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Australian Government income payments now available for Tasmanian bushfire victims

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Australian Government income payments now available for Tasmanian bushfire victims Senator the Hon Jan McLucas Minister for Human Services

The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management Special Minister of State Minister for the Public Service and Integrity

5 April 2013

The Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy (DIRS) has been made available by the Australian Government to Tasmanians who were severely affected by the Tasmanian bushfires in January 2013.

Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Mark Dreyfus QC, and Minister for Human Services Jan McLucas today announced that eligible people in the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Sorell and Tasman can claim assistance for income lost due to the fires.

"These bushfires have severely affected many individuals, including those supporting families, by preventing them from returning to work," Mr Dreyfus said.

"This assistance is designed to help employees, small business people and farmers recover from these bushfires and get back on their feet".

Senator McLucas encouraged people directly affected by the bushfires in Sorell and Tasman to apply for DIRS as soon as possible.

"It is a difficult time for the region so I encourage local employees, small business people and farmers in Sorell and Tasman who have been impacted by the fires to take advantage of this assistance and the other support provided by the Australian Government," Senator McLucas said.

"Payments may also be backdated to the date their income was affected as a direct result of the bushfires."

The DIRS provides payments for up to 13 weeks equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance for eligible residents.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is also being provided in the Sorell and Tasman LGAs. Eligible residents can claim payments of $1000 per adult and $400 per child.

This Australian Government assistance is over and above the support already being provided under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, which is jointly funded with the Tasmanian Government.

Affected residents may also be eligible for personal hardship and distress assistance, including a range of grants administered by the Tasmanian Government.

The easiest way to lodge a claim or view the eligibility criteria for the DIRS or the AGDRP is online at[6] or by calling the Australian Government Information Line on 180 22 66 from 8am to 5pm local time, Monday to Friday. Completed claim forms can also be lodged in person at a Commonwealth Department of Human Services service centre.

Further information on Australian Government assistance is available online at[7]