Help is available to those struggling after the devastating week in NSW

It has been a rough week of weather for parts of New South Wales (NSW) and we all know someone who has been affected.   So as the week comes to a close we wanted to reach out with some information that may be of help to you, or may help you assist a neighbour, friend or relative who has been affected.Here are some of the things you should consider if you have been affected by a natural disaster.

Are you eligible for natural disaster assistance schemes? The government has emergency assistance grants and loan schemes available for

1) People facing personal hardship and distress The Ministry for Police and Emergency Services can provide disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster. Find out more

2) Small businesses that meet eligibility criteria Loans of up to $130,000 are available at a concessional rate to small businesses affected by disasters and which meet certain eligibility criteria. This finance is available to those unable to obtain assistance through normal channels.   Find out more 

3) Primary producers that meet criteria for loans and transport subsidies Loans of up to $130,000 are available (subject to certain eligibility criteria), at a concessional interest rate for those in urgent need.  Transport freight subsidies of up to 50 percent are available to help with the carriage of livestock and fodder to help primary producers  Find out more

These schemes are all subject to eligibility.

Have you notified your insurance company of an intention to claim? If you intend to claim on an insurance policy, it is important to start enacting this process as soon as possible.  Insurance brokers and companies provide extra support for the high volume periods and often prioritise on a first come basis. Further, there may be records and information you need to collect and retain to ensure your claim is valid and maximised. For example if you have suffered a business loss and your business insurance covers “loss of profits” or “business interruption” it may be necessary to capture information about the hours of staff or loss of income during and following  the disaster. Such information may be more difficult to collect afterwards or not having it may impact the amount paid under the policy. For property damage it is important to understand the process required to be followed by your insurer to ensure costs are covered. For example you may need to get a certain number of quotes for repair work or use certain providers to have the work done in order for your insurer to reimburse you.

Seek out programmes that might be available to help. Many financial institutions and organisations are releasing programmes to help their customers.  We have already been contacted by a number of banks, as well as Chambers of Commerce and Government bodies.  Our team is across many of the programmes that are being offered and will continue to monitor this space as it unfolds to help people in their local areas. Please contact us for assistance in understanding what help is being provided.

Do you need help getting your business, home, family or charity through this period?  People who are struggling might not have the tools, skills or equipment they need to lodge claims, manage issues or obtain help that will get them back on track faster.  Our team is just one call away for someone you can trust to be a second set of eyes or hands at this time.  Whether it be a sounding board, processing payroll while systems are down, helping you apply for assistance or insurance or longer term planning to help you or your business recover from this event, we are here to support you.

Most of all, we want you our clients and friends to know that if there is any way we can help you at this time, to please reach out to us.  Natural disasters and the aftermath can be soul destroying, and there are plenty of hands and minds here to put to work on solving any issue, personal or business that you might be struggling with

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