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Food relief and financial assistance

There are a number of services that provide financial support to Maroondah residents.

Free community meals

Download our list of services that offer emergency food relief or free meals on a regular basis:

Community meals and food relief  (pdf, 723KB)

Support services for the Maroondah area

Ambulance travel

Who: Concession cardholders
What: Free ambulance and air ambulance travel anywhere in Australia in an emergency or on the recommendation of a doctor. 

Bereavement allowance

Who: The surviving member of a couple who was not receiving income support before a bereavement.
What: Assistance to adjust to your changed financial circumstances following the death of a partner. The allowance is generally payable from the date of the partner’s death and is subject to an income and asset test.

Bereavement assistance

Who: Victorians who have limited or no funds. 
What: Low-cost funeral services and practical assistance.

A dignified funeral service can be provided where the alternative is a ‘pauper burial’ or an expensive funeral that relatives or friends cannot afford. Bereavement assistance Ltd is a charitable funeral director, registered with the Australian Charities and NFP Commission. They aim to relieve poverty and distress through this service.

Bereavement payment

Who: People who are experiencing:

  • The death of  partner while you were both receiving a payment from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • The death of someone you were caring for
  • The death of a child
  • A stillborn child

What: A Bereavement Payment that helps ease the adjustment to changed financial circumstances after the death of your partner, child or person you were caring for. 

Burial of persons with insufficient means

Who: Deceased individuals with assets of less than $1000.
What: Assistance with burials. State Trustees can assume responsibility for financing and arranging the plot and funeral of deceased persons reported to the Coroner, who have assets of less than $1000.

Centrelink advance payment scheme

Who: Centrelink customers who can demonstrate that they can repay the advance and still have enough money for day-to-day expenses.
What: Lump sum payments in advance from future Centrelink payments. The advance must be repaid, as it is essentially an interest free loan.

The advance amount must be between $250 and $500. The advance is repaid through fortnightly deductions from the pension or allowance.

Centrelink financial information service

Who: All Australians.
What: A free Financial Information Service that is confidential and provides education and information on financial issues.

Emergency relief

Who: People experiencing a severe financial crisis
What: Emergency relief in the form of food, clothing and household goods such as second-hand furniture and blankets.

Energy Concessions

Who: Eligible concession cardholders
What: A variety of concessions and benefits to assist low-income Victorians with energy bills offered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Financial Assistance and compensation - Victims of Crime

Who: People who have been the victim of a crime.
What: Financial assistance through the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal in the form of compensation from the person who committed the crime, or through civil court action.

Financial counselling - EACH

Who: Low income earners and Centrelink recipients living or working in the City of Maroondah, the City of Knox, Healesville, Yarra Junction and the surrounding areas.
What: Free and confidential financial counselling service.

Financial counsellors can offer:

  •  assessment of your financial situation 
  • advice if you can’t pay bills, fines or debts
  • assistance to work out payments with creditors
  • help with budgeting
  • information about bankruptcy
  • information about possible government assistance
  • consumer information
  • information about your legal rights.   

Good Shepherd Microfinance

Who: People on low incomes.
What: Low income loans.

Good Shepherd Microfinance enable people to define and then to realise their own economic wellbeing and to feel valued and in control of their finances and lives.  Find a provider

Living in Public Housing - Making alterations to your home

Who: People who need to make changes to their home for disability or health and safety reasons.
What: Free and low cost aids, adaptations and disability modifications such as handrails or ramps.

In most cases, modifications are provided free of charge when you ask for them and can give us a letter or a report from your occupational therapist or doctor.

You can submit a request for aids, adaptations and disability modifications by sending:.

  • A letter
  • An application for special accommodation requirements form (.pdf) or the accessible version of the application (.doc)
  • A report completed by a health care professional, like an occupational therapist or a health professional relevant to your disability. 

The information you provide must confirm the need and urgency for the changes. It must also detail the type of modifications needed.


Who: People who need help managing their money and debt.
What: Tools and advice to help you manage your money and debt.

Municipal rates concession

Who: Homeowners, for their principal place of residency who have a Pensioner Concession Card or DVA Gold Card
What: A 50% discount off council rates up to a yearly maximum of $208 in 2014-2015.

View the Municipal Rates Concession fact sheet.

No interest loan scheme

Who: Individuals and families on a low income or who have a Health Care Card/Pension Card.

You must have lived in your current residence for more than 3 months and show a willingness and capacity to repay the loan.

What: The No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) provides no fees, charges or interest.

Loans may include:

  • Household items like fridges, freezers, washing machines, stoves, clothes dryers and some furniture 
  • Some medical and dental services 
  • Educational essentials such as computers and text books 
  • Some other items as requested.

The NILS program is run by local community organisations at over 600 locations across Australia.

Gambler’s Help

Who: People who are affected by gambling including friends and family.
What: Gambler's Help is a free, professional, confidential counselling service.

Step-up low interest loan

Who: Health Care Card holders or recipients of Family Tax benefit Part A who do not have access to other financial services.
What: Low interest personal loan product developed by Good Shepherd together with the National Australia Bank. Loans to date have been for the purchase of household furniture, computers, and second hand motor vehicles.

Utility Relief Grant and Non-Mains Utility Relief Grant schemes

Who: Domestic utility customers who are unable to pay their utility bills due to a temporary financial crisis (within last 12 months) and customers who experience difficulties paying for other non-mains sources such as carted water and heating oil.
What: Relief from disconnection, restriction of supply, or non-supply of gas bottles.

Telephone allowance

Who: People in financial difficulty.
What: Assistance with the costs of maintaining a telephone and a home internet service.

Telstra bill assistance program

Who: People who are experiencing financial difficulty and are having a problem paying their Telstra bill.
What: A Telstra bill assistance certificate of a fixed amount to pay towards their Telstra bill.

Telstra funds the program and participating community agencies distribute the program on Telstra's behalf.

To become a Telstra bill assistance agency you must: 

  • directly receive Commonwealth and / or State emergency relief funding, and/or
  • provide material aid/ financial cash relief assistance as a normal part of their operation based on a careful assessment of client needs  be an incorporated not-for-profit body.

To apply, contact the lead administrative community agency in your state. See the List of State Contacts

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