What are Emergency Relief Services?

Emergency relief services provide material support for people experiencing financial crisis. This may be in the form of food vouchers, limited household bill assistance, medical prescriptions, metropolitan travel vouchers, Telstra phone cards, Telstra bill assistance and small food parcels. We do not provide cash.

When we are unable to provide emergency relief services due to applicant ineligibility or lack of funds, we will provide service users with referrals to other agencies.

Whom do we help?

Our priority is for people who:

Living area

Live within our Emergency Relief Services catchment area

Postcode areas

Postcode areas of 3195 (South of the Mordialloc Creek); 3196 and 3197.

Financial crisis

Are experiencing a financial crisis

Acceptable ID documents

Present the following ID: A current concession card or Health Care Card; a referral or confirmation letter from Centrelink

Non-payment period

Are on a Centrelink non-payment period or waiting for Centrelink payments to commence

Identification address

Are on a low income, can demonstrate this, and have identification with current address (Health Care Card, Licence etc)

Please note: People who do not meet the above requirements can make an application to our Manager of the Service for assistance and will be asked to provide evidence of hardship. Your interviewer can assist with your application

How Do I Apply For Assistance?

  • No appointment is necessary but the Emergency Relief Service finishes 30 minutes before closing time.
  • A trained volunteer Emergency Relief interviewer will conduct an interview with you to assess your needs.
  • The interviewer will request information about your rent, bills and income
  • There is no guarantee that we will be able to assist you with what you have requested.
  • If we are unable to assist we will look for other options and referrals

Distribution Policy

As our Emergency Relief Services funding is limited, please note the following:

  • The limit for ChelCSS Emergency Relief Services is 3 times per year.
  • We are not obliged nor funded to provide anyone with regular emergency relief.
  • Service users experiencing ongoing crisis are encouraged to seek support from other support services such as Financial Counselling (Vic) Inc or our Support Program.

Please note: Requests for additional assistance beyond the limits will be considered but are to be made to the Emergency Relief Coordinator.
Your interviewer can assist with your application

Referrals, Advocacy and Negotiation

This may include:

  • Referrals to other local agencies for food vouchers and material support
  • Referrals to services that can help with complex problems
  • Negotiation with essential service providers such as utility companies
  • Advocacy, where a person has requested that our staff speak to a service or agency on their behalf (ie, ATO, Centrelink, Utility provider)


All information is confidential and accessed only by volunteers and staff within the agency. Information can only be passed on to third parties with client’s signed permission.

All files are securely stored and will be securely destroyed seven years after the date of a customer’s last file note.