People experiencing financial hardship may be entitled to support with budgeting, accessing additional payments, and other assistance from a variety of services in Knox.
Free financial counselling
Financial counsellors can go over your finances to find ways to reduce the pressure. They may even negotiate on your behalf with creditors, help you access grants or concessions, and access dispute resolution services. Call EACH on 1300 003 224 or the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to speak with a financial counsellor.
Household relief loans without interest are offered by Good Shepherd Microfinance, in partnership with the National Australia Bank. Loans of up to $3,000 (no interest, charges or fees), are available to help with debts due to rent, rates, body corporate fees and utility bills. You may be eligible if your income has been impacted by COVID-19, and you fall under an income threshold.
These loans are in addition to the existing no-interest loans of $1,500 for those on low incomes who urgently need help to meet medical expenses, replace broken white goods, or repair a car. Contact Knox Infolink on 9761 1325 or EACH on 1300 003 224.
Through the Australian Government’s Services Australia (Centrelink), you may be able to receive the COVID-19 Disaster Payment if you can’t work due to current COVID restrictions.
Or, you may be able to receive the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment if you can’t work, and either:
- a state health official has told you to isolate because you are a close contact of a confirmed case
- you have COVID-19, or
- you are caring for someone with COVID-19.
Use the Services Australia (Centrelink) Payment and Service Finder to see what help you can get.
The Victorian Government is also providing payments for people who are isolating while they await a test result.
Help with paying the bills
Banking, utilities and insurance companies must have a financial hardship department in line with the National Consumer Credit Protection Act. If you are feeling the pinch, give your providers a call and ask about help varying your payments.
If you are on a concession or pension card, you may also be entitled to reduced rates.
Knox City Council is not charging interest on late rates payments and charges until 31 March 2022. In addition, payment plans of more than 12 months can be offered. More information is available on our rates page or call 9298 8000.
Reach out for help
There are many caring services and professionals in the Knox area ready to assist.
For individuals and families:
- EACH Financial Counselling: call 9871 1817 or 1300 003 224
- Eastern Community Legal Centre: call 1300 32 52 00
- Knox Infolink: call 9761 1325
- National Debt Helpline: call 1800 007 007
- Warm Safe Home: call 1800 007 007
For small business owners and employees:
- Partners in Wellbeing Helpline and Support: call 1300 375 330.
Food and material relief is also available in Knox for those who need it.