Urgent help with money


In an emergency, there are services to help you with food, housing and bills, as well as emotional support.

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.

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 Services Grants Service Directory.

Help for people affected by bushfires

If you’re experiencing financial difficulty because of the recent bushfires, contact the National Debt Helpline.


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 .

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 Family and Community Services Link2home
1800 152 152
24 hours
Northern Territory ShelterMe
Queensland Homeless Hotline
1800 474 753
24 hours
South Australia Homelessness Gateway
1800 003 308
24 hours
Tasmania Housing Tasmania Housing Connect
1800 800 588
24 hours
Victoria HousingVic
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 Lifeline
13 11 14
24 hours
Lifeline’s crisis support online chat
Depression or anxiety Beyond Blue
1300 22 46 36
24 hours
Sexual assault, domestic or family violence counselling 1800RESPECT
1800 727 732
24 hours
Alcohol or other drug use Family Drug Support Australia
1300 368 186
24 hours
Gambling Gambling Help Online
National Gambling Helpline
1800 858 858
24 hours

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