: varies from the institute from grants to payment suspensions and waiving of fees.
- Telecommunications providers: free call services, payment suspensions and waiving of fees.
- Electricity Providers: Some electricity providers have put payments on hold for those affected.
Insurance Fees premiums waived for those affected:
- To help Australians in natural disaster affected areas, AMP is offering a one-off three-month waiver from paying AMP life, total and permanent disability, trauma, income protection and business expenses insurance premiums for those who have held a policy for minimum 6 months and have been approved for at least one natural disaster government grant. For more information visit their website. If you hold insurance through another provider, they may also be offering similar support. If you are a client of ours, you can speak with your adviser. Otherwise, reach out to our Direct team at 1300 346 837 for assistance.
one of the best ways to support is by donating money.
How you can help
One of the best ways to support is by donating money. This not only helps support the fire services but also allows money to be distributed where it is needed. While the donation of items can be helpful in time, most coordinating agencies are asking for cash so that they can get what is needed, where it is needed without the complication of storage and logistics challenges.
Here is a list of registered charities currently supporting the fires:
The dos and dont’s when donating
Unfortunately, even during times of crisis scammers and illegitimate fundraising groups are out there taking advantage of your generosity. We want to ensure your donations are going to the right places. Here are some tips on how to ensure your money is going to those who need it:
- Do your research: Decide where you want your donations to go. Each charity operates differently and distributes funds to different causes.
- Be aware of over the phone donations: If you’ve never heard of the charity before, feel pressured to make a donation or are asked to wire money you could be getting scammed. If in doubt check the register or opt to make a donation directly through their official website instead. You can also check the Australia charity register.
You can read our full article on the dos and don’ts of charitable giving here.
Rainfall records are showing stats that are fractions of previously low records set over decades.
What we are doing to help
This quarter our business is supporting Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale fundraiser.
We are aiming to raise enough for a full truckload to be delivered in one of our regions. The drought and conditions our farmers and regional communities are experiencing are unprecedented.
Some of our Nation’s best farmers are really hurting. The conditions being faced are completely off the charts and not something that could have been prepared for. Rainfall records are showing stats that are fractions of previously low records set over decades.
We want to show a bit of support, and encourage you to help out if you can too.
You can visit our donation page here.
Bushfires and their effect on the Australian Economy
The Key Points from our recent Market Update ‘Bushfires and the Australian Economy’ are:
- The bushfires are expected to result in around a 0.4% hit to GDP mainly in the March quarter followed by a rebuilding boost.
- The hit to consumer spending and tourism is likely to linger longer.
- The drag on economic activity has increased the pressure for more monetary and fiscal stimulus.
- We still see the RBA cutting the cash rate to 0.25%.
- The bushfires likely increase the pressure for more action on climate change and highlight the need for investors to be aware of industries and businesses that are vulnerable to climate change risk.
You can read our full market update here.
Links to Government grants and allowances
In order to claim benefits, you must be approved for at least one of these government allowances/grants and be able to provide supporting documents in relation to natural disasters such as:
Our thoughts are with people impacted by these fires, emergency services staff, support services staff and their families.
If you need help with your financial situation reach out to us. We have a dedicated Lending Team, and a team of Advisers to support you on your path. Contact us today to talk about your situation and future goals.
What you need to know
This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.