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Income recovery subsidy assistance to help those affected by the floods



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Income recovery subsidy assistance to help those affected by the floods MON 10 JANUARY 2011

Prime Minister, Acting Attorney-General

The Gillard Labor Government today announced that it will provide additional support for employees, small businesses and farmers who have lost income as a direct result of the floods crisis.

Currently, over 150 Local Government Areas across Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales and South Australia have been declared natural disaster zones as a result of flooding and severe weather conditions since November last year.

The Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy is a fortnightly payment of up to the maximum rate of existing Newstart Allowance for a period of 13 weeks. The subsidy will be available to those who have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the flooding and are not currently receiving, or eligible for, any other income support payment.

The floodwaters and storms have hit people's livelihoods and made it difficult for people to continue their everyday lives - including going to work or operating their small businesses.

With such significant and widespread disruption to businesses and their employees, it is clearly in the national interest to provide support to those who have temporarily lost their income as a direct result of the flooding, as well as maximise the chance that local businesses will be able to retain their labour force for the eventual resumption of normal business.

The Commonwealth Government will support these people who have been unable to work through no fault of their own.

Employees, small businesses and farmers who reside or derive an income from disaster declared areas in these States will be eligible to claim the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy should they fulfil the criteria.

Centrelink will start processing claims for the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy immediately and first payments are expected to begin rolling out early next week.

This additional support is the latest in the range of assistance provided by the Australian Government for people affected by floods or severe storms in affected areas.

The Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy is in addition to the Australian Government's ongoing assistance to individuals, state and local Governments in the flood and severe

weather affected areas across Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia.

For more information or to claim the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy, people should contact the Australian Government Emergency Information line on 180 22 66 to register their details.