The volunteer firefighter payment is for eligible volunteer firefighters who are self-employed or employed by small and medium businesses, and have lost income.
The NSW Government is administering the Australian Government’s Volunteer Firefighters Financial Support Program, which is designed to help volunteer firefighters who have been called out for more than 10 days since 1 July 2019.
Payments of up to $300 per day, with a total cap of $6000, will be available in the 2019–2020 financial year. The payments are tax-free and not means tested.
To be eligible you must be a volunteer firefighter who has lost income and:
– is registered with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) or NSW State Emergency Service (SES)
– has been volunteering as part of an operational response to bushfires for more than 10 days since 1 July 2019. The days do not need to be consecutive. This can include reasonable travel and recovery time but does not include training or participating in non-emergency operations (for example, hazard reduction burns).
– is self-employed or employed by a small or medium business (a business with an annual turnover of less than $50 million in the 2018–2019 financial year).
You are not eligible if you work for:
– a large business. Large businesses have more capacity to support their staff to help the community and are being encouraged to do so.
– government (state, federal or local). Talk to your employer about special leave provisions.