The recent devastating flooding in South East Queensland and parts of New South Wales has left many people homeless, caused vast amounts of property damage and has sadly led to loss of life. While the clean-up effort continues in many areas, there is some immediate financial help available for those affected, including the:
Additionally, for flood-impacted small businesses:
A one-off financial assistance of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 for each eligible child under 16.
This includes Australian resident individuals in various local government areas who have been seriously injured, lost their homes, have had their homes/major assets directly damaged, or those who have lost immediate family members as a direct result of the floods. This payment is also available to eligible New Zealand visa holders (Subclass 444) who have been affected by the floods.
As with previous disasters, those who need immediate help can apply for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.
Both the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance can be applied for through MyGov and Services Australia.
This is a short-term payment for a maximum of 13 weeks. Eligible individuals will need to be 16 years or over, have lost income as a direct result of the storms/floods, and earn less than the average Australian weekly income (currently $1,737.10 per week) in the weeks after the income loss.
Australian residents and eligible New Zealand visa holders may be eligible to apply for the Disaster Recovery Allowance.
Those who earn more than $1,737.10 per week will have their payment reduced to nil and those already receiving income support payments such as the pension, parental leave pay and ABSTUDY will not qualify for the Disaster Recovery Allowance.
Individuals who qualify for the Disaster Recovery Allowance will receive the equivalent of the maximum JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payment depending on their personal circumstances (single, partnered, with children, living at the parental home, or requiring long term support).
Small businesses affected by the floods in parts of Queensland and New South Wales will have more time to lodge their business activity statements (BASs) and instalment notices with an original due date of 28 February 2022 or 21 March 2022. Those taxpayers can lodge relevant returns up until 28 March 2022 without the need for a lodgment deferral. However, taxpayers need to be aware that the payment due date for these lodgments will not change, so general interest charge (GIC) may apply to any payments not made by the original payment date.
To further help flood-impacted small businesses with cash flow, a refund of previously paid PAYG instalments can be claimed and any GST refunds will be “fast-tracked”. Small businesses will also be able to change their GST reporting cycle and vary their PAYG instalments without penalty, provided reasonable care is taken. Any flood-affected small businesses that are unable to meet their lodgment and payment obligations are encouraged to contact the ATO directly for tailored support.
Our NSW Government help for flood-affected businesses earlier this month outlines support for NSW businesses.
If you have been impacted by these rain and flood events, our thoughts are with you and our team are here to assist with any related grant or loan applications.