Legal assistance for people affected by bushfires and floods

Thousands of NSW residents affected by bushfires, floods and other extreme weather events are being offered free legal help with the launch of the Disaster Response Legal Service NSW.

Legal Aid NSW is operating the service, available via its helpline 1800 801 529. The service is providing assitance with with insurance claims, social security benefits and other legal problems associated with natural disasters.

Disaster recovery – useful resources and services:

The Disaster Response Legal Service NSW - 1800 801 529

Legal Aid NSW can give you free legal advice if you have been affected by bushfires or floods in New South Wales, for instance if:

  • your home has been damaged (help is available to both owner and tenant)
  • you have insurance or repair problems
  • your job has been affected by the floods or fires
  • you need help renegotiating credit commitments due to loss of income from the disaster

BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY - getting legal help podcast

Ma'ata Solofoni from the Disaster Response Legal Service NSW talks about the new service and how it's providing free legal help for people in NSW affected by bushfires. The service can help with types of legal issues such as insurance claims, tenancy, financial hardship, credit and debt, Centrelink and issues with employment. 

What to do after a natural disaster - factsheets: 

Factsheet 1: What to do straight away 

What to do after a natural disaster - insurance tips including how to get emergency money and accommodation.

Factsheet 2: What should I expect from my insurance company?

Information about dealing with your insurance company after a natural disaster.

Factsheet 3: Has the insurance company offered you a cash settlement?

What you should do if an insurance company offers you a cash settlement on your property after a natural disaster. 

Factsheet 4: I don't agree with the insurers decision

If you don't agree with your insurers decision after a natural disaster, there are steps you can take.

Factsheet 5: Where can I get more help?

Where to get help and advice when dealing with your insurance company after a natural disaster. 

Factsheet 6: Standard letters 

Standard letters you can use to write to your insurance company after a natural disaster. 

Advice for tenants who have been affected

Factsheet: Disaster damage - As a tenant you have rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This factsheet is about damage to rented premises that is neither the fault of the landlord nor the tenant - the result of a storm, fire or flood, or other causes of such damage. 

Find your local Tenants' Advice Service here

Workplace rights during natural disasters - this factsheet answers questions you might have about your workplace rights during a natural disaster or emergency.

Getting help after a disaster - a Legal Aid NSW resource 

Financial Rights Legal Centre 

If you have lost property due to bushfire you are able to get free and independent legal advice about your car, building and contents insurance from the Financial Rights Legal Centre's Insurance Law Service on 1300 663 464

Insurance Council of Australia's (ICA) Disaster Hotline

1800 734 621

Bushfire Housing Assistance Service

Call Bushfire Housing Assistance Service on 1800 018 444. They can help with housing support, temporary accomodation, Rentstart Bond Loan & Advance rent. This service is available to anyone affected by bushfire state-wide. 

Ask Izzy Bushfire Support 

Search for support services and agencies - a free, anonymous website, available 24/7 with information on health, financial, counselling, food and support assistance in your local area. 

Are you in Victoria?

Call Disaster Legal Help Victoria on 1800 133 432 

Are you in Queensland?

Call Natural disaster legal help on 1300 004 924