These FAQs are current at time of publication and may be subject to change without notice, as details of the program become known.

What is the Drought Community Support Initiative, Round 2?

The Drought Community Support Initiative (DCSI) Round 2 is an Australian Government funded grant that provides financial assistance of up to $3000 to farmers, farm workers, or suppliers/contractors that have been impacted by the drought. 

DCSI Round 2 is a second round of funding being provided by the Commonwealth Government under this initiative. In this round, there is $45,000,000 of funding to be distributed to eligible households, through payments of $3,000.

On 20 March 2020, the Australian Government announced $15,000,000 of funding to be allocated towards an additional 52 LGAs that are now eligible to receive DCSI Round 2 support. These LGAs will be able to access this funding via our online form as of the 23 March 2020.

Round 2 started on the 19 November 2019 and will continue until 30 April 2021 or until program funds have been exhausted. 

When will I receive payment?

Please note: We are currently experiencing a high volume of applications and processing times may take 1 - 3 weeks. Thank you for your patience.

(last updated 04 Dec 2020)

Our Drought Relief team are busily working through each application in the order it is received. 

If we require any additional information to process your claim we will attempt to call you and send you an email. (Please check your junk folder to assist us in speeding up this process). If we have to follow up on any aspect of your application, it may delay processing times. 

 

How do I know if I am in an eligible LGA?

The Government has identified 174 eligible local government areas. You can find the full list here.

What if my LGA does not appear in the list?

If your LGA does not appear in the list of eligible LGAs, the St Vincent de Paul Society may still be able to assist you. Please call 13 18 12 for assistance.

What documentation do I need to supply?

Farmer (rates notice for property location, ABN, license). Please ensure rates notice and proof of address match. If you need to provide further evidence to assist so, please do this as soon as possible. Driver’s license – front and back

Farm worker (payslip with employer’s name and ABN or a letter from the employer with their ABN, etc). Proof of address - utility bills, etc. – please note, application address needs to match the addresses on documentation supplied. Driver’s license, front and back.

Farm contractor/supplier - ABN number, proof of address, invoices to show the supply of agricultural-related service. Driver’s license, front and back.

If you are unable to provide any of the above, please complete a statutory declaration if unable to provide the above.

What if I am unable to lodge my application online?

Please phone the St Vincent de Paul Society Drought Relief Team on 1300 VINNIES (1300 846 643) for assistance.

Do I have to declare this payment as taxable income?

No – the payment is not considered taxable income.

I applied for funding under Round 1 of the DCSI, can I apply again?

Yes, you may apply again under Round 2 if you applied and/or received funding under Round 1. Each eligible household is entitled to one payment under DCSI 1 and DCSI 2 only.

Which Local Government Areas are being serviced by Vinnies and which by The Salvation Army?

The Drought Community Support Initiative Round 2 continues to be available through the St Vincent de Paul Society in 91 Local Government Areas. Click here to see the list of eligible LGAs.

Please note that applications for assistance in some Local Government Areas supported by The Salvation Army have now closed, as funding has been exhausted in these areas. Vinnies is unable to assist you with Drought Community Support Initiative Round 2 funding if you reside in The Salvation Army allocated areas. 

Why is my Local Government Area not on the list?

The Local Government Areas covered by the program are determined by the Commonwealth Government based on information from the Bureau of Meteorology. 

It is possible that the eligible LGA list may be updated during the delivery of the program. We will keep the list up to date on our website, and you can check with our Help Desk to see if changes have been made.

If your Local Government Area is not listed but you believe it should be, you could raise the matter with your local MP.

How do I find out my Local Government Area?

Your rates notice is issued by your local government and can be referred to for more information on your Local Government Area. If you do not have a rates notice, you can check your Local Government Area by searching for ‘local government area town’ on the Internet, inserting the name of your town.

I am under 18 years of age – can I apply for funding?

Only persons aged 18 or over are eligible for funding under the DCSI. There may be another member of your household who is eligible to claim the funding.

The Commonwealth Government requires us to provide certain statistical information relating to the distribution of funding, including the gender and age of recipients. When we provide this information, we do NOT provide your identifying details. This information cannot be linked directly back to you by anyone other than Vinnies.

I am receiving drought assistance from another source – can I still apply for DCSI Round 2 funding?

Yes, you may apply for DCSI Round 2 funding. There is no restriction on your eligibility to receive DCSI Round 2 funding if you are receiving other funding.

Why do I have to declare that no other household member has claimed funding under DCSI Round 2?

It is an eligibility criterion of the program that only one claim can be paid per household.

Why do I have to declare that I will refund any duplicate funding to my household to Vinnies?

The Commonwealth Government stipulates that only one payment can be made per household. If additional payments are made, Vinnies will not receive those funds from the Government. Vinnies offers a number of programs and assistance to those in needs. If a single payment under the DCSI program does not meet your household’s immediate needs, we encourage you to contact our Help Desk to find out about other assistance available through Vinnies and through other agencies.

Why does the application form ask me to consent to being contacted by Vinnies or its agents after the program?

Vinnies offers a vast number of programs and services across Australia.  Evaluating each service upon completion helps us tailor our programs to better serve those in need. We really appreciate your participation in the evaluation process and encourage you to agree to be contacted.

It is your choice whether you agree to be contacted and this does not impact our evaluation of your application.

Why does the application form ask me whether I consent to being contacted by the Government after the program?

The Commonwealth Government would like to evaluate the efficacy of the program upon completion and to do this, they need to be able to contact program participants.  If you tick ‘agree to be contacted’, we will provide your name and contact details to the Government for that purpose.  

It is your choice whether you agree to be contacted and this does not impact our evaluation of your application.

Why does the application form ask me whether I would like to hear about other forms of support available to me?

Vinnies offers many different services and programs which may be of benefit to those suffering the impacts of drought. We can also tell you about programs offered by federal, state and local government in your area, and about services offered by other agencies. If you tick this box, a Vinnies member from your area will contact you.

Is it safe to enter my bank account details in the online form?

All data entered in the form is encrypted when it is in transit over the internet and when it is in our database, to ensure it cannot be accessed by anyone else.

I live in one LGA and work in another. Which will my claim be evaluated under?

If your LGA of residence is included in the list of drought-affected LGAs, (and that LGA is being managed by Vinnies), we will evaluate you in that LGA. If this is not the case, but the LGA where you work is drought-affected, we will evaluate you against that LGA. Please note that, if we evaluate your claim against your work LGA, there is still a limit of one claim per household on your place of residence.

I do not have a rates notice.

If you are unable to obtain a copy of a rates notice for your place of residence, you will need to provide a copy of the utility bill or the Statutory Declaration available on our website, signed by an eligible party.

Why do I have to provide a copy of my payslip?

If you are a farm worker, we use your payslip to validate that you derive your main income from agriculture.

Why do I have to provide a copy of my invoice if I am a farm contractor?

If you are a farm supplier/contractor we use the invoices to validate that you derive your main income from agricultural related work.

What must the letter from my employer state?

If you do not have a payslip and want to include a letter from your employer, it must include the following information:

  • Name of entity (company, partnership, sole trader, etc) who employs you.  This could be in the letterhead.
  • ABN of your employer.
  • Name, Title, email and telephone number of the person providing the letter
  • A statement saying what job you perform and how many hours per week you perform that role for. 
  • If your employment has reduced due to the drought, your employer can make a statement to that effect, for example, “John’s employment was originally full time but since the drought, I have only been able to employ him for 20 hours per week.
  • The signature of your employer.
How do I get a Statutory Declaration?

Please refer to the Statutory Declaration information page on our website for information on how to prepare a Statutory Declaration. You will also find a template for your declaration on that page.

Who can sign my Statutory Declaration?

There are a number of people who can sign your Statutory Declaration. The full list is available here.