220.127.116.11 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 Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster 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 18.104.22.168 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 2015.
Act reference: SSAct section 1061KC Rate of DRA
Policy reference: SS Guide 22.214.171.124 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).