The Tofilaus.

Hardship Assistance - June 2019 quarter

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Hardship assistance is for people with insufficient income and assets, and who have immediate and specific needs that cannot be met by their own resources. Hardship assistance includes Special Needs Grant (SNG), Advance Payment of Benefit (ADV), and Recoverable Assistance Payment (RAP).

The data presented are counts of grants and not a count of clients. A client may receive more than one grant during a quarter (i.e. from start of April to end of June).

Five-year trend

The number of grants for hardship assistance has been increasing over the last five years. There were 487,539 grants granted in the June 2019 quarter, more than double the number of grants granted in the June 2014 quarter (196,037).

The number of Special Needs Grants (SNGs) accounts for 60.6 percent of the total number of hardship grants in the June 2019 quarter.

A Special Needs Grant is an additional income support to address immediate needs of families and individuals. A person does not have to be receiving a benefit to be eligible for an SNG.

Number of grants provided by types of hardship 2014-2019

For the June 2019 quarter, the total hardship assistance granted amounted to $142,584,226. Of the total amount, 47.3 percent was granted for Advance Payment of Benefit (ADV). Clients who are receiving a main benefit, and who need immediate assistance have access to an advance of their net benefit entitlement.

Amount granted by types of hardship assistance 2014-2019

Additional support to buy food has remained the main reason for needing hardship assistance. In the June 2019 quarter, there were 229,132 grants for food provided, more than double the number in June 2014 (84,492).

Number of hardship grants, by selected reasons 2014-2019

In terms of amount granted, the SNGs for Emergency Housing accounted for the biggest amount granted ($34,338,613) in the June 2019 quarter. This was followed by amount granted for food ($22,563,278) and amount granted for accommodation related costs ($21,209,927).

Amount of hardship assistance granted by selected reasons 2014-2019

Annual comparison

June 2018 quarter

June 2019 quarter

Annual change

Total Special Needs Grants (SNG)




58.8 percent increase




99.8 percent increase

Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants (EH SNG)




155.0 percent increase




229.7 percent increase

Total Advance Payment of Benefit (ADV)




43.2 percent increase




39.9 percent increase

Total Recoverable Assistance Payments (RAP)




33.0 percent increase




32.0 percent increase

Note 1: Data provided are counts of grants, not a count of clients. A client may have more than one grant during a quarter.

Note 2: The Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant was implemented from 1 July 2016 and was able to be reported separately from the December 2016 quarter.