Crisis Payment

Last updated: 
29 October 2020

A Crisis Payment is one-off payment we pay to help people in severe financial hardship. You do not pay tax on this payment.

What is the Crisis Payment

We pay the Crisis Payment to eligible veterans and their families who are in a time of need.

There are 3 reasons why you might be able to get the Crisis Payment:

Who can get the Crisis Payment

To get the Crisis Payment, you must be:

  • receiving or eligible to receive a Service Pension, Age Pension (that we pay) or Income Support Supplement at the time you claim
  • in Australia when you claim
  • in severe financial hardship

Who cannot get the Crisis Payment

You will not get the Crisis Payment if you have already received a disaster relief payment from another source for the same extreme circumstance.

We will not pay the Crisis Payment if we discover that you created the extreme circumstance to get the payment. This includes if a family member only left your home so you can get the payment.

If you have already received 4 Crisis Payments in the last 12 months, we may not be able to pay another Crisis Payment.

Severe financial hardship

For the Crisis Payment, you must be in severe financial hardship on the day you make your claim.

To see if you are in severe financial hardship, we look at 3 things:

  • your liquid assets
  • whether your liquid assets are above the maximum rate for the type of pension you receive
  • if you are single or a member of a couple

Liquid assets

To see if you are in severe financial hardship, we first look at your liquid assets. These are the funds readily available to you and can include:

  • money in your bank accounts
  • shares
  • debentures
  • money that your employer has not yet paid you
  • managed investments
  • income streams

Your pension

We then look at the maximum fortnightly rate payable for the type of pension you receive. The maximum rate includes the base rate as well as:

  • the Pension Supplement
  • the Energy Supplement
  • Rent Assistance

If you are a single person or a member of a couple

If you are single and your liquid assets are less than half the maximum fortnightly rate paid of pension that you receive, then you are in severe financial hardship.

If you are a member of a couple and your liquid assets are less than double the maximum fortnightly rate paid of pension that you receive, then you are in severe financial hardship.

Extreme circumstances

An extreme circumstance may include a situation or incident where you are not able to live in your home for at least 5 days.

This can include:

  • a domestic or family violence incident where you have to leave the house
  • fire or smoke damage to the home
  • damage to the structure of the house
  • health risks such as unclean water in the home
  • any other situation where it would not be safe for you to live in the house

We may pay the Crisis Payment if all the following apply:

  • an extreme circumstance forced you to leave your home
  • you cannot stay in or return to your home because of the extreme circumstance
  • you have set up or will set up a new home
  • you were in Australia when the extreme circumstance occurred

Staying after a domestic or family violence incident

You may be eligible for a Crisis Payment if you:

  • were the victim of or witness to domestic or family violence
  • choose to stay in your home after the violence occurred

You are eligible if all the following occurred:

  • you were living with a family member who subjected you to domestic or family violence
  • the family member has left your home because of the violence
  • you stayed living in the home after the family member left
  • you were in Australia when the domestic or family violence occurred

Who is a family member

A family member could be your:

  • partner
  • father or mother, including your in-laws
  • sister or brother, including your in-laws
  • child

A family member can also be any other person who the Repatriation Commission believes we should treat as a family member.

Lawful custody

You may be eligible for the Crisis Payment if you were in lawful custody for 14 days or more.

Lawful custody means you were both:

  • charged with an offence
  • in a prison or in psychiatric confinement

You may also be eligible if you:

  • live in a psychiatric facility full time
  • were not charged with an offence
  • must leave because of an extreme circumstance

Apply for a Crisis Payment

You must apply within 7 days from the day that:

  • the extreme circumstance occurred
  • the person who committed the act of domestic or family violence left the home
  • you left the prison or psychiatric confinement

If you have recently left lawful custody, you will need to complete form D0567 Application for Crisis Payment prison/hospital release.

For all other situations, you will need to complete form D0568 Application for Crisis Payment - Extreme Circumstances and Domestic or Family Violence.

Another person can help you to fill out the form.

Once you have filled out and signed the form, you can send it to us by post at:

Department of Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998
BRISBANE QLD 4001

You can also hand one in at any VAN office.

You must be in Australia when you submit the form.

Informal claim

If you believe you are eligible for the Crisis Payment, you can contact us to discuss. You can call us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) or visit one of our offices.

If you are eligible for the payment when you make contact, and you are in Australia, we can lodge an informal claim for the payment.

You will have 14 days from when we lodge the informal claim to apply for the payment.

Please note that we cannot grant the Crisis Payment on the basis of an informal claim.

Other information

We encourage you to contact us when there is any change to your situation that could result in a change to your payment.

Once it is safe for you to do so, you can call us or visit one of our offices to discuss your situation. This contact may result in a change to your benefits, and we may be able to recommend other support services to you.

How much we may pay you

The Crisis Payment is equal to 1 week of service pension paid at either:

  • the maximum single rate if you are single
  • the maximum partnered rate if you are a member of a couple

Visit our rates page to see the current rates.

Open Arms

Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling offers mental health and wellbeing support for current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members and their families.

You can contact them 24/7 on 1800 011 046.

You can also use their free anonymous counselling line on 1800 142 072.