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Cost of Living Virtual Support Hub

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Concessions

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If you're a concession card holder, Veteran, or a self-funded retiree, there are savings assistance channels available to you in the civilian space.  Here are some helpful links:

State Government Savings Finder: 

ACT http://www.act.gov.au/assistance

NSW https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/savings-finder

NT https://ntconcessions.nt.gov.au/?q=content/electricity

QLD https://www.concessionsfinder.services.qld.gov.au/#/

SA Concessions http://www.sa.gov.au/concessions

TAS http://www.concessions.tas.gov.au/concessions/electricity_and_heating

VIC https://service.vic.gov.au/services/savings-finder/

WA https://concessions.communities.wa.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

There are also charities and not-for-profits that provide you with cost-of-living support and relief which are funded by the government, this may include; food, household items, financial counselling or other assistance to families in need.  Check out the full list and links to the  organisations that are funded to assist the Australian communities.  Search for an organisation near you:   https://serviceproviders.dss.gov.au/

ACOSS

The Australian Council of Social Service is a national advocate supporting people affected by poverty, disadvantage and inequality, and the peak council for community services nationally.

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Foodbank Outlets/Organisations

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Support through Ask Izzy

Ask Izzy is a mobile website that connects people who are in crisis with the services they need right now and nearby.

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Support from Major Charities

Food and bills

Charities and community organisations have emergency relief services to help you with things like:

  • food vouchers or food parcels

  • transport vouchers

  • chemist vouchers

  • clothing or furniture

  • part-payment of utility bills

  • help with back-to-school costs

Anglicare

Provides youth housing support, advocacy, pastoral care, employment support, and counselling and mental health support. 

Australian Red Cross

Provides housing support, mental health services, prison support, and programs to support socially isolated older people.

Lifeline

Provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, as well as welfare programs, aged care visitation, Indigenous support services and more. 

Salvation Army

Offers a range of services, including housing support, drug and alcohol services, family and personal counselling, and court and prison support. 

St Vincent de Paul

Visits the homes of people in need and provides practical assistance.

The Smith Family

A children’s charity that helps disadvantaged families with school costs.

Wesley Mission

Provides financial counselling and other services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, children and families.

For a full list of crisis, cost of living and emergency relief services, see the Department of Social Service Grant Services Directory.

Support for Homeless, at risk and Housing

If you're homeless or in a housing crisis, your state or territory government can help.  They provide emergency temporary accommodation in places like low-cost hotels, motels and caravan parks. They may also be able to help with a rental bond.

Loans for the purchase of essential goods and services

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) is a community credit program as one loan is repaid another loan can be given out.

 

The NILS scheme will  lend up to $2000, to low income earners.  This is for the purchase of essential goods and services, such as whitegoods (refrigerators, washing machines), medical/dental services, car registration (six months) and other household items.  However you may be eligible to borrow up to $3,000, to pay for specific things such as:  rent advance and bond (paid to a real estate agent, not a private landlord),rent arrears (if caused by exceptional circumstances such as hospitalisation), Council rates, Utility bills (only if you have or are experiencing family and domestic violence)     

 

NILs for Vehicles, offers loans of $2,000 to $5,000 for people and families on low incomes to purchase an essential vehicle for day-to-day use including cars, scooters, mobility scooters, motorcycles and boats.  The vehicle being purchased must be road worthy and if it is a car, it must be registered.

 

*NOTE, NILS cannot be used for cash, rental arrears, bond, car repairs, holidays, bills or debt consolidation. The loan funds are paid directly to the store or service provider.


Eligibility

You may be eligible for NILs if you:

  • are 17 years or over;

  • are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or hold a visa that expires after the loan term;

  • meet one of the low-income eligibility criteria below;

      • have a Centrelink healthcare or pension card; or

      • earn less than $70,000 a year (before tax) for singles; or

      • earn less than $100,000 a year (before tax) for couples or people with dependents; or

      • there is a no upper income threshold if you have experienced family and domestic violence (within the last 10 years).

  • you have lived at your current address for at least 3 months (however, this criteria can be waived under exceptional circumstances); and

  • you can, and are willing to, repay the loan within the timeframe required.

You may feel overwhelmed, but you have options and there are steps you can take to support yourself. 

Stressed Man

Your everyday expenses such as rent, utilities, rates, food, etc can get out of hand and feel overwhelming, which leaves you struggling financially. 

Emergency relief is a short term solution, but you will still need to work out ways to combat that debt pile.

There are solutions and help for you.

Calculate Savings

Anyone can have financial concerns. The overwhelming thought of that insurance, phone, rates or any bill entering your PO Box or email can be a shock.  Even buying food for your family can feel that its too much to deal with.   The simplest money concern can leave you feeling lonely, embarrassed and isolated.

 

If your financial situation makes you feel overwhelmed or sad then the Rural Communities Social Services Inc. can direct you into a more sense of safety, we are here to help. There are many services to help you get back on track and we have some resources to direct you.  We can provide you with materials and contact.

Support through GIVIT

Australians giving to the vulnerable people in their own communities.  A Virtual Warehouse.

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The AV Connect Program is supporting the idea of you having a budget, it gives you a sense of self-worth and purpose and helps you to feel in control.

 

You can put aside money for big bills when they arrive, or we can guide you to setting up deductions each pay.   By planning ahead it gives you savings to achieve your money goals which in effect gives you a sense of value and happiness.  

We are not providing financial advice, we are simply teaching you how to live life with some sense of control and ability to live!  If you feel you need financial advice please view the information below.

Budgeting and Financial Resources

Anyone can have financial concerns. The overwhelming thought of that insurance, phone, rates or any bill entering your PO Box or email can be a shock.  Even buying food for your family can feel that its too much to deal with.   The simplest money concern can leave you feeling lonely, embarrassed and isolated.

 

If your financial situation makes you feel overwhelmed or sad then the AV Connect Program can direct you into a more sense of safety, there are many services to help you get back on track and we have some resources to direct you on this page.   

 

It is important, and a crucial part of keeping ahead of the cost of living, by watching your household costs and attempting every trick in the book to stop it from spiraling out of control.    Find out more savings links below:

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Comforting

Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Human Services, and many other Social Service Organisations can assist.  They  can help if you’re in  financial hardship, recovering from a disaster, or need special assistance. 

Man with Potatoes

The need for rural, regional, remote communities to become self-sufficient is increasing and more than ever, communities need to be able to gather resources, respond, be adaptive and flexible.

Grocery Shopping

Comparison app for grocery pricing difference to save on your grocery bills

More Support Links

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