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
clothing or furniture
part-payment of utility bills
help with back-to-school costs
Contact your nearest:
Salvation Army 13 72 58
St Vincent de Paul Society 13 18 12
local community centre, church or community organisation
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
New South Wales
Family and Community Services Link2home
Housing Tasmania Housing Connect
If you're going through a personal crisis, help is available. Contact one of these free and confidential services.
Depression or anxiety
Sexual assault, domestic or family violence counselling
Alcohol or other drug use
Family Drug Support Australia
Gambling Help Online
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.