If you're feeling overwhelmed by money or personal issues, it can be hard to know where to turn. In an emergency, there are services to help you with food, housing and bills, as well as emotional support.

If you need help with:

Food and bills

Charities and community organisations have emergency relief services to help you with things like:

  • food vouchers or food parcels

  • transport vouchers

  • chemist vouchers

  • clothing or furniture

  • part-payment of utility bills

  • help with back-to-school costs

Contact your nearest:

For a full list of emergency relief services, see the Department of Social Service Grant Services Directory.

Loans without interest: apply for a Household Relief Loan to pay for rent and utilities if you've been financially impacted by COVID-19. Loans are for up to $3,000, have no interest or fees and are repayable over 24 months.

Centrelink provides two kinds of emergency payments to people eligible for income support. Call 132 850, 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday:

Crisis payment: You may be able to get a special payment if you are in a crisis situation such as:

  • severe financial hardship

  • an extreme life change (for example, if you are leaving a violent relationship, are a refugee or are getting out of jail)

  • a natural disaster

Advance payment: If you already get a Centrelink payment, you may be able to get an advance payment. This is money you would be getting from your existing payment but it's paid early. It's not an extra payment.


If you're homeless or in a housing crisis, your state or territory government can help.

They provide emergency temporary accommodation in places like low-cost hotels, motels and caravan parks. They may also be able to help with a rental bond.

Contact your state or territory housing department to see if you're eligible.

Australian Capital Territory

Housing and Community Services ACT OneLink
1800 176 468
8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
12:15pm to 3:30pm, Saturday and Sunday

New South Wales

Northern Territory


Homeless Hotline
1800 474 753
24 hours

South Australia

Homelessness Gateway
1800 003 308
24 hours



1800 825 955
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
24 hours on weekends and public holidays

Western Australia

Entrypoint Perth
1800 124 684 (includes regional WA)
9am to 7pm, Monday to Friday
9am to 5pm, Saturday
Closed public holidays

Emotional support

If you're going through a personal crisis, help is available. Contact one of these free and confidential services.

Crisis support

13 11 14
24 hours
Lifeline's crisis support online chat

Depression or anxiety

Beyond Blue
1300 22 46 36
24 hours
Beyond Blue's web chat (3pm to 12am)

Sexual assault, domestic or family violence counselling

1800 737 732
24 hours

Alcohol or other drug use

Family Drug Support Australia
1300 368 186
24 hours


Gambling Help Online
National Gambling Helpline
1800 858 858
24 hours

If you don't know where to start, call the free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Article originally published on moneysmart.gov.au

All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

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