The Federal Government still has cash grants to give to cash-strapped farmers, farm workers and others who are living with drought or the impact of the worst drought in living memory.
Farming communities in almost every state and territory have been affected, but not everyone has had a chance to apply for this one-off payment.
The Federal Government has asked the National Council of the St Vincent de Paul Society and The Salvation Army to distribute small cash grants ($3,000) directly into people’s bank accounts to help soften the blow.
People who have received the grant have used the money for food, petrol, school expenses and other bills. Even a small grant makes a big difference to people’s peace of mind as they begin the long road to recovery.
Paddocks might be greening up and dams full, but it takes months, if not years, for cash from crops and replenished livestock to find its way to depleted bank accounts.
In the great Aussie tradition, many people doing it tough in regional and rural areas think there are people worse off than they are and that the money should go to those folk.
But we are encouraging people who have lived with the effects of drought for years to apply for this cash assistance.
The application process has been made as simple as possible, to make it easier. Before applying, check here that your Local Government Area has been drought-declared by the Federal Government.
If your LGA is being serviced by Vinnies, call their hotline on 1300 846 643.
You will need to show a couple of key identification documents, but not your tax return or financial statements.
The Federal Government’s grant is available until December this year.
In addition to ensuring the sorely needed cash is paid to bank accounts, workers on the Vinnies drought hotline are listening to people’s stories, including stories of isolation, of heartbreak and loss, and of survival and resilience. If possible, Vinnies can also put people in touch with relevant local services.
If you are someone who doesn’t usually ask for help, this grant is for you too.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the drought but has not yet received a payment under the Drought Community Services Initiative Round 2 (since November last year), visit the Vinnies website for more information.