The Department of Social Services Emergency Relief provides immediate financial or material aid to eligible people. This may constitute food parcels, clothes or vouchers (for example for supermarket, utilities or petrol).

Client eligibility to receive services funded under the DSS Emergency Relief is restricted solely to people unable to pay their bills or at imminent risk of not being able to do so.

 Emergency Relief aims and objectives include:

  • assisting people to deal with their immediate crisis situation;
  • delivering services in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual and families;
  • referring people to other relevant services, to help them pay bills or reduce the risk of being unable to pay their bills; and
  • encouraging greater self-reliance.

There may be support available either directly or remotely to eligible people in your local government area. To locate a provider please visit  or the Department of Social Services Grants Service Directory

In addition to Emergency Relief, DSS also funds Commonwealth Financial Counselling and Financial Capability Activities.  The objectives of these Activities is to support eligible individuals and families to navigate financial crises, build financial wellbeing, financial capability, and resilience. Financial Wellbeing and Capability services provide support to vulnerable people and those most at risk of financial and social exclusion and disadvantage.

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