Welfare can take a variety of forms, such as monetary payments, subsidies and vouchers, or housing assistance. Welfare systems differ from organization to organization, but Welfare is commonly provided to individuals who are unemployed, those with illness or disability, the elderly, to those with dependent children, and veterans. A person’s eligibility for welfare may be constrained by means testing or other conditions.
In terms of support to the ex-service community in Victoria, financial assistance is provided by the RSL Victorian Branch Inc through what is called the General Appeals Patriotic Trust Fund. The fund provides financial grants to help eligible persons who are in needy or necessitous circumstances brought about by financial hardship due to illness, injury, disability, unemployment or death.
The fund does not as a rule provide cash payments. The fund does pay providers or suppliers for services rendered. Some examples of the types of financial assistance the fund can provide are:
- Funeral assistance;
- A mortgage or rental payment;
- Assistance with child care;
- Assistance with transport;
- Payment of quarterly or yearly insurance premiums;
- House cleaning and lawn mowing services for families where illness or injuries prevent them from doing it themselves and no other avenue of assistance is available.
- essential medications;
- emergency pendants for the infirmed or elderly in the home;
- furniture and household appliances such as Televisions, whitegoods and brown goods;
- essentials, like food and clothing;
- mobility devices;
- rehabilitation aids and equipment;
- Emergency short term accommodation;
- Motor vehicle repairs (only if the motor vehicle is required to transport children to school or used to get to medical appointments where public transport does not exist or cannot be accessed)
- Children’s primary and secondary school education expenses, where no government or other support is available;
- Adaptations to a home for a person with a disability;
- Help getting into rented accommodation, such as removal costs, bond and/or rent-in-advance;
- Organized sub-branch outings;
- Payment of volunteer expenses.
The RSL is a registered charity organization. Therefore, evidence of financial hardship needs to be established for assistance to be provided. The Fund will carefully consider all individual requests for assistance. For further information and to ascertain if you are eligible for assistance,
Please contact Carol Ralis, Welfare Officer
Disasters can occur at any time, however in Victoria, November through to March is traditionally our biggest threat of a natural disaster where we all need to be prepared for devastating fires or floods.
The RSL Victorian Branch Inc can work closely with Sub-Branches across Victoria to provide financial assistance and counseling to their members and to other members of the Defence community and their families in Victoria affected by disasters of one kind or another.
You can apply for RSL Disaster Relief Assistance at any time. The RSL Victorian Branch Inc can make available emergency household assistance grants of up to $1,500 immediately to those who have lost their belongings or suffered damage to their homes as a result of fire or flood.
The RSL Victorian Branch Inc has also in the past donated to disasters in other States through their RSL State Disaster Appeal or to State headquarters.
Other contacts during times of disaster:
- Australian Government Disaster Assistance Hotline: 180 2266
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs: 133 254
- Veterans’ & Veterans Families Counseling Service: 1800 011 046
- Defence Service Homes Insurance: 1300 552 662
- VICSES: 132 500
- VICSES Emergency Information: 1300 842 737
- Insurance Council of Australia: 1300 728 228
- State Government Disaster Welfare Assistance: 1800 180 213