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Can’t afford the basics

Not enough income to manage day to day? Here are some options for urgent help:


  • Seek Hardship Assistance from all service providers

    Obtaining Hardship Relief from other bills such as Utilities, may free up money to live on.

  • Emergency Relief Agencies

    Emergency Relief provides immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis. Emergency Relief services are delivered by community organisations and help people address immediate basic needs in times of financial crisis. Emergency Relief can act as a safety net for people experiencing financial distress or hardship, and who have limited means or resources to help them alleviate their financial crisis. Access to Emergency Relief is free, however, individual service providers may have certain criteria that need to be met in order to access their particular ER service. Your local Emergency Relief provider can be found on the DSS Service Directory.

  • Centrelink Special Benefits

    Special benefits are available for particular cases of hardship. Check to ensure you are receiving all the benefits and allowances you may be entitled to.

  • State Government Concessions

    A full range of Victorian Government Concessions can be found here:  (


  • Beware of Short-term loans

    It can be tempting to try to get a loan to help out, but if there is insufficient disposable income to be able to pay it back, it can increase financial difficulty. Even Centrelink Advances deduct payments that could result in increased financial stress.

    Short term or ‘pay-day’ loans can charge very high fees and usually expect high weekly or fortnightly payments even on small loans, which will make your financial difficulty grow. Look out for alternative