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23 January 2011

Queensland Flood News: Help available for Queenslanders in need

Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women

The Honourable Karen Struthers

23/01/2011

Help available for Queenslanders in need

Queenslanders affected by flooding have received more than $9.7 million in personal hardship grants following flooding around the state.

Community Services Minister Karen Struthers said the grants had been paid to 26,000 Queenslanders in hardship to help them meet immediate, essential costs like food, accommodation and clothing.

"A lot of Queenslanders are doing it tough and we're doing what we can to help," Ms Struthers said.

"There is a range of assistance available and I encourage people to phone the flood recovery line and see what help they may be eligible for."

Essential household contents grants, structural assistance grants and essential services grants are means tested and designed as safety nets to help people who can not provide for their own recovery. The grants require assessors to inspect damage and payments are made as soon as possible following assessment.

Means testing is necessary to make sure those in the most need are getting help.

Eligibility criteria has been set in cooperation with the federal government and is the same criteria used for any natural disaster and adjusted for inflation.

Other non-means tested assistance includes:

• Mortgage assistance loans of $20,000 for eligible Queenslanders

• One off emergency payments from the Disaster Relief Fund of $2000 for adults and $1000 for children

• Centrelink payments of $1000 for adults and $400 for children

Ms Struthers said some people's income may have been affected by the floods which may change their eligibility for means tested grants and people should not count themselves out.

Some banks are offering assistance to flood-affected Queenslanders and people can also discuss options with their superannuation provider.

People in need of assistance should phone

1800 173 349 to what assistance they may be eligible to receive.

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