Crisis and disaster assistance

The following providers can help if you or your family require disaster assistance:

Financial assistance

Services Australia (Centrelink)

Services Australia can provide information about available subsidies and financial support if you or your family is affected financially by COVID-19. 

Australian Tax Office

The Australian Tax Office can provide information about available subsidies and financial support if you or your family is affected financially by COVID-19. 

Justice Office of Emergency Management
The Justice Office of Emergency Management can provide financial assistance to eligible individuals, families small businesses and not-for-profits. 

Centrelink (Department of Human Services)
Centrelink offers Disaster Recovery Allowance to assist with short term income support payments.

Disaster Welfare Services
Disaster Welfare Services provide assistance for those with limited financial resources and no insurance. Eligible individuals and families whose homes have been significantly damaged or destroyed can apply for disaster relief grants.

NSW Rural Assistance Authority
If you are unable to obtain assistance through other channels, you can apply to the NSW Rural Assistance Authority for assistance with with concessional rate loans.

Farm Household Support
The Federal government Department of Human Services provides assistance to eligible farmers and their families facing financial difficulties through the Farm Household Allowance.

Service NSW - Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) Scheme - 13 77 88

If you're having difficulty paying your household energy bill because of a short-term financial crisis or emergency, such as unexpected medical bills or reduced income due to COVID-19, you could be eligible for an EAPA $50 voucher.   

A Seniors Energy Rebate is also available to help cover the cost of electricity for Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders. 

Energy & Water Ombudsman - 1800 246 545 

The Energy & Water Ombudsman can provide support for customers impacted by COVID-19. 

Food, utilities & clothing

Cessnock Samaritans Information & Neighbourhood Centre - 02 4993 3400
Cessnock Samaritans Emergency Relief Service can provide short term emergency financial assistance including food and utilities vouchers. An assessment is required to determine eligibility. 

Kurri Kurri Community Centre - 02 4937 4555
The Kurri Food Cooperative is a membership cooperative supplying food and household goods at reduced cost to those who hold a health benefit card, receive a pension/benefit from Centrelink, or are in genuine need. Service may be available on certain days only.

Salvation Army - 1300 371 288
The Salvo's can provide short term emergency assistance such as food items.

Food War Inc. Cessnock(02) 4966 2987
Food War Inc is helping families and individuals on any Government benefit to purchase low cost groceries.

The Vines Community Church Foodcare - 0481 102 632
A Church based food/grocery shop offering reasonably priced goods for Centrelink Concession Card holders.

Northern Coalfields Community Care Association - (02) 4019 9700
Meals on wheels and home care support services, including nursing care, social support, domestic assistance, personal care, respite services, case management and more. 

The Office of Emergency Management is offering emergency relief packages for people who have been directed to self-isolate, and have no family or friends able to help with shopping.

If you, or someone you know is in need, please call 13 77 88.

Legal assistance & consumer services

Legal Aid - 1300 888 529 or 02 4993 3400
Legal Aid can provide free legal advice on a broad range of issues including dealing with insurance companies,mortgage payments and tenancy advice. The service also visits the Cessnock Samaritans Information Neighbourhood Centre.

NSW Fair Trading - 13 32 20
Provides assistance and advice to consumers and business on fair and ethical practice. 

Law Access - 1300 888 529
Law Access NSW is a free telephone service that provides information for legal problems and contact details for services that might be able to assist.

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services - 1800WDVCAS or 1800 938 227

 Information, advocacy and referrals to assist women and their children who are or have been experiencing domestic and family violence, with their legal, social and welfare needs.

Livestock & animals

Department of Primary Industries - 1800 814 647
The Department of Primary Industries provides assistance with livestock and other animals during a flood crisis.


Compass Housing - Homelessness Access Program - 1800 718 207
Provides accommodation to assist those sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Communities and Justice NSW, Housing Contact Centre - 1800 422 322

Department of Communities and Justice - Housing (DCJ Housing) provides a range of housing solutions for both the private rental market and Public Housing, Community Housing and Aboriginal Housing.

Link2home (Department of Family and Community Services) - 1800 152 152
Link2home provides assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of being homelessness by offering access to specialised support and accommodation services. 

Carrie’s Place02 4934 2585 (office hours) or 02 4933 1960 (after hours)
Carrie’s Place provides domestic violence and homelessness services.

Hunter Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service Advice line - 02 4969 7666 or 1800 654 504

Business assistance

Rural Assistance Authority1800 678 593
The Rural Assiatnce Authority will provide concessional rate loans to business who meet the eligibility criteria.

Business Connect - 1300 134 359
This organisation provides practical face to face support, tailored to individual business needs.

Child protection

Child Protection Helpline13 12 11
to report a child at risk of harm and neglect

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline provides free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.

Health & wellbeing

NSW Rural Mental Health Services - 1800 201 123
Contact this organisation if you require access to mental health services and support. 

Mental Health Line - 1800 011 511
For assessment and referral to mental health services.

Domestic Violence Line - 1800 656 463
Provides counselling and referral services for women experiencing domestic violence.

Mensline Australia - 1300 789 978
Telephone and online counselling, information and referral service for men (24h)

Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
Telephone and online support service for those at risk of suicide

Australian Red Cross - 1800 812 028
Red Cross can provide personal support if you or your family have been affected by a disaster. 

Salvation Army - 1300 363 622
The Salvos can provide mental health support and assistance if you or your family have been affected by a disaster.

Headspace Maitland - 02 4931 1000
Headspace centres act as a one-stop shop for young people who need help with mental and physical health, alcohol and other drugs or work and study support. 

Lifeline - 13 11 14
Lifeline provides free, 24-hour telephone crisis support services. 

Police Assistance Line - 131 444
Contact the Police Assistance Line if you are a victim of a crime, other than life threatening or time critical emergency situations.

Disability Information Helpline - 1800 643 787

Provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help during COVID-19. 

TIS - 131 450

Provides access to phone and on-site interpreting services in over 150 languages

1800 RESPECT 24/71800 737 732

24-hour phone and online service providing confidential sexual assault and domestic & family violence counselling, information & referrals.


QLife - 1800 184 527

Australia-wide anonymous and free LGBTI peer support for people wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. Call or webchat 3pm-12am. 

Aboriginal DFV Hotline -1800 019 123

24-hour phone service for Aboriginal victims of crime. 

NSW Rape Crisis - 1800 424 017  (02) 9181 43 49 - TTY

24-hour phone and online counselling service for anyone who is at risk of or has experienced sexual assault, family or domestic violence.

Birth/death marriage certificates & drivers licences

Services NSW - 137 788
Services NSW may replace certificates and drivers licences at no cost to those affected by a disaster.

WorkCover licences

WorkCover NSW - 13 10 50
WorkCover may replace licences at no cost to those affected by a disaster. 

Motor vehicles

Office of State Revenue - 1300 139 814
Motorists whose cars have been written off as a result of the floods, may be eligible for stamp duty relief on their replacement vehicles. Conditions apply.


Lower Hunter Transport Service - (02) 4019 9750

Subsidised transport and delivery services are available to any community members who are transport disadvantaged or affected by the COVID -19 restrictions.  Services include door to door personalised transport, unassisted shopping and deliveries of essential items.