Red Cross Help for migrants in transition

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The Australian Red Cross is receiving funding from the Australian Government for the next six months to deliver emergency relief and support – for people on temporary visas who cannot access Medicare and Centrelink support.

Emergency relief and casework support

11 April 2020

You may have heard that Red Cross is receiving funding from the Australian Government for the next six months to deliver emergency relief and casework support.

Here is some important information about this funding:

  • These funds are for people on temporary visas who have no way to support themselves and who have urgent needs. This includes food, medicine and crisis accommodation costs.
  • We have not yet received these funds but hope to increase our existing Emergency Relief and Safety Net program in the coming weeks.
  • Because of COVID-19, we will not distribute funds from our offices, but we will provide assistance by phone and email during business hours. 

We will work as quickly as possible with the Department of Social Services to finalise the details of the funding and expand assistance to people who are experiencing significant vulnerability. 

Who is eligible?
You may be eligible for Red Cross Safety Net support if you:

  • are in Australia on a temporary visa
  • are in urgent financial hardship
  • cannot access Centrelink, Medicare or similar services
  • have no income, savings or other financial support (including from family overseas).

Please know that we provide assistance based on need. We have to prioritise people with urgent needs, such as families with young children, people with a disability, people who are experiencing harm, people who are vulnerable to COVID-19, and people with physical or mental health issues.

How to apply
We will advise when we have the funds and arrangements in place. In the meantime, you can email us and we will get back to you

Once you have requested help, we will speak to you and see if we can assist with emergency payments, food deliveries, crisis accommodation costs or other support. 

To protect everyone’s safety during COVID-19, please do not come to our Red Cross offices at this time. You can email us or call 1800 733 276 during business hours.
If you need help now
If you are currently in a situation where your health or safety is threatened, please call 000.

If you are eligible for mainstream community support services, try AskIzzy or the Department of Social Services.

Information on COVID-19 in several languages


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