The Australian Government is deploying resources to establish 20 mobile service teams to offer immediate on-the-ground support to isolated bushfire affected communities.
Services Australia staff will work shoulder-to-shoulder with Australian Defence Force personnel in the fire affected communities across New South Wales and Victoria.
The Mobile Service Centres and Mobile Service Teams have the necessary technology and reliable internet connectivity that enables them to provide immediate on-the-spot assistance to affected Australians.
Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert, said the technology is ready to go where it’s needed most, “The fastest way to claim is still through calling 180 22 66. However, the Mobile Service Centres and Mobile Service Teams mean we can be responsive and flexible, and allow people affected to access critical services with skilled staff in their region.”
“We know in crisis events a key aspect is enabling people to access government services to ensure they get the support they need.
“This is why we’re using a cohesive, wrap-around approach with our specialist staff coordinating access to disaster assistance as well as appropriate Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services.
“This extends to working with our existing customers to advise them of the contingency arrangements in place for their usual payments and any reporting obligations they may have had.”
The Australian Government has provided $26,354,692 in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to people in bushfire-affected regions across Australia since September 2019. Insurance broking clients may be eligible for relief payments.
Services Australia staff have answered over 40,000 calls and processed nearly 22,000 claims for disaster payments. Services Australia emergency assistance telephone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm AEDT, and 8am to 5pm AEDT next weekend.
Services Australia (Centrelink) operations may continue to be affected and all sites are being monitored regularly. You can check service changes at humanservices.gov.au/servicechanges. For more information on support available, go to humanservices.gov.au/disaster.