FAQ's - Grants up to $25,000
Special Disaster Assistance - Tropical Cyclone Oswald and Associated Rainfall and Flooding 21-29 January 2013 – Frequently Asked Questions
In response to Tropical Cyclone Oswald and Associated Rainfall and Flooding 21-29 January 2013, QRAA is providing assistance under the joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements to primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations.
Grants under this scheme will assist eligible applicants to pay for costs arising out of direct damage caused by the disaster event.
What assistance is available?
Grants of up to $25,000 are available for eligible applicants located in eligible local government areas affected by the disaster event to pay for clean-up and restoration costs.
Who is eligible to receive this assistance?
Primary producers, small businesses with less than 20 full-time equivalent employees and non-profit organisations, whose operations are located in eligible local government areas and have suffered direct damage from the disaster event, may be eligible for the assistance.
To apply for the initial grant up to $5,000, what do I need to provide with my application?
Applicants should provide evidence of damage for the initial claim. This may include photographs, tax invoices, receipts, cost estimates and quotes.
To apply for the subsequent grant up to $20,000, what do I need to provide with my application?
To make a subsequent claim, applicants need to have been invoiced and paid for clean-up and restoration works (except if applying under financial hardship).
Applicants will need to provide the following items (including for any amount received in the initial claim):
- tax invoices showing full details of goods or services supplied (to be identifiable as disaster related damage on the invoice); and
- photocopies of bank transfers and/or bank statements together with an official receipt from the supplier or contractor.
The continuation of my business is in doubt because I am unable to pay restoration costs up front. What options do I have to access the assistance?
Applicants can apply for the initial grant up to $5,000 before incurring clean-up and restoration costs. However, a subsequent claim requires work to have been both completed and paid for.
If the continuation of applicants operations are in doubt because they are unable to pay the clean-up and restoration costs, an application may be submitted under financial hardship provisions. Under these provisions QRAA can make payments directly to suppliers upon being provided with tax invoices.
To apply for financial hardship applicants need to provide:
- a photocopy of a current health care card issued under the Commonwealth Exceptional Circumstance Relief Payment Scheme (small businesses and primary producers); or
- a financial hardship certificate from a suitably qualified person stating that:
(a) the applicant can not pay the amounts claimed because of financial hardship; and
(b) the applicant’s ability to continue its operations are in doubt because the applicant can not pay the amounts claimed.
QRAA will assess this information and if approved will provide a decision in principle and a time frame for the work to be completed.
I have no photographic evidence of the damage caused to my operation. How do I demonstrate my eligibility for the initial $5,000 grant?
Applicants should still apply and if further evidence is required, QRAA will make contact to discuss the particular circumstances.
I have a small business, but have only just started trading and the business has not been my major source of income this financial year. Is my small business eligible for assistance?
If applicants can provide evidence they were trading at the time of the disaster event, received direct damage, and that the business will be their major source of income, they may be eligible.
Applicants should include any relevant information to support their application.
I have a small grazing property which currently is not my main source of income and has suffered damage to fences and cattle yards. I am eligible for assistance?
You may be eligible if you can demonstrate that your property has the potential to generate the majority of your income in the future. If this is the case, you will need to provide QRAA with evidence of an existing business plan showing how this will be achieved.
Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
How many times can I claim for assistance?
Applicants can claim for individual expenditure items on separate application forms or collectively on one application form, to claim up to a maximum $25,000 in assistance.
If I have more than one small business or non-profit operation, can I submit an application for each of these operations?
If each operation is for example at separate locations and operates autonomously, it may be possible to have separate applications assessed for up to $25,000 assistance for each operation.
Eligibility to be considered on this basis will be subject to assessment by QRAA.
Our non-profit organisation is eligible to apply for clean-up and restoration costs through other government funded assistance programs. Can the organisation still apply for this assistance?
Yes. However, applicants are not eligible to receive assistance if they have received, or been approved other government assistance in relation to the cost of items claimed.
Applicants may however, claim for the partial cost of items not covered by other government assistance. For instance, if $6,000 in other government assistance has been approved or received in relation to an item with a cost of $10,000, a further $4,000 may be claimed under this assistance.
Please note that a non-profit organisation must be incorporated to be eligible for assistance under the scheme.
My business has suffered a loss of trade as a result of the disaster. Can I apply for assistance to cover loss of income?
No. This assistance is available to help with clean-up and restoration costs caused by direct damage from the disaster event. Loss of income is not eligible under the scheme.
I’ve used my own equipment to repair damage. Can I claim costs in relation to this?
Applicants are unable to claim assistance for the use of their own equipment, for example dry hire or the cost of their own labour.
Applicants may however claim for any additional labour or fuel, oil and other costs incurred in the use of this equipment. This needs to be detailed in Section 10.2 of the application.
Can I use the assistance to purchase items not owned at the time of the disaster to undertake repair work?
The assistance is only available for the purchase or hire or lease costs for equipment essential to the immediate resumption of a small business, primary production enterprise or non-profit organisation.
If applicants consider an item is essential for the immediate resumption of their operation, they should provide full details of this to QRAA for consideration.
Are fodder drops or essential movement of livestock eligible expenditure items for primary producers?
Yes. Costs associated with these items are eligible for assistance to enable you to immediately resume your business. The ongoing purchase of fodder may not be eligible.
Can I apply for an individual grant for expenditure associated with collaborative activities, for example a number of producers combining to freight fodder?
Yes. Individual applicants are eligible to apply for their share of costs associated with joint activities for eligible purposes. Full details of these collaborative activities will need to be provided to QRAA.
Can primary producers purchase livestock or replant crops with the assistance?
No. However, QRAA administers low interest loans under the Natural Disaster Assistance Scheme which provides assistance for this purpose.
The repairing or restoring of agricultural land to the condition it was in before the eligible disaster event is eligible e.g. laser levelling, re-establishing contour banks.
Replacing essential stock is an eligible cost for small businesses. What qualifies as essential stock?
Essential stock is items required for the immediate use in, or by the business. If in doubt, applicants should detail these items in their application for assessment by QRAA.
A family member has their own contracting business. Can I use them to repair our damage?
You are able to use relatives to repair your damage so long as transactions are retained at arms length and conducted in the same way as with any other contractor.
Any contractors used must have an ABN and provide a tax invoice and official receipt for work completed.
My house and household goods need repair or replacing. Can the assistance cover these costs?
No. The assistance does not cover repairing houses or repairing or replacing household goods.
For information on household assistance, please contact the Department of Communities on 1800 173 349 or visit www.communities.qld.gov.au
I operate a home based small business and do not employ anyone. Can I claim for repairs to my home to re-establish work spaces, amenities and equipment?
Yes. However, applicants will need to provide satisfactory evidence of damage to this work area and that the business generates the majority of their income.
To resume my disaster affected operation I will need to operate from an alternate location. Can I claim for the lease or rent of temporary premises?
Yes. However applicants will need to provide satisfactory evidence of damage to their premises and of costs associated with leasing or renting the temporary premises.
I am a contractor and have suffered direct damage to my business from the disaster. I need to engage a subcontractor to complete work which would otherwise have been undertaken by my contracting business. Can I claim some or all of these expenses?
No. However the assistance may be used to cover any costs associated with clean-up and restoration of the business.
I earn income from rental properties. Can I claim for assistance to make repairs to my properties?
No. Not unless you rent the properties in the course of operating a business. Applicants who lease out properties as a business and earn the majority of their income from this business may be eligible to apply as a small business.
Superannuation funds and personal investment vehicles are not regarded as a business and therefore are not eligible for assistance under the scheme.
I lease a small business premises which suffered structural damage and I have also lost my own stock and chattels. Can I claim for assistance?
Yes. You can claim for the loss of stock and chattels that you own, however depending on your lease agreement, the landlord and not you, may be responsible for the structural repairs. In this case you would not be eligible to claim for the cost of these repairs.
I have not sustained direct damage, but have lost stock due to a power outage caused by the disaster. Can I claim for the loss of this stock?
Small businesses may be eligible for assistance under these circumstances for the loss of perishable items only, however this would depend on any insurance claim.
I operate a food business and have not sustained direct damage to my business either structurally or through loss of stock, however I rely on a gas cooker to generate my income. With the city’s gas pipeline destroyed I need to obtain an alternative gas supply. Can I claim for this cost?
No. As your business did not suffer any direct damage, you would not be eligible for any assistance.
I am a fisher based in a defined disaster area. Can I apply for the assistance?
Fishers who have sustained direct damage to fishing equipment and vessels as a result of the disaster may be eligible for assistance. Assistance is not however available to compensate for loss of income due to inability to fish because of the event.
Can I apply for assistance if I have insurance to cover disaster damage?
Yes. However applicants are not eligible for subsequent claims if they receive, or are entitled to receive an insurance amount to cover their clean-up and restoration costs.
If applicants have insurance that covers the damage from the disaster events, they should submit a claim against their policy in respect of any loss or damage.
Applications for a subsequent claim will need to provide written advice from their insurance provider on the result of their claim.
Can I contract to complete disaster recovery repairs on a neighbouring farm and then my neighbour contracts to complete similar repairs on my farm, and we both claim?
No. Contract work can only be considered as an eligible claim when the repairs cannot be undertaken utilising your own equipment. Applicants may however claim for additional labour or fuel, oil and other costs incurred in the use of this equipment. This needs to be detailed in Section 10.2 of the application.
Can the assistance be subject to later audit?
Yes. QRAA may conduct an audit to verify the assistance has been used in accordance with the claim. Applicants must retain all evidence of expenditure associated with their claim until 12 months after the closing date for the scheme.
Penalties apply for providing false or misleading information in applications under the Rural and Regional Adjustment Act 1994 or the Criminal Code.
Where can I find more information?
Applicants are advised not to self assess. If you have any questions concerning your eligibility or any other queries about the assistance please contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946.