Bush fire affected families and businesses are now able to access a broad spectrum of all the available assistance being offered by local councils, the State Government and Federal Government, through the NSW Government’s new Bush fire Customer Care program.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said the one-stop shop service, administered by Service NSW, would connect affected people with a Customer Care specialist, who can check their eligibility for assistance and help them access it.
“These bush fires have devastated communities and livelihoods. People’s lives are already stressful enough, which is why we have created this new service that cuts through red tape and helps people access support as quickly as possible,” Barilaro said.
“Once a specialist has identified eligible assistance across all layers of government, they will then do the heavy lifting to make it happen.
“This service will also meet another emerging need, by matching people with the many charities which have raised money from generous Australians.”
We’ve cut red tape and @ServiceNSW is now a one-stop shop with customer care specialists helping those affected by the bush fires. Call 137788 to gain access to NSW Government assistance. #nswpol #regionalNSW @NSWNationals @NSW_OEM
— John Barilaro MP (@JohnBarilaroMP) January 21, 2020
Service NSW is working in partnership with fellow state agencies, local government and the Australian Government.
The Customer Care specialists will operate like case managers and connect bush fire affected customers with services and support information including:
- Accommodation advice;
- Relevant charitable services;
- Mental health and wellbeing services;
- Support for businesses;
- Clean-up services;
- Financial assistance;
- Insurance and legal support;
- Replacing lost ID; and
- Volunteer RFS and SES payments.
Barilaro said the specialists will also assist business owners who have been hit hard, “Businesses are often the lifeblood of a community and we are here to help owners and operators get back on their feet.”
Those needing assistance can connect with a Customer Care specialist call Service NSW between 7am and 7pm on 13 77 88. The Contact Centre hours have been extended to include weekends while communities recover.
Information about the Customer Care service is also available in Service NSW Centres, NSW Recovery Centres and Mobile Service Centres in affected regions. Further information is available at Service NSW here.