188.8.131.52 Disaster recovery allowance (DRA) - description
Objective of DRA
DRA is a fortnightly payment paid for up to 13 weeks to eligible individuals whose income has been affected by a Part 2.23B major disaster (major disaster) (1.1.P.60). A major disaster can be a natural or non-natural disaster that occurs in Australia.
Activation of DRA
DRA becomes payable after the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management (the Minister) determines that an event is a major disaster.
The Minister has power under SSAct section 36A to determine in writing that an event is a major disaster. The Minister may determine an event to be a major disaster if the Minister is satisfied that a disaster has had such a significant impact on individuals that an Australian Government response, in the form of income support, is required and that the event was of national significance. When arriving at such a decision the Minister must take into account the following factors:
- the number of workplaces that are disrupted, and
- the extent to which the nature or extent of the disaster is unusual.
The Minister's determination must specify:
- one or more areas affected by the event, or
- one or more industries affected by the event in one or more areas.
A determination that an event is a major disaster can be made in relation to both natural and non-natural disasters, but only those occurring within Australia.
Act reference: SSAct Section 36A Part 2.23B major disaster
A claimant must satisfy all of the criteria set out in the SSAct Chapter 2, Part 2.23B, Division 1 to qualify for DRA with regards to a particular major disaster.
Act reference: SSAct Chapter 2 Part 2.23B Division 1 Qualification for DRA
Policy reference: SS Guide 184.108.40.206 Qualification for DRA
The rate for DRA is determined by the Minister. The current determination is the Social Security (Disaster recovery allowance rate calculator) Determination 2020.
Act reference: SSAct section 1061KC Rate of DRA
Policy reference: SS Guide 220.127.116.11 Determining the rate of DRA
How DRA is paid
DRA is paid fortnightly for up to 13 weeks.
Act reference: SSAct section 1061KD Period that DRA is payable
Receipt of DRA does not entitle the recipient to benefits which are available to recipients of social security payments.
Act reference: SSAct section 1061KE Non-receipt of social security payment
Background to DRA
DRA commenced on 1 October 2013 as a means of standardising disaster income support which had previously been provided via various ex gratia payments, including the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy (DIRS).